Welcome to The Dance Academy!
CELEBRATING OVER 30 YEARS OF DANCE EDUCATION
At The Dance Academy, we are passionate about dance and providing the highest quality dance education in Fremont County. Our certified instructors offer excellent and extensive training in ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, contemporary, tumbling, and hip hop for boys and girls of all ages. We believe that dance is not only a physical activity, but also an art form that requires discipline, dedication, and creativity. Our goal is to instill a love of dance in our students and help them develop the skills they need to reach their full potential.
Meet The Team
Susan Cooper is the daughter of the late Samuel & Barbara Applegate of Tulare, California. Susan started dance in Tulare, California at the age of 4. With her fabulous ballet, tap, jazz, acrobatics and modern teachers, she became a principal dancer in the dance company Blankenship & Company in California at the age of 15! She then danced professionally for Pepsi Cola at age 17 and was in commercials. She was the California State Tap Champion, the California State Reserve Jazz Champion and the California State Reserve Ballet Champion at the age of 18. Susan was also selected to attend the New York City Fred Astaire dance showcase that same year.
She has trained under inspiring dance teachers such as Susan Pallas, Gus Giordano, David Howard, Kaye Migaki, Evelene Solerie and Deanna Scott, just to name a few. She was a gymnast for 8 years under the instruction of David Demanti, and competed at high levels across California where she placed in the top 3 many times and won the all-around average numerous times.
Susan then moved to Wyoming at the age of 18 and attended the University of Wyoming on a full tuition scholarship and majored in the Dance Department. She was instructed by Marsha Faye Knight, Pat Tate and Margaret Stalder. She was honored with the lead of Peter in the ballet Peter and the Wolf at her first ballet audition for the University of Wyoming.
Susan has an Associates of Arts Degree in Business Management from CWC and is certified by Dance Educators of America. She holds certification in first aide, as well. She has owned, directed, and taught dance at The Dance Academy for 26 years. Some of her students have gone on to be taken into prestigious professional ballet companies in Colorado, Oregon, and California.
Susan was also the head coach for the LVHS Dance Team for 11 years. In those 11 years as coach, Susan has lead the team to 10 State Championships. The LVHS Dance Team h won 6 consecutive years in a row. Several of those years, her team took both the Jazz and Hip hop state titles. Of those 10 champion ships, 9 were won in a row.
Susan is committed to teaching students the correct technique in a safe and fun learning environment! In addition she teaches discipline, dedication and hard work which are life lessons needed to succeed in life. She loves all of her students and wants them to succeed in dance. Dance has been her love ever since she was a child and she wants her passion towards dance to inspire her students. She hopes they will grow to love the beautiful art of dance just as much as she does.
Kitri Cooper was born and raised in Lander. Kitri started dancing at the age of 3 under the dance education and direction of Susan Cooper at The Dance Academy. Ever since her first class she took, she was in love with dance.
Kitri has been extensively trained in ballet, tap, jazz, modern/contemporary, clogging and hip-hop. Kitri has competed in all dance forms for 16 years and was the Miss Teen Spotlight in 2009. She has received numerous Judge's Choice awards for outstanding lines, emotions, pose and performance qualities. Kitri was also a part of the LVHS Dance Team from 2008-2012. She was the Captain her junior and senior year and won 2 State Championships as a member of the team. In addition to dance Kitri is trained in classical voice and opera by Luann Bakke, John Walker and Judy Rodman.
Kitri attended the University of Wyoming as a dance major, in their dance and theater department in the Pre-professional program. While at the University, she trained under teachers from San Francisco Ballet, New York City Ballet, Ballet West and Julliard School of Arts. She has been trained in the Vaganova, Cecchetti and American ballet techniques. Kitri has 20+years of dance instruction/experience In the summer of 2014, Kitri became a certified dance teacher through the courses and exams of Dance Educators of America at UNLV. Kitri is also a licensed CNA and holds certifications in CPR and First Aide.
Kitri has choreographed many pieces for The Dance Academy and the Lander Valley High School Dance Team and several students throughout the region. Kitri is a sought out choreographer throughout the region. Her choreography has won several awards and has won dancers several awards in the top 10, best technique, and many more. She herself has won several overall awards. Her latest was in 2015 for Overall highest Adult routine at Spotlight Dance Cup. Her most recent choreography achievement was a hip-hop routine performed by the Lander Valley Dance Team which received the State Champion title for the 2019 Wyoming State High School Spirit Championship. She was assistant coach for the LVHS Dance Team alongside Susan Cooper for 7 years.
Kitri also ahs a huge love for Olympic Weight Lifting and CrossFit. When she is not dancing at the studio, she is personal training at Anytime Fitness. Because her love for lifting and CrossFit had grown so much, she became a CrossFit level 1 Trainer in the summer of 2018. She is constantly expanding her passion for physical health and well-being.
She is very excited to teach the children of Fremont County her knowledge, understanding and love for dance.