Heather Cooper

SJSU Spartan LogoHeather Cooper
Associate Professor; Modern Dance
WSQ 104


Heather Cooper graduated with a BA in dance from The University of California, Santa Barbara in 1993 and received an MA in dance from California State University, Long Beach in August 2008. The emphasis is in dance education with courses in dance technique, choreography, production, dance history, costuming, and kinesiology.

Ms. Cooper’s professional performing career began in 1993 in New York, where she worked with various contemporary choreographers, including JoAnna Mendel-Shaw, Sensedance, and Kim T Davis Dance. From 1993-1995, she also apprenticed and performed with Muller/The Works.

In 1998, Ms. Cooper opened Adage School of Performing Arts, a dance training school in Milpitas, California. She taught ballet, modern, jazz, and choreography to students of all ages and levels. As Artistic and Executive Director, Ms. Cooper managed the administrative, financial, educational, and artistic endeavors of the school. She c0-directed the pre-professional company in residence, The Adage Repertory Company, members of which experienced performing and educational opportunities that prepared them for university studies and professional dance careers. Ms. Cooper’s choreographic works for this company were performed throughout California.

In addition to her work with The Adage School of Performing Arts and The Adage Repertory Company, Ms. Cooper was a founding member of Kim T Davis Dance, a professional modern dance company. As a company member, Ms. Cooper has performed in cities such as San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Modesto, and San José.

In fall of 2003, Ms. Cooper began teaching at San José State. She has taught various levels of ballet and modern, as well as dance production. Ms. Cooper has also directed the advanced student choreography concert. She has choreographed for the University Dance Theater, setting four premieres for the company. She has also choreographed solo works for graduating seniors, and served on the Senior Seminar Committee. Ms. Cooper has taught for the incoming dance major auditions and for the high school recruitment festival. In addition to her teaching contributions, Ms. Cooper has worked as the lighting designer and stage manager for the student concerts and guest professional concerts.

Ms. Cooper is a current member of sjDANCEco, the professional modern dance company in residence at San José State University. She has choreographed four pieces for the company, and has had the pleasure of performing works by Gary Masters, Mary Basile, Jeanine Charles, and, during this season, José Limon.

Ms. Cooper has also worked with Teen Dance Company, of Mountain View, California. She has worked as a guest choreographer, faculty member and, for the 2005/2006 season, Artistic Director. She currently teaches classes in contemporary technique, and choreographs for Teen Dance Company’s spring concerts.

In 2006, Ms. Cooper began teaching at West Valley College. She teaches beginning and intermediate ballet.

Ms. Cooper’s other professional experiences include teaching at The American College Dance Festival, choreographing for Modesto Junior College, and teaching and choreographing for Western Ballet.