We had the good fortune of connecting with Christina Ward and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christina, what role has risk played in your life or career?
When I reflect on the risks that I’ve taken in my life I am able to pinpoint the exact moments when I knew my life would change. There is something so gratifying about taking risks that are measurable, not calculated, rather results-driven. That perhaps has been the primary impetus for how I’ve learned to dive when the timing was just right. One of the pros of risk-taking in my life and career is I have fabricated this sort of ready-made advantageous spirit. An essence of necessity to reset my narrative and account of life. This has developed in me a thick skin for rejection, an expansive awareness of myself, as well as, no fear in standing alone through the journey. In short, the risks of moving towards the results I want are great positives in my life. Those positives have led me to live in 3 major cities of the industry NYC, LA & ATL. The risks have introduced me to unconventional arts, like becoming an actual circus performer; silks, stilts, and all. They’ve also, put me in positions that don’t germinate without some level of hearty confidence. The cons, risk takes balance and there have been times when the exact risk I took, delivered me to the doorstep of comfort. I became comfortable in moving alone, being the best at risks and not really ever finding a balance between the risk itself and a sustainable lifestyle. In the past couple of years, I have been introduced to the balance of business and risk. I CAN actually make a sustainable living while maintaining my artist lifestyle. I can take riskier risks that will progressively move me forward without costing me the excitement of writing my story or even cost me a livelihood. This concept for some reason has been so foreign to me for too long. I now expect to see yet another results-driven change, in fact, I can measure it.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Wow, I love the question, “what sets you apart from others.” This question is so loaded to me, but I will unpack it and simply say, I am the only one designed for my purpose. It stands no taller, brighter, or better than anyone else’s, it is just mine. Having said that I spent a few of my formative years doing my best to fit into the crowd. I hated standing out so much. It wasn’t until I was tired of trying not to that I seized the concept of being uniquely me. I believe much of what makes me radiate in my field is the versatility and range I possess. My parents said yes to most of my interests growing up. It typically wasn’t if, it was when and I took it upon myself to study and train before official experiences began. I recall my elementary years asking my teachers at the end of the school year if I could have their teacher’s guides so I could go home and teach my plushies and dolls, and I did! I remember walking around in the highest heels my older sister had, training myself to “walk a runway” or even teaching myself Ballet in the mirror. For those reasons and my imagining to be great, are the things people called out, the not-so-understandable. What did it gain me? Pure expression and self-reliance. I found myself so okay and that’s all I want to inspire other young black women to do; to see beyond the realm of possibility. There’s One-Way, one way for each of us.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
How fun! When my best friend visits I would first want to take her to Piedmont Park because it’s so reminiscent of our time spent in both NYC and LA. The summers are just wonderful in all three cities and there’s something really nice about a city girl having a preserved bit of nature to breathe in the midst of her endeavors. Next, I would take her to Ponce City Market to visit my favorite ramen bar, Ton Ton for the Yasai bowl, and maybe we would further stuff our faces with samosas from Botiwalla. In LA ramen and pho is a favorite pastime so I know it would make day create that memory here. Throughout the week we would journey to one of the mountain terrains or trails for a classic hike to reenergize and then enjoy a burger from none other than Slutty Vegan. I would love to take her to see some of the real estate in Buckhead all the way out to the far corners of Marietta or Conyers. There’s just so much land and it really opens your mind to the possibilities especially having lived in two other cities that cannot boast acreage in such a way as Atlanta. To end our week I would absolutely book us a front table for two at St. James Live on the first Friday to completely vibe out to the group Gritz & Jelly Butter as they perform new age classics in such a timeless way. Our week would be filled with nostalgia, an extreme amount of laughter, and agreement.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to dedicate this Shoutout to all of my former aerial students, many of whom are still dear friends of mine. They were the spine to my growth while I was teaching and performing in LA. We learned together, we expressed together and we ultimately found a genuine bond over the love of dance and fitness; each of them speaking to my spirit in their own individual language of dance. They served as a reflection of my hardest and grittiest efforts as a teacher and challenged me to be better every day not even for them, but for myself. I would also like to Shoutout and thank the silent supporters. The ones who I may not know personally who genuinely send prayers and thoughts my way for my success. The ones who inspire me to continue to press forward and trailblaze a lane for others, or perhaps even instigate them to pound a pathway for themselves. I appreciate everyone who has propelled me forward on this journey and a future thanks to those who are on the way. I reciprocate.
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