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Fresh Meadows dance teacher mourned

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"People who didn't even want to dance would come him to listen to him," said Doreen Astarita, co-manager of the Studio E on Union Turnpike where Ashe, 40, taught hip-hop and jazz dancing classes for five years.On June 20, Ashe and his longtime girlfriend, Veronique Archer, 21, were bicycling on a Sunrise Highway bike path when an GMC Jimmy driven by a suspected heroin addict crashed into them, police said. Ashe was killed instantly. Archer, who was pinned to the windshield as the car traveled another 1,0000 feet, was airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital, where she died hours later.The driver, Edwin Jones, 42, was charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident and driving under the influence of drugs, police said.Studio E held a memorial service all day the following Wednesday for the couple, who lived with Archer's parents in Central Islip, L.I.One young student, Astarita's 10-year-old daughter, Brooke, who was particularly close to Ashe, said she would miss most a routine he and she would do as a sort of goodbye for the day. "He would take me in his arms, swing me around, put me on the couch, run over there and back, pick me up again and bounce me twice," she said.Ashe, who grew in the Bronx and studied dance in Manhattan, was a former dancer alongside a young Jennifer Lopez for "In Living Color" and was in Michael Jackson's video for the hit single "Bad."But it was in teaching the art where he found his niche, according to Astarita, who said he also instructed at studios in Long Island and Manhattan. For Studio E's June 12 dance show loosely based on "The Wizard of Oz," Ashe helped choreograph the moves and recorded all the music. He chose "Walk this Way" by Aerosmith for number when Dorothy's clan skipped along the yellow brick road. For the witch's dance, he selected Blondie's "One Way or Another, I'm going to Get You." For the Tin Man, he found appropriate The Backstreet Boys' "Move Your Body.""He was really out there," Astarita said,"but really in tune with the kids."Brooke recalled another tendency of Ashe's to bribe his students with a dollar as motivation to succeed in obstacle courses and balancing cups of water on their heads. On the day of memorial, she and her mother were walking down the street when they spotted a dollar bill lying on the sidewalk near the studio."He dropped that dollar for her," Astarita said.Reach reporter Zach Patberg by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 155.

Updated 7:15 pm, October 10, 2011
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