Today we’d like to introduce you to Courtney Spears.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Courtney. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
It all started when I was three years old. My mother put me in dance classes just as an extra activity and I LOVED it immediately. I was hooked from the very first day. I took ballet on weekends and when I was in middle school, went to another dance studio, Arabesque Dance Studio, to train during the week. I met my very first ballet Teacher, Maureen Wheeler. She saw something in me and recognized that I took this very seriously and showed promise. I attended the Baltimore School for the Arts to further my training, and from that moment on, I was focused on my future. I realized dancing could take me to college and be my full career. When I was 15, I moved to NYC for the summer to train on a full scholarship at The American Ballet Theater which made my love for the city grow even more.
At the age of 17, I packed my bags to attend The Ailey/Fordham BFA Program where I would train at The Ailey School while being a full-time student at Fordham University. I graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BFA in Dance and minor in communications while working professionally with Ailey 2 my senior year. I’m currently in my second year as a professional dancer with The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and it still doesn’t feel real most days. I’ve performed in the most beautiful places like France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, The Netherlands, and Japan. I love what I do and doing it everyday is a blessing.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
This journey has been the furthest thing from smooth. I’ve heard no more times than I’ve heard yes. But I was persistent. I love what I do and stopping wasn’t an option. I had a dream and nothing was going to keep me from it. I started seeing no’s as God’s way of closing doors that I wasn’t supposed to walk through.
Please tell us about ArtSea Dance.
ArtSea Dance was born at a time in my life where I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to perform on stage. I was auditioning and not finding work. I knew I had a lot to offer but the timing was off. I didn’t know where my dance career was heading, but I did know that I loved to teach and I figured if I wasn’t going to be on stage, I was going to be in the dance studio. I brought the idea to my brother, Asa Cary, who has thrived in the event management scene in New York. He became the executor of logiscits while I became the artistic vision. Four years later from that small idea, we’ve grown our company beyong what I ever dreamed of.
ArtSea Dance brings world-class dance education and entertainment to the Caribbean, but mostly to the Bahamas. We’ve provided dance education to over 300 students ranging in dance classes, body wellness, college admissions, and life-skill building. We’ve also provided local and international dance entertainment for some of the most exclusive events in the Bahamas like the opening night party for the Tiger Woods Foundation’s Hero World Challenge golf tournament.
My mother was born and raised in Nassau and the majority of my family lives there. It’s home for me and every time I’m there, I know I’m exactly where God needs me to be. The culture, the food, and the music are woven into every fiber of my DNA and for me, there is no better feeling than combining my worlds of art and culture.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I’ve had the most amazing village during this entire process. My friends, family, parents, siblings, teachers, and mentors have never stopped suporting my dreams. I’m a strong believer in God’s will and have no doubt that I wouldn’t be where I am without His continued grace and guidance. When I think about all of the amazing people who have helped get me to where I am, it always makes me emotional. Only God could have made something like this happen. I still have so much to learn, but I’m excited to keep moving forward. I may not know the future, but I do know that the best is yet to come and I’m ready for it.
- Website: www.artseadance.org
- Phone: 3016131429
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: artseadance
- Other: www.courtneycelestespears.com
NYC Dance Project
CCNYC Headshot- Denzel Golatt