Vixen Chat: Ashley Everett on Dancing With Beyonce and Lessons The Superstar Taught Her
What’s the hardest part in keeping up with Beyonce?
She’s definitely a hard worker and that forces us to work hard. All that woman knows is work.
Do you ever sleep?
Not really. sleep is definitely a blessing.
How has she changed since she’s had Blue Ivy?
Now she has had the baby her priorities are different. She wants to spend more time with her family, because she used to not take days off. But she still works so hard. Even on tour in Europe, we’d have shoots for a video or a song she wanted to release. Nothing has really come out yet, but we’ve been doing shoots and re-shoots for music videos. We’re always doing something.
How was it working with Beyonce when she was pregnant?
When she was pregnant, she was trying to keep it a secret but [we knew]. Everybody had a clue and when she revealed it we were all like “yay!”
Do you guys get to hang with her?
Yes, she hangs out backstage and runs around at rehearsal, she’s just adorable.
How far in advance do you have to learn the dances.
Every process is different. Sometimes we know exactly what we need to learn and we have a day or two [to perfect it]. But most times they’re creating it as we’re learning, so we don’t know what it’s going to be and that process could be weeks. We worked on the new song “Standing on the Sun” for weeks but we’re still changing things til’ this day. We worked on “Single ladies” for three weeks trying to master it before the video shoot.
Did you ever think “Single Ladies” would be as big as it became?
No, absolutely not. I had no idea, I was just going along and I don’t even think she knew it was going to be as big as it was.
Does it ever become surreal that you’re working with Beyonce?
People ask me that all the time. She’s still a human being, still a person, she has a heart, emotions, and she’s cool. She’s actually become like a big sister to me. Of course it’s surreal in the sense that she’s one of the biggest superstars that we have out right now. But I’ve gotten to know her; to me she’s my boss.
What’s your favorite video you’ve done?
“Single Ladies” is a favorite because it was so major and it did so well. I really like “Ego”, but what’s your favorite?
My favorite is “Run The World”. I watched the documentary, and my hat goes out to you guys because I couldn’t imitate it. I can imitate “Single Ladies” and “Get Me Bodied”, but “Run The World” is difficult.
It was a long process, it was a three day shoot.
How long did it take you to learn the dance?
That’s another one that it was like a workshop for weeks. Kimmie and I are usually there for the creative process with the choreographer. We workshop it, try it out, show it to her. If she likes it, she likes it, if she doesn’t she’s like “ehh, try something else” and then we keep doing that.
Was that the hardest dance to learn?
There’s different levels of hardness. We have choreography that could be hard and situations that could be hard. It was hard to dance in the sand for “Run The World”. The H&M commercial was hard because of all of the different elements.
Yes it looks all pretty and fun, but it was hell on that set! We had sand in every crevice you could think of in our body, our ears, our eyeballs, in my hair for weeks. It was a mess and we had four different elements to shoot. We had earth, which was the sand. For water, we were in the salt water and it was in our eyes. We had wind, and the wind felt like we were about to get blown off a cliff. Then you had fire, and fire’s just fire of course.
And you had to make it look effortless and beautiful at the same time.
Of course but meanwhile, nobody knows that it was painful and hard.
How do you remember all the performances?
You definitely need a good memory after all these years. We rehearse a lot but we do make mistakes, maybe we just cover them up well. Every night while on tour, we get the show after we do it. We watch it and we correct ourselves, fix our spacing and fix our arms, or whatever needs to be fixed. Beyonce does the same thing.
Photo Credit: Joe Wesley