Ashleigh Yvette Whitworth was born and raised in Marietta, GA, and began her formal dance training at the Ruth Mitchell Dance Studio (now Georgia Dance Conservatory) at age seven under the tutelage of Miss Ruth. After graduating high school at age 16, Ashleigh began teaching ballet, jazz, and tap at Georgia Dance Conservatory under the direction of Lisa Toups. She also performed professionally for the Ruth Mitchell Dance Theatre’s Young Audiences program.
In 2007, Ashleigh moved to Philadelphia to attend The University of the Arts under the Presidential Scholarship and Stone Dance Scholarship. Performance highlights at UArts include dancing principal roles in the works of Twyla Tharp, Louis Johnson, and William Forsythe. Ashleigh graduated in May 2011 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Modern Dance Performance and a Minor in Philosophy in Religion, earning the Stella Moore Prize for Four-Year Achievement, Outstanding Performance in Modern Dance, Outstanding Performance in All Dance Styles, the Choreography Prize, and the President’s Award. She also had the honor to address University of the Arts Graduating Class of 2011 as the Valedictory Speaker.
Ashleigh has previously danced with Zane Booker’s Smoke, Lilies and Jade Arts Initiative (Philadelphia, PA) and Heidi Cruz’s DanceSpora (Trenton, NJ); she has also worked as rehearsal director for UArts on projects under Douglas Becker (Ballet Frankfurt) and Sidra Bell (Sidra Bell Dance NY). In 2012, Ashleigh had the honor of staging and performing The Forsythe Project, which was presented at the Joyce Theatre (New York, NY). While in Philadelphia, Ms. Whitworth taught dance at the University of the Arts and the Philadelphia Dance Academy.
Ms. Whitworth returned to Marietta in 2012 to take on the role of Assistant Artistic Director of GA Metro Dance Theatre (previously Ruth Mitchell Dance Theatre). She also resumed teaching and began reshaping the company program at Georgia Dance Conservatory. Ashleigh was named Artistic Director of GMDT in 2014 and stages new works on the company every year.