It's My Life PBS Kids Go!
Celeb Scoop: Ainsley Bailey

By It's My Life on May 21, 2012 12:03 PM | No TrackBacks

ainsley1.jpgOver the course of two seasons, fans of the Disney Channel's hit series "Shake It Up" have met quite the variety of characters. One of our favorites is Dina Garcia, the feisty, New Jersey-accented girl who ended up being a perfect match for boyfriend Deuce Martinez. We recently got a chance to learn a bit more about Ainsley Bailey, the talented young actress who brings Dina to life!

IML: Tell us a little about Dina in your own words. How are the two of you alike, and how are you different?

Ainsley: Dina's more of a tomboy than I am. She's very confident and outspoken. She and Deuce are really fun together, they're like an old married couple. They do care for each other and take care of each other, even though they also bicker. Dina and I are both very loyal, good friends and really care about the people who we're close to. I think Dina's more of a daredevil than I am; I'm a little more on the shy side. Dina's not shy at all! It's really fun to play someone so different. It gives you that freedom and permission to step outside of yourself and do things you wouldn't normally do.

IML: Dina wasn't originally supposed to be a regular character. Why do you think Dina's become so popular with viewers?

Ainsley: I think it's good for girls to see someone who isn't the typical girly-girl. Dina's kind of different and I think girls have really responded to that. Her accent is really fun and kids get a kick out of that. People also enjoy seeing the relationship between her and Deuce.

IML: You don't see a lot of really successful relationships in TV shows for tweens. Usually people are breaking up or there's some kind of problem, or whatever. It is nice to have that role model out there.

Ainsley: I think so too. Even though they have arguments and competitions, deep down they really care for each other and it always comes back to that. It's a very sweet relationship to have on the show!

IML: What's the funniest thing that ever happened to you on set?

Ainsley: In one episode, the girls had to eat big tubs of ice cream. Me and Bella and Caroline and Zendaya. We were all really enjoying the ice cream and we had to make sure we had enough for all the takes!

ainsley2.jpgIML: Does the cast get along in real life?

Ainsley: Oh, yes. Everyone's so sweet. I was kind of nervous on my first day there because they already knew each other, and I felt like the new kid. But everyone was so welcoming, and the crew too. Everyone just took me into the family with open arms!

IML: You first started performing when you were around age 10. What made you decide to give it a try?

Ainsley: In elementary school, I tried lots of different things. I tried sports and wasn't very athletic. I sort of fell into acting through a play our community theatre was doing. My friends and I decided to try that and I fell in love with it immediately, it just clicked and I was like, this is where I'm supposed to be. I finally found my niche!

IML: Were you actively looking for something to be your "thing"?

Ainsley: I wanted to try lots of different things. I had an older brother and he was good at sports and stuff, so I wanted to be like him, but I was never quite as good as he was. When I found acting, it was a relief. It was like, okay this makes sense. I'm good at this!

IML: We're sure that's what happens for a lot of kids. So you continued to stay involved with theatre all through school?

Ainsley: Yeah, I did probably seven plays with that community theatre. Then I got to where I wanted to try TV and film. I enrolled in some classes and found a great studio that helped me get on the right track.

IML: So when you were doing all those shows with the community theatre, what do you feel that added to your life?

Ainsley: I really just gave me a sense of belonging and community, of being around other kids who liked to do the same things. I made a lot of my friends in acting. To this day, pretty much all of my friends are people I've met through acting. Once you have that common bond with someone. that is a great building block for a friendship.

IML: We've heard that you have a cause that you really care about. Can you tell us more?

Ainsley: Anything having to do with animal abuse just breaks my heart, so I feel really passionate about humane issues. I've just gotten involved with the SPCA here in Los Angeles. I'm really excited to get started with that and help get the word out about animal adoption as opposed to buying from pet stores or other places. There are so many animals out there that need homes. I want every animal to have a home! I'd really love to volunteer at shelters.

IML: On the surface, "Shake It Up" is a fun show about dancing and friendship. But it seems like there's more to it than that. What would you like viewers to take away from the show?

Ainsley: It's amazing how inspired kids seem to be by the show, especially CeCe and Rocky's story. It inspires them to follow their dreams which is so important, even when it seems like the odds are against you. When I was younger, I was thinking, I want to be an actor but how do I do that? Having that drive and's so important. I really believe that if it's truly your passion and you're wiling to work hard for it and make sacrifices, it's going to happen. No matter where you come from or what happens, you can always make your dreams come true. I know that sounds cheesy, but it's so true!

IML: Thanks, Ainsley! We loved chatting with you, and good luck!

Thank you!

Main Index