Athlete, dancer: all over the place
Published: Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, May 8, 2012 23:05
For freshman right fielder Taylor Ward, playing on the Citrus softball team is simply another one of the countless activities that keeps her busy.
Ward takes 12 units at Citrus and spends 10 to 12 hours a week at softball practice, yet finds time to pursue her passions of jazz and contemporary dancing.
“When I’m not busy is when I slack off,” Ward said of her time management skills.
Ward has been dancing since the seventh grade when she joined her middle school dance team and she participated on Claremont High School’s dance team for four years.
Ward is rehearsing for the upcoming Rancho Cucamonga musical “Seussical,” having just finished competing in the California Community College Athletic Association softball playoffs.
“Dancing is more emotional,” Ward said, comparing softball and dance. “I can express my life through it.”
She said the athletic requirements for dance are just as demanding as softball, but she enjoys working hard and constantly finding new ways to improve.
“I'm excited to see where dance takes me in the next few months and how far I can reach with that because it’s one thing I'm truly passionate about,” Ward said. “Softball is more of my major thing right now and I’m having fun with that.”
Ward says she enjoys playing right field because of the pressures involved in the outskirts of the diamond.
“Softball is more competitive,” Ward said. “I can get angry, dirty, and be united with a team.”
Ward said that her family is highly supportive of both her dancing and softball pursuits, making it difficult for her to choose a favorite.
“Making a decision seems impossible at this point because I don't know what is out there for me in dance,” Ward said. “The thought of how much better I can become in softball and the level of our team makes me question whether I should leave. I can’t give in one way or the other.”
Aside from involvement in softball and dance, Ward enjoys camping at the beach with her family, surfing, kayaking, baking, reading, drawing and said she can spend an eternity viewing videos on YouTube.
Her enthusiasm for the arts has helped her establish her future goals and aspirations, and Ward plans to major in architecture and minor in dance.
Ward returned to softball after a two-year break—caused by her participation in dance—and she admits that it has been somewhat difficult playing the sport at a college level.
“It requires abundant consistency. It’s more demanding than high school or travel ball where most of the time, you’re just having fun,” Ward said. “But I actually enjoy it because I am a very particular person so it’s challenging.”
Ward expressed that she believes her confidence and abilities in softball have exceeded beyond her expectations making her a great player.
She also really enjoys being part of the team, where she builds new friendships with the rest of the girls.
When the spring 2012 semester comes to an end, Ward plans on participating in dance the entire summer, but practicing softball to stay in shape.
She said she has not yet decided which one she will commit to in the following semester.
“I’m happy where I am,” Ward said.
Ward plans to complete her general education at Citrus and hopes to transfer to the University of San Diego, Cal State Fullerton, or UC Irvine to further her education.