Charlottesville Ballet’s Monthly “MEET THE ARTIST”- TYRONE COOPER

Name: Ty (short for Tyrone) Cooper
Age: 25
Astrological Sign: Pisces II
Hometown: Newport News, VA
Role in C’ville Ballet: Rehearsal Director, Dancer
Food: Dumplings form Marco and Luca
Color: Blue
Book:  The Looking Glass Wars
Movie: Hocus Pocus
Quotation: “Dance like nobody’s watching”
Spot in C’ville: The waterfall at Sugar Hollow
Business/Store in C’ville:  O’ Suzannahs ( its where all things cute go to retire– great store!), Antics, SPCA Rummage, Escafe


Tells us about your dance background and training:

I went to a performing arts high school in Newport News, VA. It wasn’t quite the “fame” situation, however public school dance instruction provided the foundation of my training.  I was a trainee with the Richmond Ballet and also studied dance at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond, VA.

What genres of dance do you enjoy? You name it, I love it. I find a ton of value in variety!

What kind of pointe shoe do you wear?
Haha. I don’t spend very much time en pointe but do love the training. I am currently wearing Bloch Serenades. My flat shoe of choice is the Sansha Prince 2C with a 3/4 sole!
Do you have a favorite ballet?
I have two favorite ballets and I could watch them over and over– “Etudes” By Harold Lander, 1948 and ” The Upper Room” By Twyla Tharp, 1986
Tell us, why do you dance?
At one point in my life, it was simply because I was intoxicated by my own love of the art form. Admittedly dance is my greatest love, and I hope we can grow terribly old together.  However it was a falling out with dance that lead me to love it the way I do now.  A few years ago, I moved to the Durham area of North Carolina. I wanted to be done with dance and finish college.  I found a job working at the Duke University Hospital as a patient transporter. (For those of you who aren’t familiar with Duke Hospital– the place is huge!  They have their own train service between wings!) My primary obligation was to get patients from one place in the hospital to another, whether it be dialysis or transplant surgery, and I learned a lot from  these people during our short journeys.  I realized that many of these patients were trapped, living in inarticulate bodies and unable to make the slightest gesture.  Here I was loathing myself in a completely apt body when these individuals didn’t have a choice.  This reflection made me decide to come back to dance.  I want to dance everyday that I have use of this body and I want to use my talent to make art and bring joy to those who don’t have that choice.
What other jobs/activities/academic pursuits are you involved in?
I am a teacher at Albemarle Ballet Theatre ( and I cater events with Harvest Moon Inc (check out
What other talents or passions do you have?
Music! (love music).  Oceanography.  Mythology.
Anything else you’d like to express:
I’m excited to have a moment for vacation before the start of the 2010-2011 season–hope everyone is having a great summer!
Tyrone’s full professional bio can be found online at  Thanks for enjoying our “Meet the Artist” segment– look for a new Charlottesville Ballet artist profile next month!

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