I am Miss Ashley, your Director. I grew up in a small town in Southwestern Virginia. When I was 4, the Junior Woman’s League sponsored a man from Bluefield, WV to come to the basement of a downtown business to teach dance classes to the local children. My mom’s friend was a member of the League and asked mom if she would consider signing me up for these classes. That was the beginning of a lifelong love of dance. I continued dancing with Mr. Lamb through high school until I went to boarding school in Richmond.
Away from home and with more difficult studies, I found myself dancing less. By my sophomore year in college, I wasn’t dancing at all and I was miserable. I transferred to the College of Charleston and began dancing with the Robert Ivey Ballet, the Company in residence at the College. WOW! I thought I loved dance as a child. I grew more of an appreciation for Ballet during those 2 years than I had in my lifetime. This love became more than a love of being on stage, in class, and performing. It became a love of dance itself.
Today, I love to learn the history as well as the anatomy behind the movement. Always a student of all forms of dance, I hope to inspire the same kind of passion in the dancers in Fredericksburg.
Welcome to Inspire Dance!
Theater (music, acting, and dance) has always been an important part of my world that started as early as I can remember. I’ll never forget my wonderful music and drama teachers creating those early childhood performances in school where we marched and danced around in funny hats singing John Jacob Jingle Heimer Schmidt. Or the time my Mom first took me to see The Nutcracker at Christmas. I won’t forget the time my Dad and I saw a touring company of Annie. Or the time (the first of many) that I wrote, directed and, well…starred in, the neighborhood play. These are wonderful and important memories created by positive role models that have inspired me to do the same. I’ve been extremely fortunate to have had a performing career in theater and still enjoy performing on the stage at Riverside Center Dinner Theater. I don’t think I would have pursued my dreams if it weren’t for my parents giving me the opportunities and the teachers that guided me. My years of acting, voice, and dance classes have paid off.
I am so thrilled that Miss Ashley recognizes the importance of adding Acting Classes to Inspire and that she has given me the opportunity to give back and be a positive role model for your child. I thank her and you all so much! My goal for my classes is to share my world of theater by creating a positive, fun, safe setting where your child can continue to develop their self-esteem and confidence. They can continue to polish their performances and grow as an artist or try something new. Welcome to my world!
“Dance enables you to find yourself and lose yourself at the same time”
I started dancing when I was 2 years old and never thought I would go anywhere with it. As it turns out, it has become one of my passions. The strength and endurance that it takes to glide across the stage is just amazing to me. Becoming a teacher (from a student) at Inspire makes me so excited to see how much the kids grow/learn in just a year. I have done many styles of dance: ballet, jazz, hip-hop, and my personal favorite, contemporary. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses and I’m hoping to recognize that for each student that I teach this year. I’m looking forward to getting to know my students both as dancers and on a personal level. Dance is a great way to create relationships and bonds that will last for a long time!
My passion for dance started at a young age. Performing in my church’s Christmas plays each year got me really into dance. I love dancing and teaching the kids to enjoy dance just as much as I do if not more! Dance is a gift! Keep using it till you die!
When my mom first signed me up for dance class at the age of three, it was automatically known that I would be involved in dance for quite some time. Being only three I was more excited to dress up in a costume and it wasn’t even Halloween! As I got older (and realized that soccer and basketball were definitely not for me) my passion grew with the more classes that I took and the friendships I created. When I moved from New York to Virginia, I was worried that I wouldn’t find a studio that I would love and stay at until I graduated. In 2007 I started taking classes at Inspire Dance. From then on I knew this was the place I wanted to be to further my training. Over the past 15 years, I have been trained in Ballet, Modern/Lyrical, Tap, and Jazz. As much as I love them all, Jazz sticks out as my favorite. In this genre, I like how it’s possible to go from sharp movements to being very fluid as well as the wide range of music that can be used. From the beginning I always admired the teachers and the older girls. Now, being in the position of a teacher, I want to inspire students and help them find their love for dance just as my teachers did for me.
I began my training locally in Fredericksburg, then furthered my studies with the Washington Ballet, Boston School of Ballet, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and North Carolina School of the Arts year round program. My professional career in performing and teaching started with Ballet Theatre of Pennsylvania. I owned the King George Ballet Company and School and taught there for four years. I am very thankful to have been given the opportunity to study Ballet. I would like to thank my parents for their support during all of my years of training and my career. I enjoy sharing my passion of Ballet with students in Fredericksburg. I am humbled to know that I am able to pass my knowledge to future generations continuing the art of Ballet.
I began dancing at age 3 and dreamed of becoming an astronaut ballerina who would teach dance on the moon. I did most of my dance training at M&S Studio, where I spent several years on their competition team. I studied mainly ballet, pointe, jazz, lyrical/modern, tap, and musical theater. After high school, I went to Virginia Commonwealth University and earned a B.A. in Fashion Merchandising, but continued to take dance classes and found opportunities to perform. I have appeared in various musicals throughout the years at Riverside Dinner Theater as a featured dancer and occasionally as an actress/singer. Some of my favorites were: Tiger Lily in Peter Pan, Lorraine and Peggy Sawyer (alternate) in 42nd Street, Dancing Cupcake and Alison in Pinkalicious, and Charity in Anything Goes. Growing up, ballet was always my least favorite class since it was the most difficult for me, however as I got older, I realized how important ballet is and it has since become my favorite! My favorite class to teach is lyrical since it is the style I am the most comfortable with. I love how fluid the movements are and how the style allows you to combine elements of ballet and jazz. When not teaching, dancing, or performing I enjoy reading, cooking, doing crossword puzzles, and crocheting. Sharing my passion for dance is extremely rewarding. I am so thankful to be able to combine two things I love into a profession: teaching and dance!
I never really feel complete without tap shoes on my feet; they are like an extension of my body. The feeling that floods through me after slamming my toes into the floor just right or scuffing that heel on the right beat can’t be replicated. I can only hope to transfer my passion for tap dancing into my students so that they too fall in love with the rhythm and melody coming from their soles.
Growing up, I always wanted to be a part of something, to have one thing that I did that meant everything to me. I never knew that dancing would become that for me until I walked into my first ballet class. During that first class all I could do was worry if I was ever going to have perfect turns or move as beautifully as my teacher but it didn’t take long for me to realize that that was not the point of dancing. If dance has taught me anything, it’s that the goal of dance class isn’t perfection, it is the happiness you feel when you put on your shoes and the smile you have when you’re surrounded by those who share the same passion. I’m more than honored to be back at the studio where I learned to love dance, now as a teacher. My goal is to teach your children the same love for dance that I learned in these exact classrooms.