Ashley Everett is known to many (the Beyhive especially) as Beyoncé’s fierce and talented dance captain. She’s stood side by side with the queen during her most iconic performances and has lent her sultry moves to other pop music heavyweights like Usher, Chris Brown, and Ciara. Her path to success seemed inevitable, simply because she saw no other way. “For me, it was never an option for dance not to be a career. I didn’t see anything else in my future.”
Even with a laundry list of career receipts, Everett evokes a humility that was endearing during our first conversation. Like her longtime boss, the highly accomplished dancer values her privacy. It’s one of the reasons she’s been so quiet about the status of her relationship with fellow dancer John Silver, who got the one in a million chance to propose to her on stage at the St. Louis leg of the Formation World Tour.
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It’s not every day that Beyoncé lends her stage. For this reason, the grand proposal went viral, and Everett and Silver’s relationship garnered nationwide attention. With wedding plans in the works and a stunning engagement shoot to match, all signs pointed to happily wedded bliss on the horizon. After the wedding date came and went, photos of Everett and Silver soon fizzled out, and inquisitive followers looked for clues about whether they had broken up. For Everett, it never felt like the right time to publically address what went down. But one year after what would have been their wedding date, she feels stronger, wiser and prepared to share the beauty that’s emerged after closing a painful chapter.
“We met while dancing for Ne-Yo. We just hit it off right away. We had a lot of mutual friends that knew us both separately. They’d say ‘you have to meet each other. You’re the girl version of him and he’s the boy version of you.’ So when we met, it was like, ‘ok, let’s see what you’re all about.’ We did hit it off, and we were friends first. That’s where the foundation came from.
When we got together, I was 21 and had just moved to LA from New York. I had been working but I was still fresh in my career, dancing every day all day. We were together for six years before he proposed.”
“I was definitely surprised and taken out of my performance element. When I’m on stage, I’m a different character than I am in my everyday life. I felt vulnerable, and all the attention and cameras were on me. I was like a turtle wanting to crawl in my shell. I’m low key, so I was shocked completely. I knew Beyoncé allowed that for me and for our relationship. She knows how much history we have and so she just wanted to pay her respects. I’m grateful she allowed someone who wasn’t even on tour with us on stage, holding her mic…that really happened! It was very generous of her.”
The Tough Decision To Walk Away
“2016 [the year I got engaged] was a very interesting year for me. I was a victim of identity theft while rehearsing and getting ready to tour with Beyonce. I was getting calls every day all day saying I got approved for car loans and money is being taken out of here and there. I was locked out of everything and could barely send an email. I still have stuff to get off my credit report because of that. So that was really rough for me because it was such an invasion of privacy. That was the start of the year, and it kept rolling on which made the entire year really hard for me. Then in the Fall, I got proposed to. So it was the worst year of my life mixed with one of the happiest moments of my life – definitely an emotional roller coaster. Looking back on it now, I feel like, had we been more connected, that timing probably would not have happened then. I wasn’t in the mindset to be planning a wedding. I’m over here dealing with fraud!”
There’s Never A Right Time To Say Goodbye
“I’m pretty low key, so I don’t need big gestures all the time. I’m happy with one little rose on Valentine’s Day, not a house filled with flowers. The big grand gesture, I felt, wasn’t necessarily for me. It was sweet and a nice way to show the love in front of the world. But if it was up to me, I don’t know that I would have chosen this type of proposal.
Afterward, we had a beautiful engagement shoot with my good friend Cecile Boko. I realized once I got engaged that I wasn’t the girl who dreamt of her wedding day. I started thinking of the fact that I had to pick flowers, textures, and silverware. There were all these choices I had to make, and it was overwhelming. So we took the first year to enjoy the engagement and have fun with this new step in our relationship. Then the next year rolled around, and I went on tour. I found myself making excuses for why I wasn’t planning more. Eventually, I had to look in the mirror and ask myself why. ‘Do I really want to be married, or do I even want to marry him? Am I really happy? Do I need to work on me before I take this leap?’ I was trying to understand that a little bit more. Then of course, with work and travel comes distance, which means you have to work harder for communication. At this point, [John and I] were eight years in. We were comfortable and used to each other. We could go a day or two without talking, and I just felt like we weren’t on the same page anymore. We had different goals and dreams workwise, and our friendship was kind of fading away.
We ultimately decided to take some space. The space turned into a break, and the break turned into a breakup. You either grow together or grow apart. I don’t look back and feel that I wasted my time. We had a great run while it lasted and I learned a lot.
I needed to be a little selfish. It was time for Ashley to date Ashley.”
Sometimes its easier to deal with things when you’re away and busy. This was during the On The Run II tour. I had a show every night and was rehearsing during the days When we decided to take the break, I was still on the road. It was cool because we were already separated so I thought, ‘what’s the big difference?’ It really hit home when I got off the road in October. I was living my LA life now without him, and he had been apart of that life for the past eight years. It was a transition, but what I realized is that I went through all the heartache and hurt during the last couple of years when I felt the relationship going downhill but was trying to stick it out. But then once we called it quits, it was almost like a relief. I was floating to the top of the pool. I focused hard on myself, my energy and the energies I was allowing into my life. I started eating healthier and working out more, focusing on my clothing and swimsuit line. I’ve done so many great things being out of that relationship…things that are actually for me. I can be a very selfless person in a relationship. Everything is about us, we and our. I needed to be a little selfish. It was time for Ashley to date Ashley.”
“With us having such a public engagement, people started catching on. I started seeing social media comments like, ‘are you guys still together?’ and ‘where’s the ring?’ I did start to think, ‘am I letting people down? Beyoncé gave me such a huge platform for our engagement.’ But things happen, and life happens.
I have a great family and parents. I also have the people I tour with, and people who’ve been in the Beyoncé camp and have watched me grow up throughout the years. We’ve watched each other go through relationships and different things. They were my tribe on tour. I also have my LA friends who aren’t in the industry. Overall, I have a tight circle. They’re all good people and have always been there for me.”
The Glow Up
“I’m not done performing. I want to act more and get behind the scenes. I like development and sharing with the up and coming generation what I’ve learned. Whether it leads to a TV show or film down the line, I can see myself doing that in the creative world once I’m done being a performer. I also love working on my clothing line with Piece Of LA and swimsuit line, Phae Design swimsuit line. They say millionaires become millionaires with seven streams of income, so I’m working on my seven!
I still believe in love and marriage. I come from two parents who have been together my whole life and are still happily married. I do see that in my future and I want that. I just think the timing wasn’t right for me, and maybe it just wasn’t meant to be with him. I am dating, but I’m focused. They say you can never love somebody until you fully love yourself. So I’m falling in love with myself and then I am open to love coming along with that. You don’t have to have a six-pack and be 6’3″. I want somebody to make me laugh. We have to connect on a spiritual level. We have to trust and communicate. I’m excited to see where my future takes me.
What’s important about [my story] is showing that we’re all human. Just because you’re on stage with a superstar or have X amount of followers doesn’t mean we don’t go through things. I know a lot of women can relate. I think it’s important for women to care and love on ourselves like we would somebody else. Our mental and physical health plays a role in our overall happiness. The breakup has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in years. It was time. Just because things don’t work out doesn’t mean we’ve failed ourselves or anyone else. This is a new door that’s leading to a new pathway. I’m happy about where my life is going.”Share :