You probably know her from her role as “Scout” on the show Dance Academy and her popular Instagram. But get ready to know this triple threat from a completely different perspective. Meet Ashleigh Ross, a 17-year-old dancer, actress, and singer born in Sydney, Australia. Having started dance at the age of three, Ross has grown great skill and talent in ballet, hip-hop, and jazz. At a young age, she also performed in a big-time production of Mary Poppins and Tim Lawson’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, playing lead parts. Her recent success won her the #Famous Award at the 2017 Nickelodeon Kid Choice Awards. Not only an incredible dancer, Ross has stated that she has a passion for mimicking accents.

Can you talk about the whole road, starting at when you just began dancing, to where you are right now and how it’s changed you as a person?
Performing has really shaped me into the person I am today. It’s pretty much been my entire life! I got so lucky to find the thing that I love and want to do for the rest of my life at such a young age! I started dancing when I was five. A couple of years later I started singing and then a few more years later I started acting!! I fell in love with performing immediately. It’s taken me around the world to places I never would’ve dreamed of going. I can’t wait to see where it takes me next.

When you just started dancing, what made you realize that this was your dream, and that you wanted to continue doing it?
I started to take dance seriously when I was about 12 years old. Something clicked in me, and I just fell even more in love with it, but it has always been acting that is my passion. When I started acting, it also helped with my dancing. It helped me with emotion and expression. From then on, I’ve been acting and dancing pretty much every day of my life.

When did you start singing and acting?
I started singing at around age five! If I wasn’t dancing around the house, I was definitely singing! I then started acting a little later around the age of seven. I started acting classes and fell in love immediately.

A little off topic, but I heard you can speak in multiple accents. What are the accents?
My dad is Scottish, so I’ve grown up with that accent all my life, and when I was performing in the Musical “Mary Poppins”, we had to have British accents, so I learned from a dialogue coach how to get that one down! And this is kinda funny, but I literally learned how to do a US accent by watching Disney Channel as a kid.


Don’t let anybody tell you what you can or cannot do. Don’t let anybody change your opinions on yourself. Stay strong and true to yourself.

You also won #Famous at the 2017 Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards, and that must have been awesome. How did that feel, what did it make you realize about your success, and what have you been up to after winning?
Being nominated for such an amazing award was a dream come true. So when I found out that I had won, I was speechless. I have been doing a bunch of interviews, meetings, photoshoots and auditions since then, along with keeping up my training in both dance and acting.

What do you think is your overall message?
Don’t let anybody tell you what you can or cannot do. Don’t let anybody change your opinions on yourself. Stay strong and true to yourself.

You’re walking down the street and a little girl comes up to you. You realize that this is you before you became successful and social-media famous. You are allowed to tell the girl three things. What would those three things be?
Work hard, stay humble and follow your dreams.

 

Words by Gabrielle Begun
Photos by Natalie Guardado
Hair and makeup by Emily Zempel

Originally published in Volume II, Issue No. 002 – Spring 2017.

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