Jesse J. Cooper was born and raised in Iola, Kansas. At the age of seven, he started his dance training at South Street Dance Company. Jesse spent a total of 14 years at South Street where he went from dancer, to teacher, to co director. He later joined American Youth Ballet for two seasons where he performed such rolls as; Prince Desire in Sleeping Beauty, Russian in The Nutcracker, as well as a soloist and featured dancer in Kristopher Estes-Brown’s Bach: The Cello Suits and Encuentro, and was a featured dancer in Paula Webber’s Variations with Episodes. He then spent one season dancing in Ballet Austin where was able to perform in Thang Dao’s Quiet Imprint, Jennifer Hart’s Four Seasons and Peter from Stephen Mills’s Peter and the Wolf. After that time, he spent a season with Dayton Ballet under the Artistic Direction of Dermot Burke. During his time with Dayton Ballet, he performed Karen Russo Burke’s Frankenstein, Jeffrey Graham Hughes’s Casanova, Dermot Burke’s The Nutcracker, Karen Russo Burke’s A Street Car Named Desire, and Stephen Mills’s Five Flights Up.
Jesse is currently Artistic Director of Kansas Youth Dance Company and owner of Cooper Studios Dance Center. In between teaching with Dupree Dance as well as teaching and choreographing for studios around the country, he also spends time guest teaching with American Youth Ballet where he just finished performing in Swan Lake.
Jesse’s talent and passion for dance is paralleled by his dynamic and inspiring approach in the classroom.