By Ashley Everett
Throughout their 90-year history, the world-famous Rockettes have shared the stage—and unforgettable adventures—with many other world-famous personalities. They have appeared at such iconic events as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Super Bowl and on TV shows like America’s Got Talent and Night of 100 Stars. The Rockettes are taking a moment to reflect on their favorite stardust memories.
As a Rockette, you get to meet and perform with incredibly talented artists … but there is no one more fierce or humble that I’ve had the pleasure of working with than Beyoncé.
Before I became a Rockette in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, I spent my days training at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. I happened to be walking through the halls when Frank Gatson Jr., Beyoncé’s choreographer at the time, approached me and asked if I was a dancer.
Beyoncé was at Ailey rehearsing for an awards show, so Frank introduced me to her and took my information, relaying that they were going to be holding open auditions for backup dancers in a few videos for her B’Day album.
A few months later, I went to the audition at Carnegie Hall and Frank recognized me. After getting to dance in front of Queen Bey herself, I was asked to shoot two music videos with her: “Green Light” and “Get Me Bodied.”
Following this, Beyoncé asked me to join her on The Beyoncé Experience Tour as her backup dancer. A few tours later, I’m now Beyoncé’s lead dancer and dance captain.
As Beyoncé’s dance captain I get to perform with her on a regular basis, but intimate moments with her, like hanging out at the pool or indulging in vegan foods, are some of my favorite memories.
In 2013, Beyoncé asked me to play her best friend in the video “Heaven” from the album Beyoncé. This was my first non-dancing role with Beyoncé, but we had the opportunity to really get to know one another—especially since the premise of the video was all about doing things that were on her bucket list.
One of the things Beyoncé wanted to do was go zip lining; and what better way to go zip lining than at one of the largest zip lines in the world, The Beast in Orocovis, Puerto Rico. I was all about it, but totally nervous since it’s really high (“The Beast” is over 800 feet high and almost 5,000 feet long).
The producers had us put GoPros on our helmets while we had our phones in our hand. The first time we went down, we didn’t know what to expect! Our eyes were crying because of the wind and how fast we were moving.
When we got down to the bottom, she turned to me and said, “Wooo! Let’s do that again!”
We did it two more times and had the time of our lives. Unfortunately, the footage they got didn’t make the video because of how shaky it was—but spending a day zip lining through the mountains with Beyoncé was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and one of my fondest memories.
Beyoncé is truly one of the most humble people—she’s down-to-earth, always on her a-game and ready to get down and dirty when it comes to working hard.
Ashley Everett was a Rockette in 2008. She currently resides in Los Angeles, Calif.
All images courtesy of Ashley Everett and R.C. Bonds PR