Ashley Murphy-Wilson

Dance Theatre of Harlem
Washington Ballet (2015-present)

Ashley Murphy-Wilson of Shreveport, Louisiana is in her ninth season with The Washington Ballet after an extensive career with Dance Theatre of Harlem.

In 2002, she trained and performed with DTH’s Dancing Through Barriers® Ensemble. The following year, she was accepted into the DTH Company and toured with them performing in ballets such as Firebird, Serenade, The Four Temperaments, and Concerto Barocco. Murphy-Wilson has also taught for Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Pre-Professional Residency at the Kennedy Center. She had the honor of performing at The White House, on BET, and Jeopardy. She also represented the US in cultural exchange programs in Jamaica and Honduras. 

During Dance Theatre of Harlem’s eight year hiatus, she was influential in helping to restore the company by performing in the Dance Theatre of Harlem Ensemble that continued to share the company’s legacy. When the DTH Company returned in 2012, Murphy-Wilson performed many principal roles in ballets including Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, Glinka, Nacho Duato’s Coming Together, Agon, and Ulysses Dove’s Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven in addition to many others. She was also featured on the cover of Pointe Magazine with Misty Copeland and Ebony Williams, in a Verizon Wireless commercial, and in the Black Ballerina documentary streaming on Amazon Prime Video. 

In 2015, she joined The Washington Ballet under the direction of Septime Weber (Julie Kent and Edwaard Liang respectively). Since then she has been a facilitator in changing the narrative for dancers of color in predominately white spaces by performing roles like Giselle and Caroline in Antony Tudor’s Jardin Aux Lilas. Mrs. Murphy-Wilson hopes that her presence in the ballet company of the Nation’s Capitol serves as inspiration to young aspiring dancers from all walks of life.

Murphy -Wilson was one of 11 Black ballet dancers from around the world selected by Theresa Ruth Howard to create and perform in the world premiere of Donald Byrd’s From Other Suns, as part of The Kennedy Center’s Reframing the Narrative.


Ashley Murphy Wilson, Washington Ballet

See also:

Spotlight: Someone Once Told Ashley Murphy to Stay Where She’s Comfortable. She Did the Opposite., Dance Magazine
The Washington Ballet’s Ashley Murphy-Wilson Writes a Letter to Her Teenage Self, Dance Spirit
Beyond Role Models: Straight Talk From Ashley Murphy, Ebony Williams and Misty Copeland, Pointe Magazine

Video links:

Dance Theater of Harlem Ensemble – Le Corsaire Pas Deux (Adagio)
New York Dance Up Close: Dance Theatre of Harlem on Ballet Tradition

Social media:

Instagram @ashley063018

Leave a Reply