Those are the lanes in which she thrives.
A native of Brookside and Graysville, Alabama, Christina “C.J.” Wade began playing the piano at age 4 and discovered her gift of choreography in step, mime, flag, and dance during her teenage years at her church’s arts department. There she served as assistant director and director for ten years. With no formal training, she continued to flourish and her talents were recognized in high school when she was chosen to choreograph a step routine for its first Black History program and represent Alabama in International Goodwill Performances in Paris, France and Rome, Italy by way of American All-Star Dance & Drill Team where she later joined as a colorguard instructor.
With over 25 years of artistic experience, she has performed in numerous American cities, Canada, Great Britain, and the Netherlands. She has also provided choreography and conducted workshops for various high school and collegiate groups, theatrical organizations and institutions such as Birmingham-Southern College and Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas. Under the tutelage of the late Bishop Kevin P. Turner, Wade served as a creative consultant and choreographer for 15 years at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Gospel Choir where she contributed to their annual concerts and productions Gospel 101: Go Dominate!, Gospel Anthology I and II, Mirrors, and Nu-Soul City. Her poetic contributions were published in works by Musaic Productions, LLC, founded by late author and filmmaker Nancy T. Stricklin. She also served as a performing/teaching artist with Nathifa Dance Company & Outreach, LLC where she performed and taught African dance in public schools and community events.
C.J. Wade embodies a life mission of empowering others through education and the arts. Being a keynote public speaker, she always seeks to enrich and engage audience members by invoking thought and lasting insight. In 2012, she founded the award-winning creative collective Workmanship Incorporated, which has performed nationally and internationally, including the Karz Productions’ DANCE THE DREAM – commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” Speech. Her collective also performed at Bishop J. Drew Sheard’s Greater Emmanuel Institutional COGIC (Detroit, MI), John P. Kee’s New Life City of Praise (Charlotte, NC), and won locally and nationally at the Dr. Dorinda Clark-Cole SMA Conference.
Wade holds a B. A. in Communication Management and a Masters of Arts in Education from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (Go Blazers!). She is a member of the INROADS Alabama Alumni Association and See Jane Write Birmingham where she was honored as a member of the month in both organizations. Last, but not least, the “rejuvenate” lane is fulfilled by her being a licensed massage therapist and health coach in the state of Alabama and the owner of You Matter Massage & Wellness, where she normalizes self-care for clergy and creatives.
C.J. is a member of Tau Beta Sigma National Honorary Band Sorority and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. Her roles as a higher education mentor instructor and campus tutor led to Wade being recognized as Campus Instructor of the Year as well as a corporate Excellence in Teaching Award recipient. She is a member of New Life Interfaith Ministries in Bessemer, Alabama. She volunteers as a Zion Anywhere Online Ambassador and Devotional Writer for Zion Church in Landover, Maryland. You can also find her taking her vitamins and rocking the mic with her sisterfriend and co-host The Jasmine T. on their faith-based real talk podcast QueensBeLike. She is the curator of inspiration on her blog and podcast “Listening At The Speed of Life” available on Anchor, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.
Her motto: “Live fully; die empty.”