Courtney Branscum is a recent Summa Cum Laude graduate from Sam Houston State University. She received her BFA in Dance in December of 2016. While there, she studied ballet, modern, jazz, social dancing, choreography, pedagogy, and dance history. She achieved the Dean’s List every semester, as well as the President’s List for 4 semesters. During her time in the Dance program, she has had several performance and production opportunities. Performances include ROYGBIV (graduate concert), various Senior Studio productions, and Spectrum (faculty concert.) Her production credits include Stage Manager for Spectrum in Fall of 2015, as well as Costume Production Assistant for Spring 2015, where she was awarded the Spectrum Costume Award for Excellence in Crew. Courtney has also helped to produce an evening-length production, where her piece, titled “spoon-fed” was featured.
Although Courtney does enjoy dance performance, her true passion lies in spreading her love of dance to younger generations. She has been teaching dance since she was in 5th grade, beginning at the Permian Playhouse and then the West Texas Music Academy. She was also a featured teacher at the Texas Non-Profit Theater conference. Courtney was a member of the Panther Paws Dance Team of Permian High School for two years. Her sophomore year, the team received both State and National Championships, and she was voted “Most Valuable Sophomore.” She received this award again her senior year while receiving other awards such as Academic Hall of Fame and being ranked #10 in her graduating class. Since her high school graduation, Courtney has choreographed several solos for the Panther Paws, as well as taught classes for the Junior Varsity and Varsity teams during the summers.
Courtney believes that dance not only challenges the body, but tests the mind in several different ways. Dance yields to expressiveness, creativity, and critical thinking, and can bring even the most shy of students out of their shell. As a dance educator, she hopes to share her passion for dance with students and allow them the freedom to explore what dance can offer them physically, mentally and emotionally. Courtney believes that we can honor the Lord with our dancing, and that he is well pleased with His children using their talents and abilities to glorify Him.