We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashley Lady Carter and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ashley, why did you pursue a creative career?
I actually have a great non artistic career and I am pursuing my passion of dance. My goal in life has always been to beat the stereotype of what you can and cannot do. Working in Corporate America has taught me how to be disciplined and to strive to be the best. However, it has also taught me life is not complete without balance and has therefore awaken my passion for dance!! By actively pursuing both my non artistic career and my love of dance, I get the fighting spirit I need to stay hungry and the deep satisfaction and joy I get from discovering my true passion!!!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
The CweensGuard Step and Dance is a dance business that specializes in Step, Heels and Hip Hop. I teach classes to both children and adults. This brand is catered to the beginner dancer. I believe that the thing that sets me apart is that I am not trying to turn you into a dancer, I am trying to build your confidence to dance. I often refer to my classes as the scrimmage. My classes are designed so you can mess up, learn, challenge yourself and build up your self-esteem in dance and movement.
The biggest lesson I have learned in creating this business is to let go of fear. I was so scared to start this business because I was thinking about all the wrong things. If people will like me, will I be good enough, can I even do this? Once I finally said forget fear and those negative thoughts that come with it, that is when I began to see real progress.
The main thing I want the world to know about me and my brand is that it ok to be a Beginner, you just have to WANT to do better!!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
For breakfast we would go to First Watch. Then we would go to DFW Adventure Park. After we have had fun there, we would do lunch at 360 Brunch House. Once we do lunch then we would relax at Kings Spa for messages, manis/pedis. Then for dinner and dancing we would go to Stir.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Ofcourse my top two people are my mother and grandmother. I don’t even have enough words to express the love and sacrifice these women have given me. They have seen me through the tears, the good, the bad and the great. Without them being there to listen to my crazy ideas or to get me back on track when I was losing my way, I honestly am not sure where I would be. My only goal in life is to make sure that whatever I do honors them. The next two women have been some of the BEST mentors anyone could ask for… Geena Driven and Pamela Wilde. Geena has been like a guiding light. She has not only provided an amazing example of what a business women looks like but she has also coached and trained me. Anytime I have a question or a concern about anything she has been more than willing to help me. She also gave me a safe space at Hip Hop Heels to explore my love for dance. I appreciate her for being more than generous with both her time and her knowledge. Pamela took a chance on me. She was one of the first people to allow me to substitute for her class and believed enough in me to allow me to assist her in coaching other young dancers. She gives me unlimited support, pushes me out of my comfort zone and is an amazing teacher. Pamela shows me how I can be diverse and still be authentic. I am beyond privileged to not only call these ladies my mentors but my friends.
God has truly favored me because he has surrounded me with a team of strong, discerning and fierce women to be in my corner. To all of these women… Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I would not be where I am today without your love and support. Thank you for your tough unconditional love!!
Photos by: Luis Martinez Cat Murdock and Jacqueline Williams