NY, United States of America
10+ Years Experience
Ashley McQueen, Founder/Artistic Director of Smashworks Dance, is a New York City-based performer, choreographer, and teaching artist. She holds a BFA in Dance from Webster University and an MFA in Dance from Hollins University. She directs and choreographs for Smashworks Dance, a non-profit dance company advocating for women’s empowerment through performance, and leads their Education Outreach programming. She also performs as a company member with Amanda Selwyn Dance Theatre. As an educator, she taught as an Adjunct Professor of Dance at Manhattanville College, Teaching Artist for Notes In Motion Education Outreach, and guest instructor for Peridance and the Martha Graham School. Hailed as “a dancer with the grace of a ballerina, the groundedness of an Isadora acolyte, and the impetuous musicality of someone who dances because she must” (Oberon’s Grove), McQueen has worked with choreographers such as Shawn T. Bible, Paris Wilcox, Amanda Selwyn, Maurya Kerr, Jennifer Medina, Christine Knoblauch-O'Neal, Jennifer Huffman-Olivas, Omar Olivas, James Robey, Uri Sands, and Michael Uthoff; and performed as a company member with ShawnBibleDanceCo, Common Thread Contemporary Dance, and Arova Contemporary Ballet.
Her choreography has been commissioned by organizations such as Peridance Youth Ensemble, Hamilton College, Minnesota Ballet, Big Muddy Dance Company, Arova Contemporary Ballet, Alabama Dance Theatre, and Southern Danceworks; and presented at festivals such as Dance St. Louis Spring to Dance, Midwest RADFest, NYC Transit Museum, Westfest: All Over Westbeth, and American College Dance Festival. She was twice invited by ANNONYArts to independently choreograph and direct two evening length concerts and was named a Kranzberg Exhibition Series Guest Artist, where she choreographed Laune, a site-specific dance performance on rideable lawn mowers for Laumeier Sculpture Park. The work culminated in a film installation, Harmony in 3, by Zlatko Cosic that remained on exhibition through February 2016. For four years, she and co-collaborator Thom Dancy have choreographed for Lake Arts Project Milwaukee, including War Words Dance - in partnership with Feast of Crispian and Bright Hill Press (with generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts).
“Smashworks . . . what a perfect name for these powerful sisters. McQueen’s company is tightly precise and fearless” (Front Row Center). Smashworks Dance was named a Village Voice “Voice Choices" for their evening length performance of City Stories at Center for Performance Research, and their evening length political satire For Which It Stands - featured in Time Out NY and Brokelyn’s “Top 20 Cheap Things To Do” - toured to St. Louis in Fall 2018. This same year, Smashworks was invited as a local community group to hear Michelle Obama speak on her Becoming tour at the Barclays Center. They were awarded the Theaterlab Hotel New Work residency in collaboration with Hope Salas and Justin Cimino (where they spent 40 hours exploring the fusion of dance and clown). Smashworks partnered with Rebel Girls Productions to write movement activities for their most recent chapter book, “Alicia Alonso Takes The Stage,” published worldwide August 2020.
Currently McQueen directs and choreographs for Smashworks Dance, performs with Amanda Selwyn Dance Theatre, and works as a freelance choreographer and educator.