You could say that Ashley Selmer has been with YWCA of Minneapolis since birth. She went to the Early Childhood Education Center and summer camps at both the Downtown and Uptown locations. Her parents have always been advocates of the YWCA mission, which inspired her to start working for the organization in May 2011. Ashley started as an Uptown Member Services Associate and two years later transferred to the Downtown location where she has been working as a Membership Sales Advisor ever since.
When Ashley isn’t at the Membership desk, she works as a professional dancer, choreographer, and dance instructor. Ashley holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance (emphasis in performance and choreography) degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. And she is trained in jazz, ballet, contemporary, hip-hop, and African forms.
Additionally, Ashley is the Creative Director for SHAPESHIFT, a theatrical storytelling dance company that fuses hip-hop and contemporary movement to create innovative and emotional productions. This multi-cultural dance collective tackles themes from chemical dependency to discrimination. On some evenings, you may even spot Ashley working out in the fitness studio with fellow SHAPESHIFT members.
One of Ashley’s favorite things about working at YWCA of Minneapolis is the relationships she has built with both staff and members. She especially appreciates how YWCA of Minneapolis keeps her involved in the community through volunteer work at numerous health fairs and events, such as Twin Cities PRIDE festival and It’s Time To Talk: Forums on RaceTM. In April of 2014, Ashley had the opportunity to move the YWCA community in a new and literal way by performing with SHAPESHIFT at a popular YWCA fundraising event called Circle of Women.
You may have also seen Ashley as a hip-hopping penguin in a TV commercial for the Minnesota Zoo, acting in the ensemble cast of Penumbra Theatre’s ‘Amen Corner’ at the Guthrie Theater, dancing onstage with recording artist, Willow Smith at Target’s National Sales Concert, or choreographing a flash-mob for Blue Cross Blue Shields’ “Do-Groove” campaign. She’s shot a video with Prince’s band 3rdEyeGirl, performed with iLuminate in Las Vegas, and just this November performed with recording artist Natalie La Rose in front of a WeDay audience of 20,000 kids.
To find out more about Ashley and the work she does with SHAPESHIFT, visit www.shapeshiftmpls.com.