(alpharetta) Nooooooooo
Posted by Ofelia

Dear Dancers, Artistic Athletes & Dreamers,

Monday Feb 19th is Ashley Allen's last day. 
Today begins a week of farewells for Ashley and I encourage you to participate in that.  Take her 12pm, 5:30pm or 6:30pm Thursday classes, Saturday Hip Hop at 2pm and finally Monday's farewell class at 7:30pm.   
Ashley's arrival at dance 101 in July 2016 was a subtle earthquake. She brought her cool LA girl hip hop to Alpharetta (when 99.999% of Hip Hop choreographers and teachers live in the city) - here comes Ashley, driving in from Lawrenceville and not holding back: throwing it down as if she were on the West Coast, not in the Atlanta burbs. I originally hired her to teach hip hop because I was so impressed with her movement and how unusual she was - it was a hunch (as it often is) with a great payoff:  her classes took off. 
A few weeks in, I offered her more classes (including a few in Atlanta) and she said... "Hey, O, I know you like my Hip Hop... but Contemporary..... that's my jam!".  And Jazz. And Stilettos. It soon became quite apparent that this spicy red-headed powerhouse had more tricks up her sleeve than I could count.  And every single one was fantastic.  Ashley became our first "Artistic Athlete" -  inspired by her equal parts athlete and artist.  She'd unload 2 cases of water from my trunk, carry them into the studio, one on each shoulder, set them down, then step into the studio to put the final touches on a gorgeous choreographic phrase.   With Ashley, it is never an "or" statement, rather always "and".  She can change a flat tire, and choreograph a ballet.  She is feminine and she is strong, she is soft and packs a punch, she is disciplined and fun loving... and that's just her movement quality! 
I've often said the door to dance 101 is revolving.  Teachers and dancers come and go and come back and go again..... I understand this is the nature of a dance studio.  But that doesn't stop me from not liking it...
Now that I've gotten all that off my chest, I suppose the big girl thing to do is not focus on Ashley leaving but on what we gained during the year and a half we had her.  Ashley inspired many a dancer to reclaim their joy of movement and many a dancer to press forward on their journey.  She is also a great friend, with a kind and generous heart and someone I will miss very much! For this and many other reasons, we will always carry her in our hearts. 
Best of success in Arizona, Ashley! Best of everything to you! We will miss you....
dance 101 Alpharetta