Born in Denver, Colorado, Mr. Cooper currently living in San Francisco. However having spent a considerable amount of time growing up in NYC and the Bay Area, he considers himself a native of both coasts. Over his carrer he danced with two major companies, San Francisco Ballet and Dance Theatre of Harlem, with the latter with whom he was a principal dancer with for 9 years. His travels touring with these companies have taken him all over the world.
Mr. Cooper started dancing at the age of five, when he began taking ballet classes at Richard Thomas’ New York School of Ballet. At the age of 13 Mr. Cooper received a full scholarship to train at the San Francisco Ballet School. He soon became a recipient of the Robert Kirby Scholarship, as well as the first to receive the Lew Christensen Scholarship for best male dancer. In 1989, bypassing the obligatory apprentice year, he was made a full company member.
During his time with San Francisco Ballet, Mr. Cooper danced a wide range of the repertoire. During Mr. Cooper’s nine years dancing with Dance Theatre of Harlem as a Principal dancer, he danced leading roles in such ballets as Balanchine’s Apollo, Prodigal Son, Agon, Allegro Brillante and Stars & Stripes; Albrecht in Giselle; Robbins’ Fancy Free; Ashton’s Thais pas de deux; Glenn Tetley’s Sphinx & Dialogues; Smuin’s A Song For Dead Warriors and St. Louis Blues and many others.
Notable guest appearances have included being invited to dance lead in Stars and Stripes for New York City Ballet’s Balanchine Centennial Celebration, playing the part of Apollo in Central Park’s Summer Stage Balanchine Centennial Tribute; Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Ashton & Balanchine Gala; in the Miami International Dance Festival, Washington Ballet’s Giselle, Dance Brazil’s Festival in Bahia, Brazil, Rebecca Kelly Ballet’s 25 Anniversary, and with Dances Patrelle he has danced the lead in Mr. Patrelle’s Macbeth, as well as dancing in his “POP” & Ms. Meredith’s “Pair of Jacks pas de deux”; Lexington Ballets Fabric of Dance Galas 2 &3, Ballet Virginia International,Virginia Ballet Theatre, Ballet NY, Configuration Dance, Lexington Ballet and many others.
In March of 2007 Mr. Cooper created his first one act, full-length contemporary ballet for Virginia Ballet Theatre, an homage to the 1960’s spy film genre called, Mr. Evil and The Forever Diamond. Most recently in 2010, Mr. Cooper was invited to choreograph a 37 min. full-length contemporary ballet work called, Universal Residue for Lexington Ballet. In 2011, Mr.Cooper was also invited by new Dance Theatre of Harlem director Virginia Johnson, to be a part of their Harlem Works 2.0 Series, where he danced a new pas de deux choreographed by Darrell Grand Moultre called “Believe”, created on him and former Broadway & ABT great Ashley Tuttle.
Until 2007, Mr. Cooper was also involved in and part creator of a National Outreach Program for kids at risk, called Athletes For Kids (AFK), involving professional dancers and star professional athletes. Although most of his time and attention is now focused on teaching, mentoring & choregraphing, Mr. Cooper continues to dance as a freelance dancer on various dance projects and galas nationally and internationally. He also continues to be apart of the Lines Ballet School teaching staff & New York City Dance Alliance. Currently he is also co-creator & Director of a new national summer program called Modas Dance Summer Program