Ciara Talks Holiday Traditions And Role As Co-Host of 'Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest 2023'
One of the best and biggest traditions of the holiday season is Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve party. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the show, which began in 1972. And to celebrate the occasion, Billy Porter, Ciara, D-Nice, Jessie James Decker, and Liza Koshy are set to join host Ryan Seacrest as co-hosts.
This year, the show will feature over 5-and-a-half hours of performances including one from Ciara. The multi-hyphenate star talked to BET.com about her holiday traditions with her three kids, Future, Sienna, and Win—and how she and her husband, Russell Wilson, balance their powerful careers with being the best for their family and each other.
BET.com: So, you must be excited about co-hosting New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.
Ciara: Yeah, I'm super excited to be working and hosting from Disneyland. You know, I do think that is one of my favorite places. You can't beat that happy and joyous energy that Disney gives you so I'm super excited about that.
BET.com: What are some of your favorite things to do at Disneyland?
Ciara: When I go to Disney, I'm the girl that does it all. Like I do everything that you can do when you go to Disney. I ride literally every possible ride that I can. I love getting the funnel cake and a churro. I gotta get a turkey leg too—that’s one of my classic traditions. Disneyland has all the best and the worst eating you can do. All in one time. (Laughs)
I’m THAT girl at Disney. And again, I just ride every ride like a little kid. And sometimes I get on rides two or three times over. But I'm always walking around with the biggest smile on my face. And I always leave with the best feeling when I go to Disney.
BET.com: Speaking of traditions, what are some of your favorite holiday traditions?
Ciara: Well, you know, it depends on what's happening during the holiday season. This year, on Christmas day, my husband (Russell Wilson) is playing football, and we play against the Rams. And that's gonna be the first time that we've ever done that or experienced him playing a game on Christmas. So you know, that'll be different, but I'm excited for that. There's nothing better than, you know, family time and football at the same time.
And, obviously, seeing the kids open up their gifts, they'll be able to open up a few gifts on the road, and then when we get back home, they'll have more gifts. I'm looking forward to having that experience together. And typically I don't get the chance to be at home with my family for New Year's. But, we pre-tape my performance and pre-tape the whole show before New Year's, so I'll be watching from home with my kids. We'll be in Kansas City because Russ plays against the Chiefs, and the Broncos play against the Chiefs on New Year's Day. So it'll be another holiday combined with football. So I'm looking forward to that combination there as well.
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BET.com: That's awesome. What were some of your favorite traditions, holiday traditions when you were a little girl?
Ciara: Oh, you know what, let me add though, something fun that we do is the Elf on the Shelf which is always fun. The kids love that. We put the carrots out at night for Santa's reindeer. We put the cookies up by the fireplace, we really get into it. It's nothing better than seeing your kids like living that experience out with your kids. It's the best feeling in the world because they really get into every bit of that process and experience.
I didn't have as much as my babies, you know, have to be honest. I pretty much had a Charlie Brown Christmas tree for a lot of my life when I was younger. And I actually kind of bring that tradition around for my babies too, like, make their own little Charlie Brown Christmas trees. And each kid has a Charlie Brown Christmas tree in their room. And it's those little moments that are just so sweet. And you know, so cute.
I was always very, very excited about Christmas Day. And it honestly is my favorite holiday of the year.
BET.com: That's fantastic. New Year's is my favorite. So I'm really looking forward to spending that time seeing you and bringing that in with my family. What are some of your goals for next year? Are you thinking about your 2023?
Ciara: I am thinking about it. I don't have them written out just yet. But I think for me, balance is gonna be really important. You know, I want to make sure I balance life as best as possible to be the best performer I can be, the best entrepreneur—but also be the best mom and wife and be my best for my family. I think that balance is just really important, I want to make sure that my life cup is full. I'm so fortunate to do a lot and I get excited about every opportunity that I get. But I also make sure to make sure that while I'm in the midst of success, I'm taking care of myself, and I just have a good balance for life.
