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Cocktails With... Ashley Mayeux

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Ashley Mayeux is pure magic to behold. The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre company member — part of the visiting bloc of international performers for last weekend's Amalagmation show — mesmerised audiences inside the Little Theatre with her precision and exquisite form in two command performaces, her solo piece Crying to Cry Out and the Amazing Grace duet with Michael Jackson Jr. Post-show Saturday night, cheers now quieted and patrons heading for the exits, we find Mayeux backstage and catch up.

Your cocktail of choice is?

Whiskey and ginger ale.


How was your Jamaican experience, performing in the Amalgamation show, and also discovering Kingston?

My Jamaican experience was nothing short of welcoming from the moment I stepped off the plane. I felt honoured to be a part of the first Amalgamation show, a show that really is pushing the arts in the community. Discovering Kingston was inspirational, from walking the grounds of Bob Marley's home to the sights of mountains and beaches all around. It's something I will take with me forever.


Any unexpected highlight during your trip?

An unexpected surprise was making new acquaintances that I hope will grow into lifetime friendships.


I am most inspired by...

nature and the art that inhabits it. The people who create art, the music and God who makes this beautiful world that we live in.


Who are your dance heroes?

I don't have a specific person but my heroes are the people I have danced with in the past and the present. Seeing them in studio and on stage gives me the motivation and inspiration for a lifetime of memories.


Are there any pre-performance rituals that you must do?

Before every performance I talk to God and ask Him to speak through me and inspire me to deliver a message that my audience can take with them, something they can use throughout their lives.


When last did you toe the line and not go off on somebody, and what prompted it?

I hate confrontation, so I try to avoid it at all costs.


Where is your happy place?

Somewhere I can completely be in touch with my inner self, a quiet place, wherever that may be. It's easiest to be in tune when I am in a place where I can connect, like in a park or on a beach.


What factors into your current pop culture obsessions?

I love Rihanna. She's my fashion inspiration and icon; I always consider her my spirit animal. I am also currently into the TV drama Homeland, and the sitcom Modern Family is my all-time favourite show. My new obsession is Curb Your Enthusiasm.


What's your take on American athletes protesting by kneeling during the playing of the anthem prior to sporting games?

I feel that we all have the right to speak up for what we believe in. I think it's amazing that NFL players are standing together to look out for someone who essentially is standing for (or should I say kneeling) someone who stood up for them.


What's a 'never would' that has recently changed into a 'well, maybe'?

Never say never! I try to stay open for anything that comes my way.