Ashley Smith

Ash_1 (1 of 1)-5What is your favorite thing about being a dance teacher at Brodhead Dance Academy?  I love being a part of so many children’s lives. I vividly remember how much I looked up to my dance teachers when I was young and it’s such a wonderful feeling to be a role model to so many little girls, young women, and boys! There is something special about having a “dance family” and I have always wanted to continue to have that in my life. When I sit in the front row at recital and see how far these kids have come and how hard they’ve worked, I am overcome with a sense of pride. Not just for the kids I teach, but for every single student at our academy.

What age did you first start dancing?  I was 5 years old when I took my first tap class.  My late grandmother was the one to sign me up for classes because she loved watching old tap icons (Fred Astaire, Gregory Hines, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, etc). My recital routine was “The Penguin Cha-Cha”. I loved dancing and started taking other styles. I even took a mother/daughter tap class with my grandma! 

Where did you receive your training and/or what degrees/certificates do you have?  I started at S&R Dance in Freeport, IL and danced there until high school graduation. I joined their competition team at the age of 9 and competed in Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Hip Hop, and Tap. I also took summer ballet lessons at Studio 121 in Freeport, IL. We participated in a number of weekend long dance conventions as well (much like Dance Masters, but in Illinois). The summer I turned 16 we traveled out to Van Nuys, CA and took classes at the Performing Arts Center for a week. It was so much fun to learn from all my different teachers over the years.

What words of advice do you have for our young dancers?  Have fun! You are creating some of the most wonderful memories with your dance family right now. Embrace the critiques and know that when we give corrections, it means we see great potential in you! Use dancing in whatever way you need. If you are happy, sad, excited, any emotion – dance it out. Dancing is so good for your mind, body, and soul.

Tell me about you in a few sentences.  I work full time in the banking industry. I am a Project Analyst/Procedure Writer for U.S. Bank. Being a dance teacher as well helps me balance the whole right brain left brain thing! My husband actually introduced me to DeAnne back in 2008 when the studio was located at the fitness center. As they say, the rest is history! I have 3 boys – Douglas, Owen, & Henry. I love sharing my passion with my family and having such a wonderful support system.