In this uncertain time, dancers have a useful perspective: Gently loosen those joints and muscles as much as you can, firm your self-discipline, calm your mind. Dancer wisdom teaches us that life is live theater, forever an improv performance, and we can feel our way through it by establishing a routine, caring for our whole selves and also turning outward, to care for those around us. Yet performing careers are brief, and no dancer can afford to lose time — or money. The recently interrupted tours, canceled premieres, locked studios and social distancing requirements have hit the financially fragile, socially enmeshed dance world hard. When your life revolves around lifting, leaping, catching, jumping and otherwise spending time (often literally joined at the hip) with your dance partners, how do you deal with solitary confinement?
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.