Courtney Carey is a young woman of many talents but dancing has always been a special avocation for her.
She was a four-year varsity cheerleader and a member of the dance team at St. Mary’s High School in Lynn where she helped lead the teams to several championships. An honor roll student and a Class of 2011 graduate of St. Mary’s, she is majoring in Biology and on the pre-medical tract at Saint Joseph’s College in Maine.
Carey began taking dance lessons at Nicole Zervas Dance Academy in Revere at the age of three.
“My mother [Christina Carey] took me to dance lessons and I’ve always loved it,” said Carey.
She became a cheerleader in the Revere Pop Warner organization and for five seasons she furthered her skills in the sport, setting the foundation for her success at the high school level.
In eighth grade she took her increasing dancing abilities to Beat ConnXtionz dance school in Saugus, where she trained for five years under the tutelage of Candice Borden. She became a teacher at the school and still returns to help out students.
Despite her busy schedule as a youth, Carey maintained a strong commitment to community service through St. Anthony’s Church in Revere. She traveled to the Dominican Republic on two separate missions to help out disadvantaged people in that Caribbean nation.
Today the 20-year-old Carey is reaffirming her zest for dancing and the dramatic arts as the vice president of the Saint Joseph’s College dance team. And just as in high school, Carey is again leading her team to championships, helping the Saint Joseph Monks team attain platinum level medal-winning status in collegiate competitions in Maine and Massachusetts.
The Saint Joseph’s team will be traveling to Disney World in Orlando in March, having been invited to perform in a major show on stage inside the Magic Kingdom.
“I’m excited about our performance at Disney World,” said Carey. “There will be big crowds but I know we’re ready for it. I think it will be a great experience. I haven’t been to Disney since I was little so I’m looking forward to going there.”
She is enjoying all aspects of her college experience and happy with the choice of school. “The second I stepped on the Saint Joseph’s campus, I felt like I was home and I felt comfortable,” said Carey. “I had a great freshman year and things are going very well this year.”
Carey still holds fond memories of her earliest days in dance at Nicole Zervas and her cheerleading career at St. Mary’s High School where her coach was Beverly Richards Buckley, a dance instructor and owner of a dance studio in East Boston.
She is grateful to Buckley for inspiring her and stressing dedication and teamwork in the St. Mary’s cheerleading program.
“Mrs. Buckley was like a mother figure to me,” said Carey. “She guided me through high school and helped me advance in dance and cheering,” said Carey. “All my teachers were so helpful at St. Mary’s. Mr. [Carl] DiMaiti is a phenomenal principal.”
Carey makes it clear that she believes cheerleading is a sport and cheerleaders themselves are very good and well-conditioned athletes.
“Cheerleading is definitely a team sport and you have to work together,” said Carey. “Squads put in a lot of work and preparation to be successful at it. You need determination and ambition to win and cheerleaders work hard and practice a lot.”
Carey said her goal right now is to be a doctor but dancing will always have a special place in her life. “If I have daughters one day, I hope they’ll want to take dancing lessons. Dancing has molded me in to the person I am today. If it weren’t for dance, I wouldn’t be as outgoing or have the confidence I do in interacting with others. Dancing has even helped my posture.”
Through all her experiences in dancing, cheerleading, and academics, Carey said her parents, Michael and Christina, and older sister, Catherine, have provided encouragement.
“My father got me involved in sports like the Revere Girls Basketball League and supported me in everything I did,” said Carey. “My mother has been supportive of all my endeavors and activities. And my sister paved the road for me and helped me pick my direction in life and I put all my trust in her. She hasn’t let me down.”
Carey is rightfully proud of her family’s legacy in Revere. Her great-grandfather, Raymond Carey, was mayor of Revere. Her grandfather, Paul Carey, was the owner of the General Edwards Inn. And her great-grandfather’s brother, Ray Carey, was one of the founders of Kelly’s Roast Beef where the roast beef sandwich was born.