Dancing to the Future: Ashli Rossi


Ava Burrows

Ashli Rossi, dancer from Waterford, Connecticut, has been doing professional work on cruise ships since 2018. She has performed on a few cruise lines, but she most recently was a part of the Princess Cruise line. Rossi trained at Dancer’s Edge in East Lyme growing up and attended Marymount Manhattan College, where she studied dance. Along with working on cruise lines, she has done virtual auditions for Broadway shows and tours on the side. Rossi states that she won’t stop auditioning because “Broadway is my dream and there’s always a possibility.”


Her college experience in New York City was perfect for her dance needs at the time, as she was a part of the dance program at Marymount. She chose Marymount because the city was always somewhere she knew she wanted to experience. Rossi describes that in NYC she learned a lot about herself: “it was like I realized so much more once I could figure it all out in such a big place.” Ashli was close to Broadway Dance Center and often took classes there, sometimes with friends.


Working on the Princess Cruises has always been ideal for Ashli. She has known since she became interested in performing on cruise ships that her goal was to make it on the Princess Cruises. As for the performances, Ashli says they were “fun,” “creative,” and “lively.” The audiences, “especially aboard Princess” are excited and engaged. She also mentions that it’s great to be around people who are happy to be there on vacation. “Everyone’s so happy on cruises, it never feels like work.”


Rossi met her fiancé while working on the ship. Her fiancé, who grew up in the UK, was a captain on board, and they both love the “uniqueness” of their meeting. Her fiancé, Alfie, proposed on the bow of the cruise where they first met. He found a job in LA and stopped his job as captain. Ashli expresses that it has always been a dream of hers to live in California, especially Los Angeles, and she is so grateful for her experiences in the journey that brought her to where she is today. Although she has put an end to her cruise work for now, she is still young and knows that she could audition for it again. Rossi is excited to find work in LA, and she still continues to audition for Broadway.


Ashli also enjoys posting Tik Toks with videos of dance-related tips and tricks. She often posts videos discussing her life on deck and the places she got the opportunity to visit. Rossi says, “I like to use my experience to help others learn more about my job and decide if it’s something they may want to do.” Even  if viewers do not want to pursue her career, it can strictly be for entertainment or learning new dance tricks and using tips. 


2022 was the year that she describes as her “dream year.” She states, “it was crazy seeing everything I had dreamt of and worked so hard for all coming true so fast.” Now it’s 2023 and Rossi is living in California with her fiancé!