There are way too many legends roaming this earth every single day and never get enough of the flowers that are owed to them. And in relation to today's article, this is largely true in the dance community. High-profile dancers such as Debbie Allen, Misty Copeland, Fatima, and Josephine Baker, have all provided representation for the young girls who grew up to be the everyday women who also dance—the Jane Alexandria Kings of the industry, or the Alyshia Sherees, or Alisa Gregorys. After all, seeing black women perform in a realm in which we aren't often reflected on a mainstream level, legitimizes opportunities for any one of us to go after the same things—just as each of these women have done.
Someone that has helped catapult black dancers to the forefront, is Ashley Everett, dancer extraordinaire, right-hand woman to some of our faves in the game. Since the age of 16, when she moved from Chico, CA to NYC to train with Juliard and Alvin Ailey, she has become one of the most recognizable names in the industry, primarily due to performing with one of the best entertainers that music has ever seen—whichhhh we all know who that is.
We thought it would be dope to list out a few fun facts about our favorite dancing queen, so, Alexa, play "1-2 Step".
Here are 8 things you didn't know about Ashley Everett:
Her Resume is UnmatchedGiphy
Ashley began dancing at age 3, originating in ballet, but also training in tap and jazz. At 16, she moved to New York City to train at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. During a training session, she met Frank Gatson, Jr., Beyonce's choreographer at the time. A few months later, Ashley attended an open audition for Beyonce, and after Gatson remembered her, she landed the gig of Beyonce's dancer. She was just 17 years old.
Since, she has danced on all 10 of Beyonce's tours, totaling over 500 shows. And this isn't even including the mass amounts of promo spots on a variety of televisions shows, Super Bowls, etc. etc. But sis isn't just tied to one artist. She has also danced alongside other mega-stars such as Ne-Yo, Usher, Tina Turner, Ciara, and Jennifer Lopez.
Additionally, Ashley is an actress, and has starred in shows such as Hit The Floor and Shake It Up. She was on Season 3 of The Masked Singer, and recently created her own line of fitness videos with NEOU Fitness. #bookedandbusy
Ashley Skipped Out On Attending Julliard As Her Career Blossomed
By age 19, Ashley Everett was promoted to Beyonce's dance captain. From here, she would go on to perform in a multitude of shows, a decision she made, that ended up working on her behalf. Prior to The Beyoncé Experience, Ashley was accepted and enrolled into the Juilliard School, but ultimately decided against attending, due to touring with Beyonce and wanting to pursue her dance career on her current path. Regarding her decision, she told ET:
"I was a girl when this started. She's just a huge inspiration in my life and so many others, obviously. I wouldn't take it back for the world."
Um, we absolutely do not blame you, girl.
Ashley Has Her Own Swimsuit Line
In 2019, Ashley Everett partnered with her best friend and business partner at Phae Design and created a swimsuit line that's an entire look! She announced the news via Instagram by saying:
"We are so excited to announce that #phae aka @phaedesign a swimsuit line by @hperrier36 and myself will finally be up for sale next week!! It's been a long process but we can't wait for you all to see and enjoy our new baby just in time for summer!"
Each piece comes in a variety of colors and styles and sis has been werking them all, all over her Instagram page. Visit or shop on their website at www.phaedesign.com.
Her Dog's Name is Hov
Ashley recently became a new pup mommy with her boyfriend, and they decided to name him Hov! The Lilac Tri American Bully even has its own IG page, complete with enough cuteness, pics, and captions to go around. Ashley says she took some time to get acclimated to the pup, but as you can see, they're doing just fine. Cuteness overload!
Ashley Once Choreographed A Personalized Fitness Routine For xoNecole
At the height of quarantine, Ashley hosted 'Fitness Friday' on our Instagram Live, where she showed up ready to work! She choreographed an entire dance and fitness routine and showed us just how she gets down—and whew, we were tired, m'kay? Set to the tune of Beyonce's "Before I Let Go" and harboring enough squats, turns, and sweat to go around, Ashley simultaneously showed us just how she gets down, and why we have a long way to go before we can get down with her.
Add this fun cardio routine to your workout and let us know how you do!
Click here for the full dance routine.
Ashley Has Revealed That The Hit Song "Single Ladies" Took 22 Hours To Shoot
Alongside Ebony Williams, Ashley took part in changing the scope of music videos forever, while dancing with the boss in 2008's mega-smash, "Single Ladies". But according to the starlet, the "Single Ladies" music video, which has amassed over 791 million views on YouTube, was anything but easy to shoot. She told Metro:
"I can't believe I've been dancing that long. I remember that shoot was like a 22-hour shoot or something, almost a full day. Of course that video is all dancing from top to bottom so it was exhausting because a lot of dance videos have a dance section or moment, but this was the entire video so we were tired to say the least."
It's one thing to dance for an hour, but 22 of them? Chile.
The hard work paid off as its music video went viral and secured it's rightful place in music and pop history.
Ashley's Signature Hair Color Was Beyonce's Idea
When Ashley Everett first joined Beyonce's camp, she was young and unaware of who she was as an artist herself. She revealed that one thing Bey has always encouraged her dancers to do, was embrace is their natural hair. She told Hello Beautifulin 2014 that Bey told her her to play around and find her signature hairstyle:
"She'll say what she likes on us. She'll be like, 'Ashley, I like when your hair is big.' She'll say what she likes and we do have room to play and change. But, for the most part, we try to stick to it because they want us to look the same. Like her, she doesn't change her hair too much."
From that moment, Ashley became a standout, as they settled on her trademark bright red curls.
