Top
Moment Of Clarity

LESSONS LEARNED: Ashley Everett

You’ve seen Ashley Everett in music videos and if you’ve caught Beyonce on tour, you’ve seen her on stage.

Recently, I had a chance to catch up with the pop singer’s dance captain as she reflected on her childhood dreams of becoming a dancer and shared her upcoming projects.

While Everett’s original plan didn’t include dancing for the likes of Queen Bey and Usher, her journey helped her realize what’s important and sparked her imagination for what’s next in her life.

Everett began ballet when she was only 2 years old.

“I just loved it … it was so natural to me and, and I was so focused,” she says. “I was the quiet one in class just determined to learn the steps and do it right and make my teacher and my parents proud.”

That experience taught her how to manage the pressure that comes with a high-profile career and it wasn’t always easy.

Everett is biracial–her mother is African-American and her father is Caucasian.

“My parents definitely got a lot of backlash when they first got together,” she shares. “They have lived through ignorance and hatred. But, they hung in there and have been married for 29 years now.”

As a child, Everett faced complications growing up in Chico, California, which she says was mostly White.

“Being mixed, [it was hard to] fit in. You don’t fit in with White people because you’re too dark and you don’t fit in with the Black people because you’re too light,” she explains. “Fitting in has always been my challenge, but not as I’ve gotten older. I think mixed people are so common now compared to back in the day. It’s always been a challenge being the mixed one, but it’s okay now.”

Surviving the hurtful comments and behaviors of those who sought to put her down only made Everett stronger. She learned a lot about her inner strength, who she was as a person, and how to live life to the fullest … without regret.

Her experience touring the world with superstars has inspired her to look at what she may want to do in the next chapter of her life.

“I definitely want to start a businesses of my own and I’m working on that now!” Everett exclaims. “I also want to explore the acting world more, whether it’s TV, film or commercials.”

ASHLEY’S LESSONS LEARNED:

1) Find your place and shine like a diamond.Be an individual and stand out. Don’t always blend in or be a follower.

2) Dream big. “Dreams and goals are possible. Making your dreams come true takes a lot of work and it doesn’t happen overnight. Most things cost money and require a lot of your time; you have to be willing to make sacrifices.”

3) Don’t get comfortable. “Set goals–whether they are weekly, monthly, or yearly goals. I still set goals and they are implanted in the back of my head. This keeps me striving for more. It may take longer [than someone else] or it may come quickly. Setting goals is how you grow, evolve and become better.”

4) Do everything with love.I know that sounds really cliche, but when you are happy doing what you love, it usually it turns out well. As soon as evil starts to bite at you it can all go bad.”

5) Surround yourself with people who will push you. “My real friends convince me to be a better person and I do the same for them. We [don’t want to fall] down a dark black hole; we want stay out of the hole.”

6) Remember where you came from and who helped you get there. “You can’t ignore blessings when your families are supportive and helpful. You can’t ignore that, you have to accept it, say ‘thank you’ and give back.”

Thank you for sharing your lessons learned, Ashley. We wish you continued success on your amazing journey!

(Photo Credit: Joe Wesley)

Jinnie Cristerna, LCSW

Do you have a question for our “Moment of Clarity” JET Therapist, Jinnie? Email us at digitalpitches@ebony.com. We’ll be sure to keep it anonymous and confidential. 

Jinnie Cristerna, affectionately known as “The High Achievers Therapist”, works with talented people to help them release emotional pain and psychological roadblocks so they can achieve their personal and professional goals. Specializing in psychotherapy, heart centered hypnotherapy, vibrational energy, meditation, and personality development, Jinnie has a nearly 90 percent success rate with her clients.  Sign up for Jinnie’s High Achiever newsletter here or join her on Facebook and Twitter!