Ashley is a dancer with a strong, vibrant energy and an absolutely beaming smile that lit up our photoshoot. Her confidence radiated through the camera. We'll admit it: we were jealous. So how did she get so comfortable in her body?
How has your career affected your body image?
As a dancer, I need to rely on my body to get the work done. It’s not a fitness regimen. Dance has given me an appreciation for my body and how it changes. I need to enjoy the movement, so I don’t really think about beauty when I dance. It’s more about confidence. I try to develop that in my everyday life, too.
What is your approach to beauty?
We spend so much time on beauty, thinking about beauty, that if we took that time and did what we wanted to do, we’d have more time for ourselves. There’s a lot of pressure and products out there and in your face, so I’ve had to learn what works for me. It helps to be an artist where you can save that for the stage, so in everyday life I don’t have to feel like I have to do the makeup and hair and all that fancy stuff - it becomes a treat.
What do you do when faced with a challenge?
I don’t fit the standards of my industry, and neither do a lot of the dancers in my collective. So it’s been great to reclaim the power of my body and how it can entertain. I draw on that strength when I need it.