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
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Many have wondered if one time is ever enough to see Queen Bey. Some argue yes. However, many of us on the opposite end of the spectrum, including myself, would disagree. Beyoncé's "Renaissance World Tour" is a universal yet varying experience for everyone who attends. In the words of Oprah Winfrey, the concert is "transcendent." For millennials, we have over two decades of her catalog that has served as the soundtrack for many of our lives and painted a personal portrait of our most coveted thoughts. Her music provides mental clarity and self-expression by serving as a universal language that has united fans from all walks of life through community, fashion, self-acceptance, and healing.
With a multi-layered approach to her artistry, just as she did on that winter day in December 2013 with the infamous digital drop of her self-titled album, she changed the game again on February 1, 2023, when she announced her world tour in support of Renaissance, her seventh studio album. Her cultural impact set the internet ablaze, with everyone trying to gather their coins, barter for presale codes, and figure out which cities to attend. The group chats were lit, and the Beyhive was stressed trying to get their hands on tickets.
Photo courtesy of Dontaira Terrell
Unfortunately, I was in that number. As the concert dates passed by and the one in my city drawing near all roads led to disappointment. With time ticking on the day of the Miami show and less than two hours to spare, my wallet bit the bullet, and I purchased three last-minute tickets, costing roughly $700.00 a piece (including fees) for me, my 9-year-old and 16-year-old nieces in Section 121 at the Hard Rock Stadium. With 10 minutes before showtime, we eagerly awaited the Queen to take the stage. A sea of metallic fringes, cowboy hats, disco fans, and western boots were in full effect and filled the entire stadium.
As the lights dimmed, a flood of emotions instantly overtook my body. It continued with each note she belted, along with nearly 50,000 roaring fans. The reverberating sound of the music through the stadium transported me from one era of my life to the next. As a teen girl in her bedroom daydreaming about her first love to blossoming into an unapologetic Black woman who is still on a road of self-discovery while learning to lean into the power anthem of "You won't break my soul." For over two hours, and with each set, I felt joy, love, peace, and a commanderie with fellow concertgoers. It was therapeutic as I danced like no one was watching and sang as if I were alone in my bathroom mirror.
There were no bars held, and I realized at that moment, "Nobody can judge me but me." The "Renaissance World Tour" proved to be so vast, and my Black girl joy was re-invigorated. It was magnetic and liberating, and I had to attend again, but this time, I needed to be up close and personal; I needed to be on the floor. In the days that passed, I watched more social media clips in different cities and asked myself if I would really splurge again to attend another Renaissance show.
Photo courtesy of Dontaira Terrell
After all, this would be my thirteenth time (maybe more because I lost count) seeing Beyoncé live, whether she was on tour with Destiny's Child, as a solo artist, or doing a live appearance. I contemplated for a while, but it worked itself out on its own. I was gifted two tickets and the next thing I knew, I was off to LA to attend another Renaissance show with floor seats at SoFi Stadium during Beyonce's 42nd birthday weekend! This time, things were different: no kids were allowed. It was adults only this go round.
Although the energy at the Miami and Los Angeles shows was empowering, infectious, and a celebration of life, happiness, and identity, they each provided their own unique experience. However, both concerts were what I needed for my well-being, leaving me with sore feet from dancing the night away, on vocal rest for the next few days from screaming at the top of my lungs, and on an indefinite high on life.
My introduction and love for Beyoncé began in 1996, while my older sister lived in Houston, TX, right before Bey hit the scene in 1998 with "No, No, No" as a budding R&B member. Her evolution twenty-seven years later as an international superstar and into womanhood has been an incredible journey to witness. As Mrs. Carter reminds each of us in the audience every night before the curtain closes, "I want you to remember this moment, where you're standing, who you came with, and take it with you. I hope you feel inspired."
I truly felt inspired, so thank you, Queen Bey. You awakened my inner child, and I will definitely remember these moments and take them with me.
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Feature image by Kevin Mazur/WireImage for Parkwood