Courtney Garcia was just 4 years old when she boogied into the dance world. She began her dance career in 2002, only teaching a few recreational classes a week. As she continued teaching year after year, though, her love for dance and the empowerment it provides to the dancers grew so much that now she teaches over 20 different classes. Courtney doesn’t stop there, however; she takes on workshops galore, and makes guest appearances at camps and organizations all over the suburbs in her community.
She has now found herself in the role of Instructor and Children’s Dance Coordinator at Integrity School of Dance, and says it gives her the opportunity to “share my passion for dance and life every chance I get.” Courtney not only shares her passion with those in the classroom, but reaches out to both children and adults with special needs.
She works with the Northern Illinois Special Recreation Association regularly, and enjoys working with organizations that have meaning. When Courtney heard about Ian Hockley’s organization, Dylan’s Wings for Change, and their program Wingman for Dance, she felt inspired and knew she just had to equip herself with the tools to reach even more individuals. Double Good hosted a Wingman certification course, and of course Courtney attended. “Their lessons on empathy were the most helpful,” Courtney stated, “I love all of the activities and games that are part of the Wingman program and use them in all of my classes on a regular basis.”
Courtney uses her experience in the classroom and with Wingman to encourage her students to be themselves. She allows for a flexible curriculum in her classroom and takes the time to work with her students individually on their strengths and weaknesses. “By building relationships with my students, their families, my co-workers/assistants, a healthy atmosphere is created… which creates happy dancers,” Courtney said. When asked what advice she has for others who may want to pursue a similar path she enthusiastically recommends “Go for it! It will change your perspective on life and teaching.”
If you are interested in learning more about the Wingman program, and how you can become certified, visit wingmanfordance.org. When you order popcorn, use code WINGMAN and 50% of your purchase will help them further their mission and certify more teachers around the globe.