Once upon a time...
Before beginning teaching in a collegiate setting, Ashley taught Masterclasses in Movement and Dance throughout NYC and Kentucky. She was an assistant for the Laban Institute for a year where she was able to shadow veteran teachers in the Movement world. She was employed at Wagner College in 2014 after choreographing several Main Stage and Stage One shows and covering 6 weeks of Movement for the Performer I and II after a faculty member suffered from an appendectomy. One could call it fate that she was launched into her teaching career at 24, however she couldn't imagine doing anything else with her life.
Courses Taught: Ballet I, Ballet II, Jazz III, Jazz IV, Musical Theatre Styles, Musical Theatre Dance, Stretch and Fitness, Movement for the Performer I, Movement for the Performer II, Experiential Anatomy & Kinesiology, Introduction To Acting
Ashley's passion is passing on a fusion of her education and watching people evolve and grow into the performers she knows they can be. She teaches based in her biomechanical background, believing in somatic and holistic movement and in the connection of the body, mind and soul. She loves working with actors and dancers alike finding their truth, honesty, adaptability, and openness.
She hope's you enjoy her student's feedback as much as she has enjoyed teaching them!
Professional references available by request
"You will have FUN in Ashley's class. As growing performers we constantly judge ourselves and forget to experience the pure joy in doing what we love. It's reassuring to have a teacher that doesn't mind teaching that over and over again everyday! She embodies each style of dance in an analytical way, yet can still communicate it to any student on a personalized level. She is a smart and gifted choreographer. I've taken her Musical Theatre Styles for two straight semesters and still chat about the combos we learned the first semester, first month!"
-Nina Gross Wagner College 17'
"As a student who came into college with little to no dance training, my time in Ashley Burger’s Musical Theatre Styles class can best be summarized as a masterclass in learning choreography efficiently and safely all while bringing yourself to your work. In the city, this is such an important skill to have and I know that Ashley’s class has taken my abilities to new and tremendously useful heights. In addition to increasing my proficiency in learning choreography, I was also exposed to a great deal of choreography that will be presented in most audition scenarios and I left the class feeling confident walking into Manhattan dance calls."
-Nick Barakos Wagner College 17'
"Ashley Burger is a wonderful teacher. Her understanding of movement concepts and the human body is absolutely fascinating. I have studied with her for two years now, and each class is a chance to better myself as a performer and student. Ashley's constant support creates an environment that encourages students to take risks and make bold choices. She has valuable insight from her own career as a performer and brings it into the classroom which is always eye opening. Any opportunity to work with Ashley is a positive, joyful, and productive experience."
-Brianna Brice Wagner College 18'
"I have had the honor of working with Ashley as both a teacher and a choreographer. In each, she proves to be outstanding and approaches her work with passion, excitement and joy. Above all, the most important thing Ashley has taught me is to see my worth as a performer.
As a ballet teacher, Ashley utilizes her unique knowledge of anatomy and kinesiology to help students understand the mechanics of each movement. She also creates a welcoming, supportive and fun environment which is especially helpful for beginner students who view ballet as boring or intimidating.
As a jazz teacher, Ashley has helped me discover my voice as a dancer. She has helped me find a balance between character and technique in my dancing. Her choreography skills help bring her jazz classes to another level. She transitions flawlessly between styles which allows her to teach every style encompassed in the term “jazz”. Her combinations always serve a purpose, such as expressing something painful or being comfortable expressing sexuality in dancing. Additionally, her experience with competition dance enables her to teach impressive tricks that are vital to dancers today.
As a movement teacher, Ashley helped me learn so much about myself both as a person and an actor. Ashley’s creative personality allows her to create vivid analogies to explain Laban. She makes the class a fun place to discover your own body and how to move as naturally and uninhibited as possible. Movement with Ashley was by far one of the most eye-opening classes of my college career so far. I became aware of my own movement baseline through exploration exercises that dug deep into my soul and others that were simply fun. Now that I am aware of my baseline, I am able to change it and create other characters.
As a choreographer, Ashley is truly astonishing. The way she captures feelings and experiences in movement never ceases to take my breath away. It is always a great challenge to both perform and choreograph stand alone pieces, but Ashley takes on the challenge with excitement. In my first choreographic experience with Ashley, we chose an emotional and almost completely acapella piece of music. She created movement that showcased my best qualities but also completely told the story of the piece. Most recently, I asked Ashley to create a piece that reflected my relationship with my own self image. Since Ashley already knew my strengths and preferences as a dancer, we started the process by filming both of us improving to the piece of music which was truly magical because it provided inspiration that was a collaboration. The piece eventually told a story that we solidified together. Ashley could not possibly have captured me or the music better. Ashley’s choreography makes my work as a dancer easy because the movement alone evokes the exact feeling and expression necessary from me."
-Michelle Morris Wagner College 19'