The AC Experience: what it stands for and how we can “learn to dance from the inside out”


Most dancers merely dream of making it professionally – Cary and Ashlee made it. Most dancers envision creating a dance concept that will change the dance community- Ashlee and Cary are doing that. But they are not doing it alone.

This story is about two women who fought through the LA scene and made it, found themselves in San Diego, and finally created something they’ve always wanted to do: teach dancers how to “dance from the inside out.”

“Welcome to the Madhouse” by Tones and I
Video Cred: Gabrielle Phillips
Studio: Evolution Dance Center

Ready to tap into your heart to enhance your artistry? Then let’s go!


the name

Cary mentioned they made it the AC not the CA: they were nice enough not to claim all of California (LOL).

the concept

Ashlee gave me the scoop that this concept was born in Pandemic times (2020) where they started as a review channel; how can your dream evolve into purpose?
Photo Credit for Both: Vixen Photography (Voilá Entertainment Dance Company)

the tagline

“There’s something called a ‘perfectly technical dancer’ and they have amazing lines, and their legs up to here and they can turn 50 times… and then you watch them for like a minute and a half, two minutes and then you go- sweet. What’s next?”

-Ashlee Cinco

from LA to SD

Although New York and Los Angeles are the ultimate in dance, San Diego has a gem to offer; according to the AC, SD offers a lower pressure, grounded dance feel giving dancers a more peaceful space to grow in.

Photo Credit: Tim Agler

Myo Dance Company

Show Choreography: Josie Walsh


on their duet

Ashlee: “When we get together, it’s weird (says in a humorous tone), it gets *real* weird. There’s this weird synergy when we start collaborating and moving.”

“Take Me Home” by Jesse Glynne (Dance North County Studio)

Cary: “We hear things musically the same so it’s easy for us to collaborate- we can kind of envision the same thing. Once we are on this rhythm, I feel like our energy can build off of each other; it makes it easier.”

on the Tik Tok!

Why do Ashlee and Cary work so well together? According to Ash, a lot of “love and respect” is involved. Cary states, “our friendship is the most important thing above all else.” Each one agreed that if something feels off in their duet, they clear the air understanding the human aspect at hand.

the services: what to expect

Photo Cred: Patrick Cinco (Performance: Tertralume by Ben Guerrette) Choreography: Ashlee Cinco.

Press Play for the details on what each service provides the hungry student dancer.


what sets them apart

“That part of trying to emotionally tap in. I feel as dancers we’re using our body to tell the story but we’re never really trained [emotionally]; that’s almost more the way an actor is trained.”

Dr. Cary Barberich, PT
Fun Fact: Cary has a Bachelor’s in Acting from Tisch NYU

Photo Cred: Of Stardust and Earth (Bella Lux Entertainment: Le Cirque Du Lux).

Middle Photo Cred: Gabrielle Phillips.

teacher, mentor, or coach?

Photo Cred: Patrick Cinco

the brand colors

  • Violet= The Violet Flame. According to Cary, the formula goes like this: 1 part pink essence as love + blue essence as strength + gold as essence of wisdom all mixed together. Fire is the element of transmutation and violet is the highest vibrational color. The Violet Flame of their brand colors represent connection to the crown chakra- something that is bigger than you.
  • Navy Blue for Ashlee= strength. The high vibration of the Violet Flame thrives off of the calming, grounding strength of navy blue.

That time your author went to an AC Experience workshop and wore violet (hehe). I really appreciated the guidance through emotional exercises, the supportive environment of the dancers, and the choreography A + C gifted us. Highly recommend!

Photo Cred: Of Stardust and Earth (Bella Lux Entertainment: Le Cirque Du Lux).
Choreo by Ashley Akhavan.

if they could dance for any artist….

if they were a crayon…

Fun Fact: Ashlee credits her love of all things authentic- people, relationships, and movement- to growing up in a small town.

Photo Credits: Ashlee with umbrella- Patrick Cinco (Bella Lux Entertainment: Le Cirque Du Lux) and Cary on stage- Jesse Arroyo (Bella Lux Entertainment: 80’s Heat at the Belly Up). Choreo: Cary Barberich.

mission statement in motion

“It’ll Be Okay” by Shawn Mendes
Vid Cred: Brandi Daniels
Studio: Carlsbad Performing Arts Academy (2022)

before we go…

The AC Experience will be hosting a workshop this weekend on 9/10 4-6:30 P.M. (reach out by emailing jointheacexperience@gmail.com for more detail). Keep an eye out for their October *heels* workshop on 10/8 from 5:30-8 P.M. (spots fill up fast). And last but not least, The AC Retreat in Palm Springs! from March 3-5, 2023- be on the lookout for details on diving deeper into dancing from the inside out with this extended dance period with your guides.

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