Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashanti Harris.
Ashanti, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started off dancing in kindergarten, doing West African with my fav dance teacher Mrs. Pilar Lowden. I danced for her almost every year till 11th grade. She trained me in tap, modern, contemporary, ballet, disco.. etc. She expanded my entire dance knowledge! After I went to college, I started my own dance team, called Hypnotik, where we performed at multiple events at the school and even had shows in Atlanta. All the while, I started wanting to take up acting. I started doing extra work in Atlanta when I could which was rare.
My mom told me to just wait till I finished school to fully submit. It was when I got a call from a lady saying Lee Daniels wanted my look for a scene, that I knew after I graduate, I’m moving to Atlanta. I had a place in Atlanta, in May before I even graduated in June. I knew I had to learn Atlanta and the dancing and acting scene. I quit my job and started doing extra work full time. I was learning the scene every day and met people to go to classes with at Dance411 and UED Studios.
I signed up for a dance company and learned a lot about myself, what I needed to work on, and how to push myself within those months. I learned from people, did research, studied and started doing short films, getting headshots, student films, auditions, anything I could. It’s been 2 1/2 years here and I’ve worked on TV shows, and movies doing what I love to do, acting and dancing. I’m still working every day building my craft and working towards my first major speaking role and keep dancing on these shows and movies. To support myself without a job, I work A LOT of 1099 jobs so that I can keep my schedule flexible when somebody needs me!
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
No, it hasn’t. Nothing worth having is ever easy. There have been times where I barely had enough to pay my rent but I always found away, and in 2018 I found out I was pregnant. That’s been the biggest obstacle thus far. I kept dancing my entire pregnancy and even filmed a scene on American Soul when I was five months pregnant. I shot a web series when I was six months pregnant.
And once I got bigger, I had to slow down a lot but I never let that stop me. I took my break was once I was about eight 1/2 months pregnant and ended up having a C-section so I had to fully recover from that. I had to move back to Macon with my mom while I recovered which upset me because I didn’t know if I would have made it back to Atlanta. Had my daughter in May and by the grace of God, after getting denied by different apartments, I moved in July and started to get right back into pursuing my dreams. Its 2020 now and things are going great. I have more drive and push than ever before especially because my daughter needs me and I want to show her she has a strong mom.
We’d love to hear more about your work.
I am a walking creator/entertainer! I am an upcoming actress. I am a dancer. I also write poetry and sew clothes. I’ve recently started a YouTube channel and a podcast so that people can follow and stay updated on the things that I have going on. Soon, I will begin working on my own short films and concept dance videos so I am very excited about that. I’m proud of the drive that I have to keep going no matter what or who tries to stop me. I’m unstoppable. My heart is too big to give up. I’m happy that people have seen more me in than I’ve seen in myself at times. That means the world to me because it means what I’m doing is being noticed by somebody. And if it’s being noticed, it’s being talked about and that’s what matters.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I define success as being happy in whatever field you want to be in. For me personally, any goal I set for myself and surpass, I’m successful. Any little goal is success to me so I’m always successful. I have money in my pockets, food to eat, and a place to sleep. Of course, I have huge goals that I have yet made it to but that big goal will come from me setting and surpassing a lot of smaller goals. My main goal, of course, is to be financially free and able to show myself and my family the world. That’s when I will feel complete.
- Website: https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCJ5Wk6w129Pbt1eEfZzpYTQ
- Phone: 4787140144
- Email: Ashantidances6@gmail.com
- Instagram: Theashantiharris
- Facebook: Facebook.com/Ashanti.harris1
- Other: https://anchor.fm/ashanti-harris
Michael Martin, SlingshotsAtl