Courtney Ortiz, a native of, Baltimore, MD, is a 2007 YoungARTS
award winner. Her professional dance and teaching career has allowed her to travel the world performing in places such as: Dubai, Canada, Mexico, Spain, Germany, Australia, and France. Her career spans from stage to screen with credits including Company Member with The Chase Brock Experience, Choreographer and Dancer on Youtube’s hit web series "The Key of Awesome", Backup Dancer for PSY and Chris Brown on "The Today Show", Dancer for Heidi Klum on E! Network, and The Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring The Rockettes. One of her favorite and most memorable credits was performing throughout Europe on the International Tour
of the classic musical West Side Story.
Most recently, Courtney performed in the 1st National Tour of Finding Neverland, Lin Manuel Miranda’s In The Heights, and the first-ever revival in 30 years of Jerome Robbins’ Broadway at The Muny’s 100th Season in St. Louis, MO! You can also catch Courtney’s feet tap dancing in the hit FX series, “Fosse/Verdon”, where she was the dance double for Young Bob Fosse! Outside of performing, she has been a dance educator and adjudicator for over 10 years. She has worked for numerous dance conventions and is a current faculty member with REVEL Dance Convention where she teaches Jazz and Broadway Jazz since their very first season. Courtney is also the proud owner of Impact Dance Adjudicators and the host of their dance podcast "Making The Impact - A Dance Competition Podcast." Follow her on Instagram! @courtney.ortiz
Mackenzie Simons is a dancer and choreographer currently based in NYC. In 2020 she graduated Summa Cum Laude’ from East Carolina University with a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography. Mackenzie has trained at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire in London under the direction of Hofesh Shechter and performed the works of Mary Grace McNally, Emily Greenwell, and Alexa Luke. She has taught and judged conventions, competitions, and intensives across the East Coast. Mackenzie currently freelances in New York City and recently choreographed work for “Fuze” and Bridge for Dance’s “Uptown Rising” and performed in Sybarite, Arts On Site’s “Performance Party” and Brickhouse’s “Openhouse.”
Troy Haywood is a choreographer and educator born, raised and based in Charlotte, NC. At an early age, Troy discovered his passion for performing through musical theater but didn't begin formal dance training until 2004. Immediately being involved in a competitive company, Troy dedicated his life to dance and began training over 40 hours a week which led him to thrive at competitions all across the United States. Throughout his competitive years he was seen and adjudicated by some of the world’s greatest teachers and choreographers and won many honors at competitions and conventions across the country.
After graduating high-school Troy moved to Miami, Florida and began working full time as a dancer and aerialist for Royal Caribbean International. While he was not performing on the largest ships in the world, he began experimenting and establishing his own teaching style. Directing and performing in independent music videos and company shows, teaching at regional and national competitions and conventions, and meeting and working with other artists led Troy to fall deeply in love with a different side of dance: creating. Upon moving back home to Charlotte in 2011, Troy dedicated his career solely to educating the next generation of movers and his dynamic teaching style and choreography has traveled him to all the major hubs in the nation.
As Troy began taking a step away from performing, he quickly became engaged in a newfound passion: Yoga. Immediately hooked after his first class, Troy adapted a consistent practice as the foundation for his daily life. In the spring of 2018, Troy completed his yoga certification and That summer, on his 30th birthday, he began writing a new chapter in his life in Los Angeles. He quickly signed with Movement Talent Agency and became a dancer by day and a yoga instructor by night. Over the next three years Troy dove head first into the commercial dance industry and loved learning from a very new perspective. Although Troy now spends most of his time creating on the east coast, he makes his way out west at least once a quarter. He is eager to stay involved in and inspired by the commercial dance industry in Los Angeles and loves bringing this passion back to the east coast.
For over a decade, Troy's work has gone on to be seen and awarded on competitive stages, the big and small screen, and some of the hottest venues all over the United States. He is honored and humbled to have the ability to remain hands on with competitive and professional dancers while also pursuing his love of performing. His goals are to continue educating children, teenagers, and adults alike in as many capacities as possible.
Michael McCrary is a director/choreographer and educator based out of New York City. Michael had an expansive career as a performer but post pandemic has stepped unto the other side of the table. Currently he is choreographing SHOOTING STAR - a brand new Off Broadway musical. He recently choreographed 6 shows for MSC cruise lines and 5 shows for Iberostar Resorts, which can be seen all around the world. Previous choreography credits: Mariah Carey at the Beacon (Assistant Choreographer), THE PRODUCERS, INTO THE WOODS, ELF, FALSETTOS, SHREK, and HEAD OVER HEELS. Michael is on faculty at ENDLESS TALENT dance convention and STAR TALENT PRODUCTIONS. He is the proud owner of VIBE in Greenville, SC offering empowering dance classes for all levels. Michael has danced for Todrick Hall, SHREK (Broadway/International Tour), Disney Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Spirit Productions, and multiple regional theatres across the country. Proud AEA member. Follow: Instagram @michaelmccraryb