I came to Canada when I was eight years old. I came from Jamaica. I was born in the “country” and trust me, it was real country, but I loved it. This is where my heart is. All of the women in my family are beautiful, and healthy, the way they take care of themselves has showed me the importance of putting self first. I am however, discovering that it’s a process. I’m a workaholic with a type A personality so you can see my challenge. However I’m all for wellness, and I know it’s important. I encourage my students and my clients to take care of themselves on a daily basis. It’s not always easy, but it’s mandatory if we want to live a healthy, successful and happy life. Fitness is something that has always been in my life, I didn’t think of it as “fitness” I just did whatever came nautrally to me and I enjoyed it. I ran track, I danced, I played volleyball, I was pretty active and that is where my active life style stems from.
However when the world of fitness was introduced to me by a teacher in high school, I was like uhhh…no. She suggested that I become a fitness instructor, I told her “no” for two reasons. One, I thought I couldn’t do it (my confidence was at that level), and two, I didn’t see many women who looked “feminine” while they were in the fitness industry. The women that I saw where body builders and I didn’t want to look like that. So I didn’t bother. Which is funny in retrospect, because that is what a lack of education can do to you. I respect female body builders. It’s just not something that I wanted for myself. Over the years my passion for being active, and love for dance just meshed together and it all happened naturally. I’ve always been passionate about dance, tho I never thought that I could earn a living or be in the dance industry. I didn’t see many black girls on TV dancing the way I wanted to. So I went to college for Social Work and after graduating from college at 21 (I think that was the age lol) I decided to do it, I decided I want to live my life and be happy, so I started taking drop in dance classes, went to New York took classes there, and it’s been a process from there on. I furthered my studies, and guess what I’m a Fitness Instructor now, and I’m proud to say I love my muscular arms; I love having muscles; however I enjoy keeping my natural curves. I don’t want to lose that. I think a woman can work out, lift weights and still keep her lady curve, which is something that is very sexy and feminine.
When I teach it’s a beautiful thing. I enjoy teaching and enjoy being with my students. I take it very seriously. I adore my students; we have a very close relationship. The time that I have with them is so important to me, because I have an hour of their life, and I do my best to make sure they enjoy every second. I want them to leave in good spirits, because that hour is usually the only time they have to get lost in movement. Dance is my drug, it’s in my veins, gives me life, it’s everything. Dance constantly evolves my life. I see images in my head and I create compositions from what I see. I spend a lot of time staring off into space, some may think that I’m crazy, but I’m seeing a movie being played out in my head. I stare at it, capturing what I need to recreate what I see. So to say dance is just movement, for me that is just not true, it’s a necessity for me, it keeps me sane. If I’m not dancing I need to be creating, producing and or helping other dancers, dance organizations, regular people achieve their goals through dance.
I was injured last year, I messed up my knee pretty bad, my confidence took a beating because I had to learn how to trust my body again, it was really hard. I don’t talk about it much, but I lost so much muscle mass in my left leg, that it looked like a twig compared to my right leg. I couldn’t walk for a while. I couldn’t run. I couldn’t climb the stairs properly it was bad. But that injury I think was one of the best things to happen to me. The appreciation I now have for movement has transcended beyond what I can explain in mere words. All I can say is that you have no idea how it feels, until what you love to do is threatened to be taken away from you. I now love to dance that much more.
I have an amazing support system. Some of my family members have no idea how serious I am about dance, creating and fitness. They just know that I’m passionate and I’m always doing something to get closer to my vision, dreams and goals. My mother is awesome, my boyfriend is amazing, words can’t explain how thankful I am for him. I really don’t like to use the word boyfriend because we are past that, he his my partner…and his support keeps me going. I’ve always been the one to walk, dance and march to the beat of my own drum, so my family gets a kick out of what I’m up to next.
My Company Bold Movement is a dance Production and Entertainment Company, our mission is to connect, entertain and inspire our audience through the events, shows and performances we create. I’ve always had my company model in my mind, but now I’m at the stage where I’m actually making sure I do what I need to do, to make Bold Movement something more than just a vision. Bold Movement will host its yearly Collective Movement event, which is a workshop and party, that will raise money for different not for profit organizations, I wanted to have the 1st Collective Movement event this year, however scheduling did not work . So 2013 is the year to make it happen. I’m an Ambassador at the Dance For Life foundation and I’m also an ambassador for the I love Dance Campaign, I enjoy being a part of great charitable organizations. I think we should give back to our communities to help others. I offer many free classes because there was a time when I wanted to take dance classes and I didn’t have the money, I will never forget that, so I offer classes for those who are not able to take classes on a regular basis because of their financial situation. We should all have the opportunity to dance!
I’m going to launch my business full scale later this year or early next Spring. I’m ready to bring back that raw creativity that I had but was afraid to let shine. It’s very exciting. It’s always great to have support, but you know what, everything that happens now, is preparing you for the greatness that will come. So if the support isn’t there, go find the support elsewhere. Dance blogs, people in your community, are all a great source of support. It does not have to be other dancers. It could be a media personality. For me Jay Z, Oprah, Beyonce, Brian Tracy, Chalene Johnson are on my list of supporters…lol..they don’t know me, I don’t know them, but I listen to their message, I watch how they do things, and I learn. So create your dream team.
I have many exciting things coming up, if I can mention a few. Dance Xpression is a workshop series that is created for female dancers and women. Myself and MsToya Robinson are the founders, we want all ladies to “Embrace the confidence they have within, let go and Xpress themselves” The 2nd Dance Xpression Workshop is coming up on Saturday July 14th 2012. It’s going to be amazing, two great styles. I’m teaching Sexy Caribbean Moves and MsToya is teaching Hip-Hop Boot camp. The workshop will be held at The National Ballet School from 1-4pm. Visit http://www.dancexpression.com We want to see all you beautiful ladies at the workshop!
Night of Essence is a dance and entertainment showcase, this event is so freaking amazing. Night of Essence has dancers, singers and specialty acts, it is hosted by Shannon Boodram from http://www.ThoseGirlsAreWild.com, we are now getting a new website, and we are getting ready to start selling tickets for the show. This year the show will be at The Great Hall, and we have many surprises. To find out more about visit http://www.nightofessence.com
Flash mob - LaToya Robinson and I are planning an amazing and super fun flash mob, which will be part of the Canada Day festivities. The flash mob is on July 30th, 2012. We want this flash mob to be huge, and we are looking for participants. To find out more about the flash mob please visit http://www.kayannward.com/uncategorized/participants-needed-for-upcoming-flash-mob/ I will soon start to guest blog on the I love Dance website http://www.ilovedancecanada.wordpress.com I’m excited about this, because I love to blog, love dance and I’m very inquisitive so this is a great platform to share dance with the world while learning.
Thank you so much for sharing my journey through dance and fitness. You can find me on twitter @kayannward on facebook Kay-Ann Ward, on instagram kayann_ward, http://www.kayannward.com www.dancexpression.com
Get your dance on!