Associate Professor, Dance Teacher, and Choregrapher
Full-time tenured faculty
Date of Hire: April 2007
Susan Koper cultivates her craft and artistry through her work in many different areas of dance as an Associate Professor of Dance at Ball State University. She currently teaches ballet, modern/contemporary dance, improvisation, an online dance history class, and is the faculty coordinator for the American College Dance Association (ACDA). She also has set numerous works on the department’s student dance company and guides many of the majors in their own choreographic pursuits in the Choreography Projects series.
Susan’s early career included dancing professionally with Empire State Ballet in Buffalo, New York and working with Dance Theatre North, a modern dance company based in Homer, Alaska. In 2010, she became involved with the dance theatre collaborative z3movement project and performed in festivals throughout the country including the DUMBO Dance Festival (NYC), CoolNY Dance Festival (NYC), Harvest Contemporary Dance Festival (Chicago), and RAD Fest (MI), among others. As a choreographer, Susan is captivated with process and investigating new strategies to unearth material and cultivate ideas that expand the language of dance. This attentiveness to revealing the dancing body as a way to expose memories, histories, and beauty is evident in her research in stillness and how the quiet moments add to a deeper level of understanding for both performer and audience. Her work has been presented in regional, national, and international festivals including the Florence Dance Performing Arts Festival in Florence, Italy, Echo Echo Festival of Dance and Movement in Londonderry, Ireland and at the Festival Internacional De Danza Contemporanea in Mexico City, Mexico as well as at the FERN Dance Festival (online), DUMBO Dance Festival and SoloDuo Dance Festival (NYC), RAD Fest (MI), Detroit Dance Festival (MI), Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival (Chicago), and the Flourish Dance Festival (IN).
Susan has trained extensively throughout her career with many well-known artists including Alonzo King, Bill Evans, Brenda Daniels, Ford Evans, Jesse Zarritt, and Jeffery Bullock. She also worked with Doug Varone as part of the DEVICES Choreographic Mentorship Program in 2017. Susan received her BA in American Studies from the University of Notre Dame and her MFA in Dance on partial fellowship from Hollins University/American Dance Festival. She is also a past recipient of several grants and awards in recognition of her work including the Ball State University Outstanding Creative Endeavor Award (2021), the College of Fine Arts Dean’s Creative Endeavor Award (2017), the Indiana Arts in the Park Grant (2019), the Indiana Individual Artist Grant (2017, 2005), and the ASPiRE Junior Faculty Creative Arts Grant (2018).
Susan’s professional affiliations include membership in the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) and the Dance Studies Association (DSA).