Adjunct Dance Instructor
Phone: (805) 565-7040
Office Location: Porter Hall
Dance Performance and Choreography
Susan Alexander was Professor of Modern Dance at the PARIS CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC AND
DANCE, (CNSMDP, 1989-2008), and for the PARIS OPERA BALLET COMPANY, 1985-2008. She
moved to France to become Assistant Director and Instructor for the modern dance company, le
Groupe de Recherche Chorégraphique de l’Opéra de Paris, 1985-1989. Prior to her living 23
years in France, she was a member of the faculty at the MERCE CUNNINGHAM Dance Studio in
New York City, from 1979-1984, and became Mr. Cunningham’s assistant for repertory
While living in New York, Ms. Alexander performed with several choreographers, including Albert
Reid and Mel Wong, while at the same time choreographing and performing a program of solo
works in collaboration with filmmaker David Robinson, entitled Moving Bodies/Moving Pictures,
for which they received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative
Artists Public Service Program in New York.
After earning B.A. degrees in Dance and English at the University of California at Santa Barbara,
and an M.A. degree in Dance at Mills College, she became Associate Professor of Dance, then
Chairperson of the Dance Department at Denison University in Granville, Ohio, and performed
and choreographed for the company DANCENTRAL in Columbus, Ohio, during this same period.
Ms. Alexander has done extensive guest teaching in France, including at the American Center in
Paris, the Centre National de Danse (CND) in Paris and Lyon, and for numerous professional
companies including those of Dominique Bagouet, Anne Teresa deKeersmaeker, Jean-Claude
Gallotta, Angelin Preljocaj, DV8 from London, and the Australian Dance Theater. She has also
been invited to teach for numerous schools and universities in Europe and the United States:
the Laban Centre and The Place in London; the Internationale Sommerakademie des Tanzes in
Köln, Germany; the University of California at Santa Barbara; and at Bard and Hunter Colleges
in New York.
Since 2008, Ms. Alexander has been living and teaching professionally in Santa Barbara, and
has been on the faculty at Westmont College since 2011. She teaches open classes for adults
throughout the year in collaboration with American Dance and Music (AD&M), and teaches
regularly at the Santa Barbara Centre for Aerial Dance, as well as for Festival Ballet, and the
former Santa Barbara Dance Alliance. Ms. Alexander returns to France twice a year as a guest
instructor at various professional and pedagogical training centers in Paris and Lyon.