Unless you're living under a rock, you know that Queen Beyoncé completely dominated this year's Coachella festival—so much so that it was rechristened, and will perhaps forever be known as, #Beychella. And if you're like us, you couldn't take your eyes off her army of gorgeous, talented backup dancers, who were sharp and stunning throughout the entire performance. They should all be stars in their own right—which is why we're not surprised that, on Instagram, some of them are already celebrities. Here are 7 Beyoncé dancers you need to be following ASAP.
Let's just get down to business, shall we? The best dance moment of last night's Grammy Awards came courtesy of—surprise!—Beyoncé.
BECAUSE BEYONCÉ IS A STRAIGHT-UP GODDESS.
Yes, you obvi already knew that. But last night a very pregnant B cemented her divine status when she donned a stunning gilded headdress for an insanely captivating performance, complete with fluid, entrancing choreo by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and lots of our favorite Bey backup dancers (Ashley Everett! Ebony Williams! Denee Baptiste!). It was the stuff of award-show legend.
Watch the magic yourself (or re-watch it for the thousandth time—we won't tell!):
— Wolé II (@Kingwole) February 13, 2017
Things got super romantic Saturday night on the Formation tour in St. Louis: Queen Bey helped facilitate an onstage proposal surprise for her dance captain and longtime backup dancer, Ashley Everett. AND IT WAS THE CUTEST.
During the song "Single Ladies," naturally, Beyoncé invited Everett's boyfriend (and fellow Formation backup dancer) John Silver onstage. She passed him the mic and he started saying the sweetest things to Everett as she stood next to him in complete shock.
Then Silver got down on one knee and officially popped the question! She said yes, of course, and the pair shared a kiss. Everett was beaming while Beyoncé congratulated the couple, and told her, "Now let's see you do the choreography after that."
True pro that Everett is, she found her chill (how, we'll never know) and got right back into formation to finish out the "Single Ladies" number—only this time she HAD a ring on it.
Watch the adorable surprise unfold here:
Congrats, you two!
Ashley Everett (Beyoncés’ longtime leading lady) has performed at her fair share of awards shows. She was most recently seen on the field with Queen Bey at this year’s Super Bowl halftime show—where they slayed, per usual.
Ashley Everett dancing with Beyoncé at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2014. (photo by Getty Images via Health.com)
And although she wasn’t up onstage at this year’s Grammys, she told The Huffington Post what her experience has been like in years past. For anyone who’s ever wondered what booking the high-profile gig is actually like, the article is a rare and awesomely insider look at the whole process, from the competitive casting to the thrilling final performance.
Everett reveals that most dancers aren’t actually directly booked. Choreographers and artistic directors usually hold auditions—and the stakes are high. “The audition process can get crazy: Everyone is there fighting for the same jobs, and performing at the Grammys is definitely one of a dancer’s top career goals,” she says.
She also lets us in on all the behind-the-scenes work that goes in to making those short performances so epically #flawless. There are so many technical aspects that viewers often forget: Hair and makeup, wardrobe, staging, lighting, pyrotechnics, etc. “The magic of what everyone’s hard work and imagination can create is awe-inspiring,” Everett says. “I’m constantly amazed at how it all comes together in the end so effortlessly.”
If you've seen Beyoncé's “Single Ladies" video (or read our May/June 2013 issue!), you'll recognize backup dancer extraordinaire Ashley Everett. We got Ashley, who's currently on tour with Queen Bey, to share the 10 must-have items that keep her body (and her mind) happy.
1. Her Adidas track suit. “I love a good sweat suit after a long day of work or during a hectic travel day. It's the best loungewear by far!"
2. Her hair products. “I use Moroccanoil, a brush and a comb."
3. Comfortable shoes. “Jordans are my favorite, but if it's a heel rehearsal day, I use a boot for support. On days when my feet are sore, I rely on my trusty UGGs."
4. Matte lipstick in nude, red and pink. “I always keep a few options with me. I like matte lipstick because my hair doesn't get caught in it while I'm dancing."
5. Reminders of her boyfriend, Jennifer Lopez dancer John Silver. “When I'm sleeping in a different bed almost every night, I like to have a little piece of home with me. I'll throw on his T-shirt or basketball shorts when I'm missing him."
6. Her iPhone. “It helps me stay in touch with my family and friends. FaceTime is the closest thing to being with them in person."
7. A neck pillow—“Because I travel so often on tour!"
8. Her laptop. “I get a lot of emails with music edits or videos to reference for rehearsals, and it's easiest to view them on my Mac."
9. A camera. “I like to capture all the great moments that will turn into priceless memories!"
10. A small-barrel curling iron. “I use it on show days when I need to make my hair bigger and define my curls."All photos i-Stock unless otherwise specified.
IT'S BEY DEY!!!
WE ARE GOING TO WRITE THIS POST IN ALL CAPS BECAUSE THERE IS NO OTHER ACCURATE WAY TO CONVEY OUR EMOTIONS RIGHT NOW!!
BEYONCÉ RELEASED AN ENTIRE NEW ALBUM OVERNIGHT WITHOUT WARNING ANYBODY!! YOU NOW HAVE 14 NEW BEYONCÉ TRACKS TO PLAY OBSESSIVELY!! FOURTEEN!!!
OH, AND DID WE MENTION THAT THIS IS A "VISUAL ALBUM," WHICH MEANS EACH SONG HAS A VIDEO?! AND THAT THERE ARE THREE ADDITIONAL BONUS VIDEOS?! AND THAT THE CLIPS STAR MANY OF THE QUEEN BEY BACKUP DANCERS WHO GRACED OUR MAY/JUNE COVER?!
OK. Calming down a bit now. We are professionals.
All of this goodness is available in full via iTunes, but 30-second clips of each video have also been posted to YouTube. And we've shared some of our favorites below. Because THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS TOO MANY BEYONCÉ VIDEOS!! AHHH NO STILL TOO EXCITED FOR REGULAR TYPING!!!
"Mine," featuring Drake
"Heaven" (check out dancer Ashley Everett as the bride!)
The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour is underway! Beyoncé and her fabulous crew are in the process of making their way across Europe (they're performing in Berlin tonight).
But while we wait for them to arrive stateside, team Bey has released a tantalizing series of video snippets that go behind the scenes on the tour. And most of the clips put Beyoncé's awesome dancers—a.k.a. our May/June cover stars!—front and center.
Here are a few of our faves:
A Serbian woman (the tour's first date was in Belgrade) fangirling out as she meets dancer Ashley Everett in the airport:
More of our dancer friends—and Beyoncé—getting pumped up and warmed up before opening night:
Les Twins doin' their thing...
...and talking about their mom!
And finally, a peek at the super-dance-y premiere of "Grown Woman" onstage, with commentary from choreographer Frank Gatson and Mrs. Carter herself: