On December 4, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater opened its holiday season at New York City Center with a gala benefit performance and party. The evening was chaired by Emily and Len Blavatnik, Paulette Mullings Bradnock and Howard Bradnock, Mellody Hobson and George Lucas, Daria and Eric Wallach, and Joan and Sandy Weill, and honored the contributions of Elaine Wynn and The Elaine P. Wynn & Family Foundation to Ailey and its mission.
COURTNEY CELESTE SPEARS (Baltimore, MD) of Bahamian descent, began formal training at the Baltimore School for the Arts under the direction of Norma Pera. She is a graduate of the Ailey/Fordham BFA Program, where she graduated summa cum laude with degrees in dance and communications. Ms. Spears has attended summer intensives at The Juilliard School, Cedar Lake, and American Ballet Theatre, where she was named the National Training Scholar for two consecutive years. She has performed works by Ray Mercer, Jae Man Joo, Marcus Willis, Bridget Moore, and Dwight Rhoden. She was recognized on the cover of Howard Magazineas a “Rising Young Star” and received The Denise Jefferson Memorial Scholarship. Ms. Spears is the recipient of a 2015 Dance Fellowship from the Princess Grace Foundation-USA and is the founder and director of ArtSea Dance, an outreach program and dance management company based in the Bahamas. She was a member of Ailey II and joined the Company in 2018. Find Ms. Spears on Instagram @bahamaballerina.