DeForest grew up in Lombard, Illinois. She began her dance training at
the age of two at Art Linkletter Dance Studio under the direction of
Paula Brandl and Donna Johnson. Ashley went on to become a member of the
“Steppin’ Out Dance Company” where she and her team mates won numerous
awards at local and national competitions.
After graduating from
high school, Ashley moved to New York to continue her education. She
attended Fordham University where she was a member and choreographer for
the University Dance Team. While living in New York, Ashley trained
with top dance choreographers in both tap and jazz at Broadway Dance
Center and Steps on Broadway. Ashley had the privilege of training with
tap masters Savion Glover, Dianne Walker, Jimmy Slyde, Prince Spencer,
and Buster Brown among others. Ashley trained with jazz and hip hop
dancers Brian Friedman, Wade Robeson, Dan Karaty and Mia Michaels from
the television show “So You Think You Can Dance”.
college years, Ashley would return frequently to Chicago and had the
opportunity to appear in television productions of WTTW Arts Across
Illinois Centerstage where she danced with Earnest “Brownie” Brown, the
only living, dancing “Copasetic”. She also appeared in the television
program “Chicago Dance Project” produced for WTTW by HMS Media. Ashley
was featured with Chicago’s Madd Rhythms on ABC7’s “Someone You Should
Know” presented by Harry Porterfield.
In New York, Ashley worked
with Tap Dog, Gil Stroming and assisted as a teacher at “Jump” and
“Break the Floor” conventions. She also performed in various dance shows
for Tea and Jam Productions in New York and Orlando, Florida.
August of 2004, Savion Glover asked Ashley to perform with him. A few
months later, Mr. Glover formed the group, Chapter IV, with Ashley as
the sole female dancer. The group performed alongside Savion in the
national tour of “Improvography”, appearing in venues like the Kodak
Theater in Los Angeles and the famed Apollo Theater in New York. Ashley
went on to perform in “Tap Legends” with Savion Glover, Dianne Walker
and Jimmy Slyde at the Crossroads Theater and Jacob’s Pillow. She acted
and danced in the Broadway Workshop, “Timmy the Great” written by Sandra
Hochman. This past June Ashley performed with Savion and Chapter IV in
“Live From London” and was seen on BBC television throughout the United
Kingdom. Ashley was voted a “2006 It Girl” by Dance Magazine readers.
Athletica, an apparel company that makes clothing for yoga, dancing and
fitness training, has chosen Ashley to be an Ambassador for the
company. As an Ambassador, she will represent this nationally-known
company and will be involved in promotions that highlight the importance
of exercise and well-being. www.lululemon.com
Most recently, Ashley performed with Savion Glover on ABC Television's hit show, Dancing With The Stars.
is the owner and director of DeForest Dance Academy in Elmhurst,
Illinois. She looks forward to sharing her knowledge and experience with