I was so excited to chat with this young lady, who kind of doesn't need an introduction because her exquisite afro is familiar to millions of Beyonce fans, especially after being featured in the “Single Ladies” video! Chorus after of chorus of “Who is that?!” rang around the world when this beauty started burning the dance floor! She is incredibly fierce onstage, jaw-droppingly stunning,
casually funny....and a really cool girl! Ok, I'm gushing a bit, but it's not every day we get to speak with one of our famous hair crush's, right? If you don't already know her, it's just a short time before you will: dancer, performer & Beyonce employee Ashley Everett is Naturally Glamorous!
You are an AMAZING dancer! How long have you been dancing?
AE: I've been dancing my whole life! I started ballet at age 2; I was determined to learn & I loved it! Dance is my passion....it keeps me going.
Ok, so go back to when you learned Beyonce hired you (at 17 years old!). What went through your mind?
AE: DISBELIEF! (laughing). I thought: "Is this a joke? Am I getting punk'd?" I was in high school at the time, thinking "is this happening to me?" I was in shock; it was the best feeling ever!
What are rehearsals like?
AE: My LIFE is a rehearsal, ha ha! We are always in the studio rehearsing for something. We spend months of rehearsals with 8 hour days (or more) for appearances, another show, another performance. I love it!
Now, about THAT HAIR.....many of us forgot to exhale when we were introduced to your massive mane!
AE: Thank you! I've never permed it, but I did go through a phase when I discovered the flat iron. Then on tour in '07, I curled it all the time with a curling iron. After experiencing some damage, I decided not to put heat on it for as long as I could. That's when I started wearing the big curly afro that I've been rocking for a few years. Fans started writing in & Tweeting about my puff-puffs.
How do you care for your hair on tour?
AE: Well, I take care of it myself. I keep it conditioned because it dries out easily. And I use good products; all products made for natural hair.
Do you have a regimen?
AE: I keep it pretty simple. I use Morracan Intensive Curl Cream (it's in a pump) & I use it when my hair is wet. I also use Quidad Curl Holding Gel. It holds curls & doesn't weigh down the hair. I HATE those gels that weigh the hair down! I style 2-3 times a week, and let it air dry because it's so thick.
What's your secret to keeping your curls camera/stage ready?
AE: (giggles) I style my hair a day in advance when I want to look cute & I sleep on it for a day. It's just me, the pillow & my hair!
Hush your fuss...what you say?!
AE: That's it! We really don't have to spend that much time on our hair. I only use a couple of products, water & a plastic brush with the balls on the end. And my "black girl brush"....we ALL have a black girl brush, ha ha! I get trims every three months to keep it healthy & growing. I just stick to what I know. If it ain't broke....
Do strangers try to touch your 'fro?
AE: People are like, "Oh my GOD!" when they see my 'fro. It actually makes me feel good; they think it's the best thing ever. Most people ask "Can I touch IT?" like it's an alien baby. I think it's funny.
What are some mistakes you've made with your mane?
AE: When I was younger, I wanted straight, flowy hair. (I haven't always loved it). Everybody's hair is different, & my hair went through phases....including heat damage. My ends were fried, so I had to cut a few inches off & start fresh.
AE: I know, right?! To anyone's who new to natural hair, we have to maintain our hair & BE PATIENT. Consistency is key. (I had to re-train my hair). Get in a regular routine, OWN your hair, & LOVE it. If you love it, other people will love it as well.
So how do you deal with a bad hair day?
AE: I just rock it like it's hot, ha ha!
(I start asking the next question, but Ash excitedly jumps in....)
AE: Oh my God, I have to tell you about this! There was this one time when my hair caught on fire in a restaurant!
AE: Let me tell you: So, we're sitting in a booth & candles were lit behind us, and my 'fro sort of went up in flames! My dad saw it before I knew what was going on & put me in a headlock; then I smelled it.....OH MY GOD! !!! Hair fizzles up so quickly & I had a big chunk of it burn - I thought I was going to be bald! By the time I got home I couldn't even find the short pieces because I have so much hair.
O.M.G. - no words.
AE: They comped the meal, though.
Wow. So what's next for your gorgeous locks?
AE: I'm not tired of my 'fro yet, so I'll just keep rocking it.
...and what's next for YOU?
AE: Well, I've been enjoying a break; it's nice to have time off & be home. I'm doing things I haven't done yet during this time. I'm just excited to see where the journey takes me!
Any advice for girls who dream of dancing?
AE: Definitely! Take as many classes as you can. The more training you have, the more confident you'll be! It's always easier to switch gears with proper training under your belt; then you'll gain more experience.
What keeps you inspired?
AE: Beyonce works so hard - her drive makes me want to work hard, too. And I love the fans! After doing this for a few years & building a fan base, they keep me going. If I can inspire one person & show them dreams can come true, I'm happy.
You can find Ashley on Facebook (Ashley Everett) or Twitter: @ashleycmeverett