People

Nicole Ward

i. I work as a:
Contemporary Ballet Dancer with Ballet British Columbia.

ii. I do this creative work because:
It’s the purest form of expression in my opinion; there is something very primal about using the body to communicate with others. It’s a further extension of emotions, something that brings me joy and a way to connect to pleasure. Dance has also been my outlet since childhood. I was never involved in sports or any other activity and so dance became my language.

iii. Personal qualities that help me in my work are:
I’m a very curious person and to be a mover curiosity has to be alive. A huge part of what I do spans from curiosity, looking for more in yourself, in the technique and investigating how many ways one thing can be articulated!
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iv. The greatest challenges around doing this work are:
It’s never the same! Your body and mind are always changing, evolving and adapting to your environment. The challenge of working with different choreographic styles is what interests me the most. Naturally there are styles that I enjoy more than others, but I love figuring out how to fit them all into my body’s language.

v. Creative childhood hobbies:
I’ve always danced so for the most part I didn’t have time for many other things. When I was younger, I remember trying to choreograph dances to Brittany Spears with my friends and put on little shows for our parents or for anyone who would watch. I guess performing has always been a part of me. 

vi. Other creators who inspire you:
I’ve always been most inspired by the artists in my workplace! We are all so unique and have such strong artistic voices that the room is constantly being fed with ideas on how to approach movement from a different angle. It’s all those different brains in a room that push me out of my comfort zone and constantly bring me to a place that I might not have arrived at on my own.
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vii. Training that has helped me succeed in this career:
Exploring all different types of dance from an early age and then really focusing most of my time on my ballet, contemporary, and improvisation techniques. Now I’ve grown to learn to appreciate other forms of training to keep my body at its best. I cross train with yoga, spin classes, swimming and lots of hiking during the warmer months. 

viii. The biggest myth about this type of work is:
That there is an expiry date on how long you can be in this profession. The beautiful thing about being an artist is that it’s with you for your whole life. It’s inherently a part of who you are and how your being functions! 

ix. Some proud career moments:
A very proud moment personally had to be doing my first performance with Ballet BC as a full company member. I had just finished an incredible apprentice season with the company, built really great relationships with my colleagues, and was so grateful for having been given the opportunity to continue my dream at Ballet BC. I remember feeling so nervous, but excited about re-introducing myself to the audience in this new role. I was performing roles in which I felt challenged physically and emotionally and it really set the bar for how I wanted to continue my journey through the company.
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x. If you want to work in my field, I suggest that you:
The only way that working in this field will feel right is if you couldn’t imagine doing anything else. To be an artist is so incredibly special and it is a hard field to be in, but so rewarding. Like with anything that is worth pursuing, perseverance, consistency, and passion are the three things that I feel will get you all the way. Making connections with people you may have worked with in school because the transition from being a student to professional are very fast and can often seam together unexpectedly. 

xi. A professional goal I have for the future:
I would love to eventually teach/choreograph. I’ve always loved sharing my work with others. Whether it be at a school, with other professionals or maybe with people new to dance, it has definitely been something at the back of my mind for a while. 

xii. If you want to see my work, go to:
To find information about upcoming performances visit:

Website: www.balletbc.com

Instagram: @balletbc

And for my personal platform:

Instagram: @nikshter

www.creatorsvancouver.com

Photos by Cindi Wicklund

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