I think efficiency is important for me, you know, especially on the business side, now I run my own label. And so I want to make sure that I'm just, you know, being as smart as I can be. And being like the CEOs that I grew up admiring and respecting. So I hope to level up my performance, you know, across the board, right as a performer as an entrepreneur, and also as a mom and wife, like that's my overall mission, like just really being as balanced as I possibly can be.
BET.com: Speaking of “Level Up,” I was listening to that song earlier, but I was feeling inspired—like, “This girl really does it all.”
Ciara: For me, balance is something we're always working at, you know, I call my life organized chaos because there's always something happening. And sometimes I feel like I fall short, you know, just to be honest. You know, and I think in those moments, I just talk to myself, I put things in perspective, sometimes you have to remind yourself of how blessed you are, and appreciate the little things, I think it's like the little things that make the greatest difference in our lives.
So, I'm always trying to do a little self-check-in with myself, when I'm in those moments. And sometimes you just got to take a break. I think that's important. You know, sometimes, when you're so ambitious, you forget how important it is to listen to yourself. Like your body tells you what it needs. Your soul tells you what it needs, your heart tells you what it needs, and you have to listen.
So, I think for me, I try to do my best but while doing that still know that certain things can wait, and understand what those things are. And giving myself grace in the process. Sometimes we can be so hard on ourselves, you know, the reality is like, you know, life is gonna throw us curveballs and it is going to get hectic, and we gotta give ourselves grace in the process.
BET.com: That's fantastic and inspiring. So, what are some things that we have to look forward to for your New Year’s Rockin' Eve performance?
Ciara: I’m excited about that. We’re going to jam out, I'm going to bring everybody high-level energy. You know, I like to keep it nonstop. When you think about bringing in the New Year, you gotta bring in up-tempo. So my fans are definitely going to get that. I get to perform those songs. I'm also giving my fans something new, something new and exclusive, that I'll be performing for “Jump” for the first time on the show. And so I'm excited about that.
And let's just say it's all about winning energy for 2023. That's the energy that I’m on. That's the mission that I'm on so I can't wait for my fans to hear the new song for the first time and they see me jam out to it for the first time.
BET.com: Even after three kids and nearly 20 years in the business, you still look so incredible and give such great energy. How do you do it?
Ciara: I mean, practicing is always fun, like I say, it’s the most critical part of the process before you hit the stage. And I always love going in with my dancers and, you know, we jam it out, you know, if I'm creating anything, a routine, sometimes a part of the choreography. I just like to make sure, most importantly, I'm having fun and I'm always trying to think of what I think the fans will really enjoy for me and, you know, challenge myself to come up with something new and creative and different. But it's always fun, though, rehearsals are good too, because I kind of get to workout, I get like two for one I get to, you know, practice, I get to get ready for my show. But I also get to get some workouts in at the same time, which is always a good feeling.
BET.com: Do you have memories of staying up and watching Dick Clark? What are some things that you think of when you think of New Year's Eve?
Ciara: Well, I do actually have a few memories, obviously, you know, watching the ball drop as a little girl, that was always cool. And I remember performing “Goodies” and later “Oh” on that show for the first time. And that was pretty trippy, because for the first time I was performing on a show that I grew up loving and watching. You know, as a little girl and admiring how amazing the performances were on that show. And then I was rocking on that very stage. So you know, those sort of special memories that I'll always hold on to and cherish.
Why is New Year’s your favorite holiday?
BET.com: Well, I think because you get to start off fresh. You know, I'm a writer, so there's nothing better for me than a blank page. And that's how New Year's feels for me. It's a blank page and you get to write your own destiny, even though you can do that every day, but it just feels significant to go from one year to the next in just moments. So there’s that, plus I like my black-eyed peas and my collard greens tradition.
Ciara (Laughs): That's a good one. That's some southern stuff right there, gotta have those black-eyed peas and greens.
Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2023 Airs Live Saturday, Dec. 31, Beginning at 8/7c on ABC