Take a look at any one of Beyonce‘s music videos circa 2008, from “Single Ladies” to “Get Me Bodied,” and chances are, you’ll see Ashley Everett’s red tresses bouncing in the background. Since 2007, Ashley has served as King Bey’s lead dancer and is a part of the artistic visions behind some of Beyonce’s biggest career highlights to date–performing at The Super Bowl last year, embarking on The Mrs. Carter World Tour, and of course, creating music videos for the “Beyonce“ album. Ashley still can’t believe she’s worked with her since the age of 17. She wooed choreographer Frank Gatson with her moves and decided to forgo alum-status from The Julliard School to stay on the 2007 “The Beyonce Experience” tour. But, considering the doors that have opened for her to dance with the likes of Ciara, Robin Thicke and Usher, we don’t think she has any regrets.
We chatted with the dance superstar about maintaining her own luscious red curls, the craziest costumes she’s had to wear, the real reason Beyonce’s cut her hair and that little Grammys performance we’ve been hearing about.
Hello Beautiful: You’re known primarily for your hair. How did you end up going from brown to burgundy red?
Ashley Everett: I had wanted to dye it red and I had this picture that I looked at everyday. [The hair in the picture] was way darker than what it is now, but it was still in the red family. I wanted to go there. I had my hairstylist color it and it was first time I colored my whole head and that was a big deal at the time. I dyed it, but it was still really dark because I was scared to go with it and then Beyonce one day in rehearsal was like, “Ashley, would you go really red?” She just asked me. That was my extra push. So, it slowly got more and more red.
HB: It seems like Beyonce encourages you all show to your personalities a little.
AE: She definitely does and she’ll say what she likes on us. She’ll be like, ‘Ashley, I like when your hair is big.’ She’ll say what she likes and we do have room to play and change. But, for the most part, we try to stick to it because they want us to look the same. Like her, she doesn’t change her hair too much.
HB: When she cut her hair, there was a lot of commotion from fans and media. What were you all saying about it as members of her team?
AE: It was a big deal. I asked her, “What made you cut it?” and she said she wanted to feel like a woman and feel beautiful without it being her hair that makes it feel that way. So, she chopped her hair off.
HB: Are there any products you use to maintain it and moisturize?
AE: I love Moroccan Oil. They have, I think it’s called Intense Curl Cream. I put it in straight out the shower when my hair is wet and it’s just all that moisture that I use with heat and products and styling. So, I swear by Moroccan Oil. I use other products from a salon in New York, but it’s called Hair Rules and they have shampoos and conditioners. I try to deep condition my hair and keep it moisturized.
HB: What beauty products do you use to spruce up after rehearsal or after a show?
AE: Makeup wise. I love MAC. The Studio Fixes, the powder one, I love that. During a show, that’s what I use for touch-ups, after a show, we go out, that’s what I use for a touch up. It takes away the shininess and sweating. Most of lipsticks are MAC. I usually have a nude, a pink, a red, and then like a darker red. Those are my four colors that I use. I don’t do green or purple or anything [laughs]. Ruby Woo is a great one.
HB: What’s the craziest costume you ever had to dance in?
AE: I’ve definitely had to dance in some crazy shoes. Shoes are always a set up when it comes to us being dancers and it’s usually in videos. One of the craziest most outrageous costumes I had to wear was for the O2 commercial where she’s the King Bey and we’re her entourage of people [laughs]. We literally wore corsets and dresses with those hip things in them. It was so hard to sit in it, walk around. We couldn’t drink anything all day because if we had to pee, it would’ve taken a half hour to get out and get back in. It was full-on corsets.
HB: You’ve been with her for quite a while, and she’s definitely changed throughout the years, how has your style as a performer evolved along with her growth?
AE: I was really young when I first started. I was 17. But, she was young, too. She wasn’t the same woman; she wasn’t married, she didn’t have a baby. I’ve matured and just become the woman I am now and she’s definitely played a big part in that. I’ve just grown with her, especially with this new album. This new album is very mature and sexual. She wants women on stage with her, she doesn’t want little girls.
HB: Being on her team, are there any talks about a Grammy performance, maybe?
AE: [Laughs] I know something, but I don’t know if I’m allowed to say. If you are looking for her, I’d say watch the Grammys, for sure.