By Deborah Searle of Dance Informa.
Ashleigh Ross, better known as “Ashi”, is a 15-year-old dance prodigy. She has appeared in television shows, commercials and musicals, including the lead roles of Jane Banks in Mary Poppins the Musical and Jemima Potts in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. You may have seen her on Australia’s Got Talent, in the Smarties commercial, in McDonalds’ commercials or on ABC’s Dance Academy and My Place.
Alongside her dance and acting credits, Ashi has also been modelling for popular Australian dance brand Energetiks. Now Ashi has turned her talented, energetic hand to designing a new collection for the company. Hear Ashi’s inspirations behind the “Ashi by Energetiks” designs…
Why did you choose to design a dancewear collection with Energetiks?
“Energetiks is like my second family. I love them so much and they have done so much for me. One day, they sent my mum an email asking how I would feel about designing a few little pieces. I was so excited and got to work straight away! I made up a few designs and went into their headquarters in Melbourne. We spoke about it and started to throw in some more ideas and before I even knew it, they asked me if I would like to use these designs to make my own line with them!”
What was the experience like?
“Working with Energetiks is incredible! More than I ever would have expected! While I was designing my line, they helped me learn so many new things and they showed me how everything worked from start to finish. It was seriously a dream come true creating this line with them. I loved getting to actually design something that means a lot to me. It was definitely a whole lot of fun!”
What were your inspirations for the collection?
“I love pink and purple. They are my two favourite colours. I wanted to make it into something with a pretty colour and a pretty look. I’m really quite a ‘girly girl’ at times, so I wanted to make this line pretty and pink. I spent a lot of time really looking at different dancewear and figuring out what I really liked. I just tried to make it as ‘me’ as possible.”
What is your favourite thing about the Ashi by Energetiks collection?
“My favourite thing about the collection is probably the smell! It smells amazinggg!!! But I also love the designs and colours, because I think they really resemble me.”
So you’re excited about the Watermelon and Berry scented fabric technology then?
“I am so extremely excited about the scents. They smell incredible and I can’t stop smelling them!!”
Did you enjoy the photo shoot on Brighton Beach?
“I loved shooting the line at Brighton Beach. Brighton Beach is a place I have always wanted to go, but I had never got around to it, so to shoot the line there was really incredible.”
You are currently dancing in the States. What are you doing there?
“Yes! Right now I am in Los Angeles. I am here for around three months for acting. I am doing heaps of auditions and fun projects. But I am also doing some classes and dance projects, which I am very excited to share soon!”
What are your ultimate dance goals?
“A dance goal of mine has always been to create my own dancewear. I am so incredibly excited that it has come true! Right now I am just enjoying going to class and performing. But knowing me, I will have a thousand more new dance goals in the next week or so…”
Where will we see you in five years?
“I’m not really sure where I see myself in five years. I’m happy for life to take me wherever it takes me, although I do hope it’s definitely in the performing arts industry.”
You have already achieved such success at a young age. What advice can you give to other young dancers?
“My advice to other young dancers is to never give up. I know that things can get really tough sometimes, but never give up on your dreams because they really do come true if you want them bad enough! XX”
Check out Ashi by Energetiks at www.Energetiks.com.au.
Photo (top): Ashi Ross sporting the ‘Eat Sleep Dance Repeat Cropped T’ from the Ashi by Energetiks scented dancewear line. Photo courtesy of Energetiks.