"Beyonce asked me to dye my hair in 2009. She never gave an explanation but I imagine it was for variety. Then I just kept dying it brighter and brighter to the point that it became my trademark."
She Regularly Uses Dance To Inspire Women And Young Girls
Philanthropy is a huge component to Ashley's brand, as she is an advocate of passing the torch. She takes part in many charity activities and events, and is always open to teaching what she knows and creating a standard for what it means to be a black woman who works alongside one of the most profiled black women in the world. Her journey isn't unique to some, and she's had public ups and downs (something she had to learn to get used to), but she always manages to fly the flag of what it means to represent her position and pay it forward.
Even during a pandemic, she has hosted various virtual events to inspire the next generation of young dancers. She recently told NBC Boston:
"I love anything empowering women and girls and I just love to help the next generation in any way that I can. If I can inspire and educate in any way that's what I'm here for."
Ashley Everett has many personal projects in the works, as she is coming into the landscape of who she is a business woman.
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Feature image by Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com
Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find, there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecoleexclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression, anxiety, like all of it, mental health challenges, all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff, which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You, which stars Anne Hathaway.
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Dating a water sign is full of love and intensity. Water signs are often known to be more emotional than the rest of the zodiac, but what does this mean for their love life and for dating a water sign yourself? Well, it means experiencing a love that is refreshing at its best, consuming at its worst, but more importantly, a love that is deeply felt. See, water signs often find power in expressing their emotions, and being so vulnerable with their inner world creates partners who don’t just tell you how much they love and feel for you, but they want to show you so that you can feel it as well.
Water signs that are evolved and aligned with their highest selves are some of the most loving, romantic, and compassionate partners to have. You don’t have to guess with a water sign. If they like you, they will tell you, and if they don’t, they will tell you that as well. Even though water signs can be a little mysterious sometimes, they aren’t ones to hold back when it comes to expressing how they are feeling, which leads to a sense of transparency when dating them. Water signs at their worst, however, can be controlling and moody, and it depends on the person at hand. Water signs feel everything so deeply, and they can often attract negative energy into their life and let it consume them.
When it comes down to it, water signs put their relationships and loved ones first in life. So much of their time and day-to-day life is wrapped up in whom they love and care for, so they make a dedicated partner, to say the least. Sexually, water signs tend to be some of the most sensual as they need to feel the connection of the relationship on every level, and they crave this type of intimacy with their partners. They are sincere lovers who can intuitively feel how you feel and often read your mind because of it. They want to be known as a good partner, and although there are some water signs notoriously known for their toxic behavior, when you get a good one, you are loved by them for life.
Dating a Cancer
Cancers are known for their nurturing energy, though those close to them know there is a lot more to it than that. Cancers have a deep yearning for stability and safety and create their relationships around this part of themselves. Family and close loved ones are everything to a Cancer, and this is a partner that is perfect to bring home to the parents, and one whom you can build a strong family foundation with yourself as well. Cancers are the type of partners to treat you to something special that you mentioned once in passing and to make you feel like you are the center of their world.
At their best, Cancers are nurturing and protective, at their worst they are moody and restrictive.
The perfect types of date nights for a Cancer are ones where there aren't too many people around, and preferably a romantic date at home or somewhere they have already been and love. Many Cancers are known for their homemaking skills as well so don’t be shocked if they try to take rein here and surprise you with a homemade meal of your favorite dish. Cancers are homebodies, so if they invite you into their home, then that is a good sign they feel safe and comfortable with you which they need as a basis for the relationship. Dating a Cancer is a nostalgic type of love.
Learn how a Cancer pairs with each sign of the zodiac in love here.
Dating a Scorpio
Scorpios are passionate lovers and will go to the ends of the earth for you. Dating a Scorpio is like entering the depths of love, as they only form bonds with those they feel they have a strong connection with. Every Scorpio is different, and this is a sign that if you dated a few of them, you would see some similarities, but the experience you have of them will be completely different. Scorpios are masters at mirroring energy, and if they feel the love they are looking to give to another, then you can be assured they will give their all to the relationship.
At their best, Scorpios are loyal and magnetic, and at their worst, they are jealous and resentful.
Scorpio is another private sign, as most water signs are, and a perfect date night for them is one with moody lighting, minimal people or interruptions, and an intimate sort of environment. Scorpio is an intrigued lover and will want to know absolutely everything about you right away, but will take some time divulging any information about themselves. Dating a Scorpio is sexy, and you can feel their love and attraction towards you strongly when they are interested.
Learn how a Scorpio pairs with each sign of the zodiac in love here.
Dating a Pisces
Pisces is the hopeless romantic of the zodiac, and dreams of a fairytale type of love. This is the type of lover who wants to immerse themselves in art, fun events, music, and movies. They cherish every moment they spend with their partners, and love is never a dull experience for them. Pisces has a habit of being all over the place so this is a relationship that will sure to be a whirlwind, but one where you feel like you are dancing together rather than alone. Pisces are givers that want to make their partners feel loved the way they wish to. They tend to attract people who are more organized or “put together” than them, as they love to grow and learn more through their partnerships. This is the type of partner who wants to be led more than lead.
At their best, they are creative and compassionate, at their worst they are confused and co-dependent.
The perfect date night for a Pisces is one where you take the lead and plan something. They love to be thought of sincerely, and they will be swooned if you take them to their special places or do something that brings out their more extroverted side. Organizing something for them, not being flaky, and also taking your time when developing the relationship are all favored by Pisces. Dating a Pisces is like entering a dream of their own making.
Learn how a Pisces pairs with each sign of the zodiac in love here.
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