Leaping into her Dreams

Courtney Celeste Spears, a dancer with Alvin Ailey, brings us into her life in the company

Courtney photographed by Alida Rose Delaney at The Park in New York City.

Courtney photographed by Alida Rose Delaney at The Park in New York City.

 
 

Harlem-based Bahamian/American dancer, Courtney Celeste Spears, is a member of Ailey II, an extension of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and a graduate of Fordham University. In 2015, Spears was awarded the Princess Grace Scholarship. 

Mr. Ailey created an artistic platform to celebrate people of color. He created a platform to share our history and to share what came before us. Being a part of a company that has the privilege of keeping his legacy alive is an honor, and being able to dance his ballets makes me feel part of something so much bigger than myself, which is so important.

Photo by Kyle Forman

Photo by Kyle Forman

I'll never forget the first time I performed Revelations. It was in Bari, Italy, which also happened to be my very first tour and performance with Ailey II ever. The feeling that was going through my body was unreal. I'd seen that ballet so many times performed by the first company, and now that it was my turn, all I could do was be thankful. I'd never felt more at home than that moment. 

As a woman, I think we are the most powerful creatures on earth. We endure so much, but we are still able to look poised, elegant, and stoic through so many walks of life. I think dance is a beautiful celebration of the woman's body, a woman's body of all shapes and sizes. Dance allows us to channel all aspects of ourselves. I can be fierce, or sassy, or sensual, or sexy, or subdued. 

I dream to continue inspiring and giving back to the world in a way that thrives long after I leave this earth. Maybe start a dance school or a foundation. Whatever is meant to be will be. But I'm faithful. —Courtney Celeste Spears ★