Ashley Wallace | YWCA Women of Excellence
Hot in Topeka
Though many might see her as fearless, the true strength in Ashley is that she is brave in the face of her fears, and is providing the stage of other people in Topeka to do the same. Through her work with Hot in Topeka, Ashley is changing lives.
In under 2 years, she has produced nine theatrical performances for the city of Topeka, bringing the empowering and creative world of Burlesque to our city. Her shows promote equality and acceptance, and create a safe place for people to be their truest self without judgement, no matter ones body type, race, or gender. In her own words from the recent interview in 785 she says, “Burlesque is unique in that, as an individual performer, I have complete control over what I do. I control what song I choose, what costume I wear, what story I want to tell. I control how much I get paid, how far I’m willing to travel, how I remove the costume, how I want to be seen or not seen. Every performer, every act, is different from the next. And guess what? Nothing is off-limits. You want to dress up as the cookie monster? That’s cool. You want to saunter across the stage in nothing but a huge boa? Also cool. You want to create a super serious act to help process your own personal trauma? That is amazing. The only limits are the corners of your own imagination.”
TK: What inspires you?
I'm inspired by originality and courage. When I see others being unapologetically true to themselves it inspires me to do the same.
TK: What advice do you have for others?
Don't be afraid to put yourself out there. You'll never know if you don't ask, so why not just ask?
TK: What is the greatest lesson you have learned on your journey?
My journey is unique and shouldn't be compared to others. As Frank Sinatra put it, I'm doing it my way.
The YWCA is on a mission to empower women at all stages in their careers. Diversity in leadership is particularly vital to our vibrant business community in the Greater Topeka Area.
The YWCA is celebrating 31 years of recognizing Women of Excellence in our community with the theme “Dare to be Powerful.” We dare to be powerful, despite whatever obstacles may present themselves along the way.
“When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.”
- Audre Lorde