Meet Ashley Aitken, a multi-talented performer, creator and athlete who feels passionately about the protection of the environment and lives her life striving to minimize her impact.
Ashley is born Bermudian to a Canadian father and a Bermudian mother. She attended Saltus in Bermuda until 3rd grade and then at age 8, she moved with her mother to Denmark, not knowing a word of the language upon arrival. Her mother brought her up mostly on her own and has been a very supportive and inspirational role in her life.
While most of Ashley’s family resides in Bermuda, she comes from a multi-national background, including her grandmother of Portuguese, French, Irish and English descent and her grandfather from Denmark, where some of her cousins still live today.
Very active from a young age, Ashley has always had a passion for movement and enjoyed pushing herself mentally and physically. At age 5 she started performing ballet and tap. Now her active background also includes Tumbling, Rhythmic Gymnastics, Swimming, Flow Arts, Cross-fit, Pole Fitness, Muay Thai and Yoga.
Ashley wears Daughters of Summer Mica top and Rianne bikini bottoms in Oleander print
In 2014, Ashley became a dedicated member of a gym while living in Denmark, which offered a variety of different fitness classes. One of the classes which especially caught her eye was pole dancing. With the strength and flexibility that she developed over the years, Ashley found this sport to be a perfect fit that challenged and strengthened her abilities. She enjoys expressing herself through creating choreography and teaching others, and the recognition she’s received along the way she considers a bonus to the experience.
Ashley competing at Danish Nationals 2018
When Ashley was 17, she moved back to Bermuda to live with her mother, who had recently returned to the island, as Ashley couldn’t stay in Denmark living by herself at her young age. She spent 8 months on-island before turning 18 and able to return to Denmark to finish her studies. It was during this time in Bermuda that she met the group Rock Fire on the beach at Admiralty house. She asked if she could try their fabric props, and with her rhythmic gymnastics background she picked it up pretty quickly. She tells us “As much as the art is physical, it’s just as much mental. Setting fire to the props is just magical. The sound of spinning fire for the first time is unreal.” Ashley describes that performing for her is about pushing herself to create something beautiful, and she loves engaging with the audience and wowing them.
Ashley’s creativity expands beyond her passion for movement. After she completed 3 years of Business studies in Denmark, she then found herself unsure of what to study to complete her bachelor’s degree. Her mother, who has been a source of inspiration for her, has always had a passion for photography which rubbed off on Ashley. After getting admitted into the top photography school in Denmark without much experience on a DSLR camera, Ashley is now halfway through her 4.5 year-long photographer’s degree. Through this art form, Ashley tells us how photography has taught her to express herself and engage with people in a whole new way.
Ashley strives to live her life in the most sustainable way possible. Once she got her first apartment and lived on her own, she started to become conscious of her impact on the environment. She began by sorting her trash and realizing the amount of plastic packaging consumed, especially from meat. She started following and getting tips from various YouTubers. Now she mainly eats a plant-based diet, she recycles whatever she can, and makes her own compost. She has also managed to cut out plastics from her skin and self-care routine and strives on living a more minimalistic lifestyle. On top of the benefits for the planet, her plant-based diet has given her more energy and she has seen the benefits on her body and training. She has also cut out sugar and dairy which has cleared up her skin more than any other alternative she has tried, and she tells us she has never had such glowing and healthy skin because of it!
For Ashley, the most important step in living more sustainably is having the awareness of one’s own impact on the environment. Asking yourself the questions of what you truly need, where you can get it, where it comes from, what it’s made of, how is it packaged and what will become of it after you’re done using it. Ashley’s tips are to buy second hand when possible, do meal preparation to reduce impact and always check labels and search for sustainably made goods from your local stores.
Next on the horizon for Ashely, she hopes to create meaningful gallery images by the year end, one for each 17 Sustainable Development Goals. She will be continuing to work on her flow art and fire performance for her company Vivid Elements and work towards having the company be able to independently function without her physical presence. She also plans to continue her education by studying sustainability in Denmark and one day she hopes to compete in Muay Thai.
Ashley’s lives her life always striving to better herself, and we couldn’t agree more! The journey to living sustainably is not about perfection, but about striving to do better every day. We hope that in sharing stories like Ashley’s, we fuel you with new-found inspiration and motivation, that encourages you to follow your dreams and what you feel passionate about and empower you to embrace yourself and feel confident in who you are. Ashley certainly has inspired us, and we hope her story has inspired you too!
Follow Ashley on Instagram: @ashleyoriannavibes
Check out her company Vivid Elements here
IG & FB Vivid.Elements
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