Grateful for every opportunity, the Alvin Ailey School alumna admits her job is a tough one that requires hard work and dedication. Performing with Jennifer Lopez, Ne-Yo, Usher, Robin Thicke and the legendary Tina Turner, the former Radio City Rockette continues to stay grounded with her eye on the prize and focused on the upcoming chapters of her profession.
“A lot of people forget this is a business,” Ashley says. “Everyone sees the glitz and the glamour, but we work hard. We put in rigorous hours with rehearsals that last 8-16 hours a day. When we’re not on stage, we’re sleeping and our sleep is choppy. ‘Me time’ consists of checking in the hotel and sleeping. We lug our luggage around, but I have no complaints and never could have imagined I’d be doing what I love. I didn’t choose this talent – it chose me.”
The Chico, Ca. native admits that time management is a challenge, but she works it out – literally. She recently appeared and danced on the hit VH1 television drama Hit the Floor, starring Kimberly Elise and Dean Cain. The 24-year-old says she hopes to use this opportunity as a chance to start an acting career as well, but says she’s not putting away her dancing leotard anytime soon. Accustomed to multitasking, she recognizes the entertainment industry involves making decisions. At 17 years old, Ashley left Juilliard School to join Beyoncé’s dance team on her 2007 Beyoncé Experience World Tour and her 2009…I Am World Tour. Prior to joining Beyoncé and her dance team,
Appearing on the big screen and performing on the stage isn’t all for Ashley. She also aspires to tap into her entrepreneurial spirit and create a swimwear/lingerie line. The multidimensional artist says using all of one’s resources is the name of the game in her line of work.
“Aspiring artists need to do their homework and research as much as they can about their crafts,” she comments. “I grew up learning jazz, ballet and hip hop. Versatility is very important because it will make you more marketable, provide you with more opportunities and will make you a better artist.”
Photos Credit: Giana Dorsey