In Starlight’s newest Raise Our Voices performance, Vincent Legacy Scholar Courtney Germany takes the stage for the series’ first dance piece to “I Can’t Breathe” by the artist H.E.R. Her brother suggested the song to Courtney, and she found that her feelings toward violence and police brutality filtered through every powerful and honest lyric of H.E.R.’s composition. Courtney admits that she’s a shy person, but dance makes her feel bold and expressive—and this song brought out those aspects of her personality.
Since learning about the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Elijah McClain, Courtney has spent much of her time signing petitions, calling and writing to government officials and demanding justice for their families.
“We are beyond a point of acting for our own individual gain,” Courtney said. “We are past a point of acting in a way that creates separation in the world. We must stand for and fight for each other.”
Courtney hopes that the world can become more united and that one day she will be able to perform on a stage with others and in front of an audience again. She fell in love with performing through dance when she was young and, when she won the first Vincent Legacy Scholarship in 2006, she immediately fell in love with theatre, acting and singing, too. She said she’s never loved a feeling more than when she impacts others through performance.
While the coronavirus pandemic put performing on hold, Courtney has spent the last few months learning piano, taking ballet classes via Zoom, doing yoga and, more than anything, staying safe. She remembers the Vincent Legacy Scholarship theme to “be extraordinary” when pursuing a performance career.
“You have to be disciplined, committed and consistent,” Courtney said. “The work is hard and challenges you to be transparent and vulnerable. It’s not for the faint of heart—but if you have the passion for it, you realize it’s worth it when your love for the craft and the feeling you get when you master a skill or perform in a show shines bigger than any ‘no’ you’ve ever received.”
For Courtney, her Vincent Legacy Scholarship experience came full circle in 2018 when she performed professionally as Cindy Watkins and served as the Dance Captain in Starlight’s self-produced Hairspray. Why? Because in 2006, she received her scholarship on the same stage before the national touring production of Hairspray went on at Starlight.
Now, Courtney works full time (and recently received a promotion!) in Kansas City while continuing her training. She hopes to perform on tour and Broadway one day.
“I am on this planet to serve God, to learn from and impact others,” Courtney said. “I'm grounded in love, intentionality, connection, empowerment, inspiration, creativity, seeking knowledge/wisdom, teaching, and leading. Those are all very common themes in my life no matter where I am, who I'm interacting with, or what I'm doing. My heart is drawn to something or someone and the rest just happens.”
Courtney, we’re thankful to have you as part of the Starlight family, and we can’t wait to see what’s in store for you next!