The first time I saw Courtney Galiano was on the fourth season of “So You Think You Can Dance” (“SYTYCD”). She was one of my favorites from the start and I adored her and her partner, Gev Manoukian. They were the pint-sized powerhouse couple of the season. I was thrilled when Courtney made it to the final four. She had a few incredible numbers throughout the season that I still watch every once in a while, especially her jazz duet with Mark Kanemura to the song “The Garden,” choreographed by Sonya Tayeh. I’ve been even more thrilled to be able to continue to see her dance across various shows and performances since.
Since “SYTYCD,” Courtney has appeared on shows such as “Glee” and “Hit the Floor,” and the movies Stand Up Guys and Rock of Ages. Most recently, I saw her when the rest of the world saw her on Grease:Live and I kid you not, I yelled “GO COURTNEY” at my TV when she did her thing during “Greased Lightning” with Aaron Tveit. It’s an odd thing to be so proud of someone you don’t even know. I’m not a dancer, but anyone with common sense can see that it’s a tough industry to be in and even tougher to truly make it.
All of the above is part of the reason that I admire Courtney, but the reason that she’s my WCW this week is because she is a fighter. During the “SYTYCD” Season 7 tour, for which she was an All-Star, Courtney started noticing a numbness in her legs. Dancers are incredibly in tune with their bodies and she originally thought she had just pinched a nerve. After experiencing an electrical tingle in her spine when she would put her chin to her chest, she went to a doctor. The tingling turned out to be something called Lhermitte’s Sign, a spinal condition that is often associated with multiple sclerosis (MS). At the age of 23, she was diagnosed with MS.
Multiple Sclerosis is a disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and the body. It can be debilitating and is definitely a terrifying disease to face. Courtney didn’t let it stop her though. Shortly before her diagnosis, she started The BEAT Dance Tour. Since then, she has partnered her company with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society to create The BEAT MS. A portion of every BEAT event registration fee goes towards the organization.
I’m a 26 year old working professional who fangirls in her free time, and not-so-free time, over One Direction, Ed Sheeran, 5SOS, Fleetwood Mac, Marvel and DC comics, and Harry Potter along with a plethora of other fangirl worthy topics. Writing and sharing stories is my passion and I hope to make a living out of it someday. I love classic rock, new rock, classic 80’s songs that inspire bad dance moves, books and movies galore. I didn’t choose the fangirl life, the fangirl life chose me.