MC Dance & Company

Quality Dance Instruction

Staff

Courtney Benavidez

Owner & Director of MC Dance & Company

Courtney has been practicing dance for more than 31 years. Originally from Marine City, Michigan, Courtney began her dance training at age two at Bev’s dance Studio, under the direction or Ms. Beverly Babcock. There, she intensively trained in ballet through the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD), a UK-based examination board specializing in dance education and training with an emphasis on classical ballet. Under RAD, Courtney completed dance examinations level Pre-Primary through Grade 8 earing ‘Distinction Levels’. Courtney also trained in jazz, tap, character, and modern dance genres while at Bev’s. She performed as the main character and soloist in many dance recitals. In 1993, she was invited to perform in the premier All American Halftime Show at the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida. In 2004, Courtney started and led her high school’s first dance team, The Sirens. After her proposal to the School Board, the dance team performed at holiday showcases and school pep rallies. Courtney’s passion for dance led her to her first job at Bev’s Dance Studio at the age of 16 where she taught ballet, tap, and jazz.

Courtney attended Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, where she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance. Courtney entered the university as a President’s Scholarship Recipient that she maintained throughout her entirety of college. She was on the Dean’s List each semester and graduated with Cum Laude credentials. During college, Courtney performed with the Oakland Dance Theatre as a freshman and the Oakland University Repertory Dance Company from sophomore year to her senior year where she earned the title of President. Courtney also earned the Jacob Decker Dance Award for ‘Outstanding Dance Perfromance’ as a senior.

After college, Courtney was a Professional Dancer for the Mack Avenue Dance Company in Traverse City, Michigan and Michigan Dance Collective in Detroit, Michigan. She also performed with Eisenhower Dance Ensemble based out of Auburn Hills, Michigan. She has performed works of professional dancers, choreographers, and instructors including; Lori Belilove, Alexandra Bellar, Kristen Berger, Lori Eisenhower, Michael Foley, Jon Lehrer, Mariah Malec, KT Niehoff, Shane O’Hara, Gregory Patterson, Rob Schultz, and Ginger Thatcher.

Courtney continued her career as a Dance Instructor at Bella Dance Studio in Clarkston, Michigan, Eisenhower Dance Ensemble in Birmingham, Michigan which was built under the foundation of professional dance company Eisenhower Dance Ensemble, and Milford Dance Academy in Milford, Michigan. While at Milford Dance Academy, Courtney was one of three directors for the StarLine Dance Company which won numerous first place titles at local and national competitions.

In 2010, Courtney became the Director of Dance at James Pace Early College High School in Brownsville, Texas, where she taught high school level ballet, tap, jazz, modern, contemporary, world dance, and dance history. She was the Artistic Director of the Pacers Dance Team. During her seven-year tenure as the high school’s Artistic Director, the team earned six Level One Ratings at their dance contests. Courtney trained and choreographed the dance team to their first competition with Showtime International, where they earned the titles of ‘Best In Jazz’, ‘Best In Modern’, ‘Winner’s Circle’, and ‘Judges Award’. Courtney was also Pace Early College High School’s Varsity Cheer Coach and Director of the school’s Ballroom Dance Team, where she trained under the Fred Astaire Ballroom Dance Curriculum. With both titles, Courtney led her team to multiple awards at prestigious competitions.

Courtney has dreamt of owning her own dance studio since she was a little girl and aspires to share her passion of dance with others. Courtney is thrilled to be continuing her career in dance in Marine City.

Renette Dickinson

Office Manager & Coach

Certified: 

-Hypnotherapist and Mental Training Coach

-Healing Touch Practitioner

-Yoga Instructor

-Veterinary Technician

-Canine Fitness Trainer

-Healing Touch for Animals Practitioner

Experiences:

-Martial Art School Owner/Operator (15+ years)

-Fitness and Sport Conditioning Coach

-MMA Fight Team Coach

-Mental Training Coach: Individuals/Teams/Small Groups

-Veterinary Technician (5 years)

-Canine Rehab Therapy Technician 

*Training in/Teaching of various other modalities related to health and wellness for people and pets.


Renette is eager to be a part of Marine City Dance & Company where she will offer the following: Classes, Sessions and Workshops for: Kids, Adults, General Public, and Student Exclusives!


Diane Geck

Instructor & Founder of Marine City Dance Company

Mrs. Geck's studies include Russian Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Modern, Creative Movement, Swing, Spanish, Ballroom Dancing, Christian Ministry and Baby Ballet. By audition only, Diane was accepted and joined the "Detroit Severo Ballet Company" in 1957 and excelled as one of the principal dancers in the company where she traveled throughout the US performing. She also taught with this company for three years and furthered her career studies with the "New York City Ballet", Joffrey Ballet.  

In 1972 "Diane's School of Dance" was opened in Detroit, then relocated to Anchorville in 1981. She then moved to Marine City and opened, "Marine City Dance Company". Presently Diane continues her dance studies at Marygrove College, Oakland University, and various dance conventions throughout the U.S. She has four married sons and 23 beautiful grandchildren & five great Grandchildren

Gwen Gilbert

Instructor

Miss Gwen, began her studies at MC Dance Company. She furthered her dance education at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. She was awarded a BFA in dance and graduated cum laude. She performed lead roles and was principal dancer in college where she performed modern, lyrical, and jazz. She was a principal ballet dancer in the international ballet company. Gwen was also a dancer for the semi pro Port Huron hockey team called the "Ice Hawks."

Ryan Wong

Assistant Artistic Director

From Malaysia, Ryan looks to make his way into the entertainment industry while bringing his love and passion for dance to every student he meets. Specializing in Street Style choreography, Ryan has worked with dancers from Malaysia, Korea, Norway, USA, and Taiwan. in 2016 Ryan was the semi-finalist in Malaysia's biggest televised street dance competition "Astro Battleground". Ryan is a recent graduate of Mesiah University with a BA in Dance and minor in Theatre.