Spy of the Month

spy of the month

Agent Name: Raz Smithbeats
Real Name: Ashley Rockwood

Congratulations, Spy! How does it feel?
Feels delightful. I am honored, truly. The work you guys do at 826CHI is remarkable, and to be recognized as someone who is contributing to your cause is so special.

How did you first get involved at 826CHI?
I got involved with our first (of hopefully many) creative collaborations: Words in Motion. My organization Dancers Awareness Project has been assisting the students in creating freestyle movement inspired by their poems.  

What has been your favorite 826 experience so far?
We came in for a weeklong residency in which we had the entire room stand up and do a quick couple minutes of stretching and warming up. It was awesome to see the kids, volunteers, and staff all moving together in unison. I am hopeful that every so often at 4:30pm everyone will stand up, turn on a jam, and dance. It's a great tradition to keep!

What do you do when you aren't working undercover?
I hang out with my son! Landon is 15 months old and a ball of energy. I love playing with him and exploring the world of new things. He is my adventure.

Can you share a bit about the work your organization does?
Dancers Awareness Project is on a mission to make an impact and raise awareness on important issues in our community; the world. We connect dancers to one another and to causes in need. We strive to highlight the people and organizations within in our community that are making a difference and giving back. To me "giving back," or as we say #givedap, is putting good back into the cycle of life. Assuming we all take a little good out from time to time, acknowledging that we are all connected, and promoting camaraderie. "Dap" is a fist bump, a handshake that represents respect and group solidarity.

What's your favorite song to dance or move to?
Wow, tough question. I love just about every genre of music. Not kidding. I'd say there's a special place in my heart for anything Beyonce.

Our most agile agents always have the best codenames. What's yours?
Raz Smithbeats - two names given to me by dear friends

Any words of wisdom for aspiring spies of the month?
Dream big. And then think about what it is you can do in the next five minutes to move you closer to that place. Everything is attainable if you put your mind to it. Work hard, and never never ever ever give up. There will be defeated days -- acknowledge them, let them pass, and stay on it. You will do it!