Getting To Know Ashley Everett
You know her, you've seen her! Ashley Everett, the fierce redhead who's been dancing alongside Beyoncé for the past 11 years has quickly risen to stardom. Everett recently spoke with Too Much Info's Shivona to discuss life on tour, her show stopping proposal, what she’s learned from Queen B over the years and so much more! Many of you may know her as a dancer but after this interview you’ll find out there is so much more to this multi-talented beauty.
Shivona: Tell us, who is Ashley Everett.
Ashley: Ashley Everett is a dancer , an artist, an actor, a model. Besides that, Ashley Everett is a fun, kind-hearted, loving, free spirit.
Shivona: You were selected as one of Beyonce's backup dancers at just 17 years old tell us about that experience transitioning from being a teenage backup dancer to becoming dance captain.
Ashley: I just jumped right into the professional world. I've been dancing my whole life so I started doing professional jobs at a young age. At 15, I started performing with companies and doing live performances, so I always had the work ethic. Obviously, jumping on tour with one of the biggest artist in the world is a totally different ball game. Touring the world, and all of a sudden being in Japan, Europe, Australia and all of these different places throughout the world was just a whole new thing for me. I was just so grateful and so wide-eyed, taking it all in. I was just 17 and trying not to lose my job. It was incredible and being on tour all over the world teaches you to grow up quickly. You're very independent, you're no longer under mommy and daddy's roof anymore, you just have to be an adult.
Shivona: What skills have you learned from Beyonce and your mentors while being on tour?
Ashley: Frank Gatson is like my industry dad. He discovered me, he put me on my first Beyonce job, and look at me now! He's definitely gotten me into this industry and has taught me so much about the industry, image, branding and professionalism. Obviously, from working with Beyonce and just being around her and being in her presence you learn so much. She's a workaholic and she knows this industry inside and out. Just being in the room with her and hearing her speak, you're just learning. She's dropping gems all day long, it's really great.
Shivona: So you are also a wife-to-be. Congratulations on your engagement. Tell us about your big surprise engagement that took place during the Formation World Tour, what was that feeling like?
Ashley: It was just so surreal. A lot of people know me as the dancer next to Beyonce with the red hair, the performer, but I'm honestly a different person when I'm at home with my hair tied up. So, it was like colliding my two worlds, my professional world and my personal world with my man at home. So, as soon as I saw him walk up on stage I was like, "Oh my gosh what's happening?" I was in the zone. I was in performance mode, I was Ashley Everett dancing on stage! Then, all of a sudden he came up and I'm like, the girl at home...I don't know how to act (laughs). It was so special and so heartwarming and touching. It was just amazing that she allowed that in her concert, she could have said no. It's just so sweet that she did that and he did really great. He set the bar high, sorry everybody else (laughs).
Shivona: Since both of you guys are such big entertainers and are always working how do you guys make sure you're spending enough time together to keep that spark in your relationship ?
Ashley: Well, we have spent so much time apart from each other but we spend a good time together as well. I do believe that distance makes the heart grow fonder. There's nothing wrong with a little bit of distance. You have to make time for each other, I tell everybody that. We make time for each other. We'd have months where we'd go on tour, one was on tour the other was on another tour. It would've probably been five months if we didn't make the time to see each other. We'll fly to wherever we have to be, Denmark or Europe or South America. We make the time for each other and obviously Facetime, Skype and all of that.
Shivona: Last year you released a video called, " Beautiful". Tell us about the inspiration behind the video.
Ashley: The song speaks for itself and it ties in with the whole idea of the video. It was basically just to empower women and people, girls, women, boys, everyone...to just look at beauty from the inside not from the outside in. Everyone is beautiful in their own way, regardless to shape, size, color, age, ethnicity...everyone's beautiful and it was just to embrace that and spread the love.
Shivona: You once were the leading lady in Beyonce's Heaven video and you've also starred in VH1's Hit The Floor so you've definitely branched off into an acting career... how's that been going for you and can we expect to see you in any upcoming films or shows?
Ashley: That's the goal for sure. I haven't shot anything that's coming out anytime soon but that definitely is on my bucket list. I would love to be in a film, a feature film, short film, Netflix series...any film. It's definitely a goal of mine but I've been so focused on dancing and my career that it's been hard to set that time aside to really dive into acting. Now is a great time while I'm not on tour, and I'm home more. I can meet wit my agents and really go on these auditions. So I've been doing a lot more auditions, but more so it's been like commercials.
Shivona: What's the secret to keeping your curls so flawless through all the hair flipping you do when you perform ?!
Ashley: There is honestly no real secret because whenever there's humidity my hair turns into a frizz ball. I've been religiously using the Diva Curl products and they have definitely helped. There's a routine that I've been doing and its basically drenching your hair in water, product and conditioner. Then combing it so you're not breaking your hair with the brush and really just massaging your hair with your hand and really just moisturizing it with all the products. That has helped my hair a lot!
Shivona: How is life on tour? How do manage to do such extensive tours with the team? Do you all do bonding exercises to keep the energy positive?
Ashley: We do! Especially when we bring in new people and they don't know what the world is or it's their first tour and they don't even know what to expect or how to be on the tour bus and share your space and stuff. We definitely like to do bonding exercises in the beginning. We all like to just spend time together and we'll have a night in the room and just be like "okay let's get to know each other" and just bond because it is a sisterhood and we are a family. We're all we have when we're out on the road in different countries, we're all we got! So we have to have each other's back. Obviously it's hard, like the last tour, the Formation Tour there were twenty of us so you can't be best friends with everybody but at the end of the day we all are family. You don't always have to love your family all the time but you have to respect each other.
Shivona: What advice would you give to young dancers trying to pursue a career but often get discouraged by the fear of constantly being told "you won't make any money " or "it's not a guarantee that you'll make it in the entertainment industry " ?
Ashley: I would say if you're passionate about it go for it. If you're doing something that you love that beats doing something that you hate, any day. Work isn't work when you love it. There's no amount of money that can buy you happiness at the end of the day. Yes, there's jobs for dancers and entertainers that pay one dollar, or five cents...so we don't make any money. But, it's the experience, it's the exposure, it's living your dream with the love for it and the passion for it. Once you finally get over that hump you will start making more money and you will start getting paid what you're worth. It's all about passion and if you want to be in it and you're passionate about it, do it... you'll enjoy it. You do have to fight and it's not easy but it's worth it.
Shivona: What can we expect from you in the coming years?
Ashley: Hopefully you'll see me in some feature films and some other things. I'm also working on personal projects. I haven't fully announced it, but whether they'll be internet-based or television-based hopefully you'll be seeing some stuff on me there. Then, you know, I have goals and dreams of tapping into the fashion side of things. I want to dip my hands and toes in that a little bit. I'm nobody's designer or anything but I want to work with someone and collab so I think that would be really cool. Then, obviously I'll be dancing around the world still.
Be sure to stay connected with Ashley Everett via Social Media: @ashleycmeverett