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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Jets Flight Crew Spotlight: Courtney 

Posted by Sasha at 8:09 PM ET

Broadway Beckons, but First Things First
By Eric Allen
Senior Managing Editor
NewYorkJets.com

Courtney is always moving her feet. Before she turned 3, she told her mother she wanted to dance. So it’s probably not a shock that she is still dancing today for the New York Jets Flight Crew and is also set to perform off-Broadway in January.

“I am dancing in a jazz ballet in the city,” she said. “It is set to music by Prince, so it’s really cool. It’s kind of like 'Movin’ Out,' but instead of Billy Joel, it’s Prince’s music.”

When Flight Crew choreographer Denise Garvey was assembling a list for a closed tryout in June, she thought of Courtney. Garvey had taught cheer-dance at Courtney’s high school for two summers.

“I was pleasantly surprised to get the call. I hadn’t been on a dance team in a while,” Courtney said. “I had done a lot of ballet and modern dance at college as well as hip-hop, but I hadn’t danced for a sport team.”

The setting at the Meadowlands is far different than the look of an off-Broadway production. Courtney is still performing but the venue is different.

“It’s a big adrenaline rush and it definitely took a little bit getting used to,” she said. “It’s funny because there are so many people — it’s almost as if they’re all anonymous because you can’t see many faces. It’s a different feeling than an intimate setting where you can see faces.”

Courtney also sees plenty of faces working as a DJ dancer on Long Island. In a nutshell, she jump-starts parties.

“At a big bar mitzvah or Sweet 16s or sometimes at weddings, the DJ will bring dancers with them, usually like 4 or 5. We just basically get the crowd going,” she said. “We dance for people to follow us, like with 'Cotton Eye Joe' and 'YMCA'.”

A Skidmore College alum, Courtney majored in psychology and dance and graduated magna cum laude. She wrote her thesis on eating disorders in the dance world.

“I have a lot of friends who struggle with body and self-concept issues,” she said. “It’s a big problem in the dance world because there’s a lot of focus on image and being thin.”

While at Skidmore, she also was a member of the Cabaret Troupe. Founded as a musical theater group in 1987, the Troupe was designed to perform two full-length musicals a year.

“It was really fun. I was in 'Once Upon a Mattress' as a dancer,” she said. “It’s a story of the Princess and the Pea. It’s a parody of it and it’s comedic.”

She knows there are times to be serious and times to have fun. Courtney and her best friend were big fans of the hit comedy 'Seinfeld' and have begun to write a sitcom script of their own.

“Ever since Seinfeld has gone off the air, we’ve really missed it. So we tried to write our own for like the next generation,” she said. “We haven’t shown it to anybody yet. It's not on the front burner right now because I’m trying to do my dance career.”

The concept is an interesting one.

“The characters are loosely based on ourselves. There are other characters as well. It’s very Seinfeldish,” she said. “There will be a lot of incorporation of Facebook and things like that.”

Courtney’s regular fall lineup has changed this year. She now rehearses with the Flight Crew instead of taking Cardio Jam hip-hop classes at New York Sports Club.

“It’s basically like a hip-hop class but it's cardio so you don’t stop dancing at all. My sister and I like to go and we get really competitive,” she said. “It’s really funny. I’ve actually had to stop because it’s on Wednesday nights.”

Courtney’s dancing career doesn’t have a stop in sight. The goal is Broadway and those feet won’t rest until she’s there.

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