faculty

Susan Alexander

Adjunct Dance Instructor
(805) 565-7040

Office Location

Porter Hall

Office Available

By appointment

Specialization(s)

Dance Performance and Choreography

Biography/Details

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 workshops.

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.