Courtney Ortiz


What are you currently working on?

Currently I am performing in the International Tour of West Side Story as a Jet Girl and the Assistant Dance Captain!

Where are you based out of?


When did you start your training?

I started dancing when I was 3, but didn’t start training seriously until I was about 8 or 9.

When did you decide you wanted to be a dancer?

I think I decided I wanted to be a dancer when I started to do well at competitions. It made me realize I was actually good at something and also something that I had a huge passion for!

What was your first professional job as a dancer?

My first professional job was when I was 18, I worked for Royal Caribbean Cruiselines.

Who were your mentors and what roles did they play in your growth as an artist?

My main mentors growing up were Shannon Torres, Shelly Masenoir-Hutchinson, and Melissa Wolfe-Rosebro. Shannon Torres taught me everything I know. She taught me every style of dance and was a very well rounded teacher in all styles. I feel I grew as a technical dancer thanks to her and she really pushed me to my highest potential at all times. She trained me VERY well and I mainly give all the credit to her for the dancer I turned out to be. I felt very prepared for the real world thanks to her training. Shelly and Melissa would always teach us the most updated and current styles, bringing the freshest choreography down to us in MD from NYC. They allowed me to grow artistically as a dancer and I learned how to express myself more through the movement as opposed to just being a competition trickster. I am grateful for all 3 of my teachers growing up.

What’s your favorite memory on stage?

My favorite memory on stage would probably have to be my first ever preview I performed for WSS before our official opening night on tour. It was just an unreal experience and amazing to see the show finally come together. Even though it wasn’t our official opening night, I got very emotional at bows when I saw how touching the show is and how grateful and honored I was to be apart of it.

What is your favorite place you have ever performed?

My favorite place has probably been Madrid, Spain with The Aluminum Show. It was such a cool city and it was my first time in Europe at the time.

What has been your greatest triumph to date?

Greatest triumph has definitely been West Side Story. I’ve been so determined to book it for the past 3 years! I’ve gotten so close so many times and didn’t want to give up. So I didn’t, and I finally went in and nailed the audition and booked the job! It was an amazing feeling when I got the call!

Do you have a pre-show ritual or superstition?

Nope not any I can think of at the moment!

What inspires you to keep going?

Auditioning really motivates me. It excites me and I love always auditioning for new shows and working with new choreographers. I really enjoy performing and love to see what is next for me, so opportunities keep me motivated to determined to push forward and hope to book it! I also feel I walk away learning something new from each audition I step foot in the door for. It is a great way to learn how to pick up choreography quickly and picking up details in the movement. I take advantage of learning from major choreographers and always walk away satisfied even if I get cut!

Where do you see yourself in 15 years? Will you still be dancing?

I doubt I will still be dancing in 15 years from now. I hope to be still judging for dance competitions, hopefully married with kids, and I have a huge desire to become a dance agent in the future!

What are your goals outside of dance?

I don’t have many goals set that aren’t dance related. I revolve my entire life around dance as my business and career. I hope to grow as a teaching artist. I love teaching master classes and workshops to students around the country. And would love to eventually give Los Angeles a try and work on TV and Commercials as a dancer. And of course would love to book a Broadway Show one day.

Do you have any advice to give to other dancers whether they are just starting or in the thick of it?

If you love it, do it. If you think you have the heart to make this a career, then go for it! It’s tough and hard work, and you have to be prepared to be let down and criticized a lot. I also wish that while I was younger I was smarter and prepared myself in other things besides dancing (singing lessons, acting lessons, etc) I’m now realizing how important that is as a dancer in NYC to be able to sing, and I wish I would have grown up training in singing as well as dancing. It’s also so important to be versatile in multiple styles of dance. Just because you like one style and nothing else isn’t going to help you much in the real world. It is just as important to train in every style then to just focus on one. I promise it will get you far! But anyway, I’m not going to lie, it is a very hard lifestyle to live being on the grind every day hoping for a big break, but when you book that job you have been dreaming up, all your hard work will have finally paid off and it will be completely worth it all. Just do what you love and follow those dreams and life will fall into place.

What music are you listening to right now?

Lana Del Rey, fun. Arcade Fire, Kimbra

List five inspirations.

My Grandfather Poppy. My parents. My Boyfriend Patrick. My Successful Friends. Life.


instagram: cortiz1
twitter: courtneyortiz
youtube: courtneyortizdance

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