Get to know BalletX dancer Ashley Simpson in 10 questions!
Ashley, if you could be any animal, what would it be?
If I could be any animal….I would probably be a puffin. They are such beautiful birds! But on top of that they are skilled hunters that can swim and fly. Also, their beaks change color in the winter, which is pretty cool. Fun fact: After puffins choose their mates, they care for their baby puffins equally, and then stay together for the rest of their lives. #goals
Where in the world do you want to visit?
Gosh everywhere! But if I had to choose, I really want to visit Tokyo. I love anime, and to explore the place that it comes from would be amazing. My second choice would be Barcelona, to see the medieval style of architecture. Ever since I watched Cheetah Girls 2 – I mean – took Art History in school, I’ve been dying to visit. Also I would love to see how good my Spanish actually is.
What are some hobbies you enjoy when you’re not dancing?
When I am not dancing, I love going on walks/exploring, reading, and also trying recipes from my vegan cookbook!
If you could only eat three foods for the rest of your life, what would they be?
This is hard. I would say rice and beans, plantains, and apples.
If you could be an Olympic athlete, what sport would you compete in?
Oh, easy, the 100-metre dash. Usain Bolt holds the record for the fastest time, and so I feel like my Jamaican blood wouldn’t let me down if I became a sprinter!
If you were guaranteed to be successful in a different profession, what would you do?
If I were guaranteed to be successful in a different career, I would either be a novelist and write YA fiction, or be a director/ videographer. Or both! 🙂
What is your favorite book?
My favorite book (right now) is Endurance by Scott Kelly. It’s an autobiography that revolves around the year he spent in space as a NASA astronaut and his struggles, successes, and everything in between. Whenever I am feeling bummed out by quarantine, I try to imagine his experience living in a smaller space for a longer time – where there is also no gravity!
What is one of your pet peeves?
I don’t have many pet peeves, but one would be when you go to take out laundry from the dryer and it is still a little wet! My worst nightmare.
What is your favorite Philadelphia landmark?
I haven’t seen much of Philadelphia yet, but I love Spruce Street Harbor Park with all of my heart. It is such a beautiful place to just look out at the view and be with your thoughts.
What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?
This is unconventional, but I think just once in their lives, everyone should camp outside on the sidewalk. I ended up doing this one day by accident. I was camping outside overnight with my friend while in line for tickets to Saturday Night Live, where my favorite artist would be appearing the next day. Nothing in comparison to those who have to do it to get sleep every night. But it really opens your eyes to the discomfort of trying to exist and live in a public space with no privacy, with everyone sort of looking down at you, while on hard concrete where there is no possible way to get comfortable. This really opened my eyes to the struggles and pains of the homeless.