B I O
Photo by Cathryn Farnsworth
Jackie Kopcsak is a dance educator, choreographer and photographer currently residing in Southern California. She received her dance training through Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle, Washington, frequently performing with the company in such works as Kent Stowell's The Nutcracker and The Firebird, George Balanchine's A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Paul Taylor's Company B. Jackie has also performed as a principal dancer with Ballet Bellevue and Wade Walthall’s Evergreen City Ballet where she originated roles in many contemporary works as well as performing leading roles in The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Paquita, and Giselle. She has also worked extensively in the theatre, appearing onstage in musicals such as Oklahoma!, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Phantom, as well as working behind-the-scenes as both the Special Event Coordinator and Assistant to the Producing Director at Pasadena Playhouse, State Theatre of California.
Jackie graduated with her M.F.A. in Dance from the University of California, Irvine (UCI), where she was the recipient of a Graduate Fellowship as well as the Elftmann Leadership Scholarship. She was invited to continue teaching at UCI throughout the 2013-14 academic year as a Lecturer in Ballet and Dance History. In the fall of 2014, Jackie became a founding faculty member of the Glorya Kaufman School of Dance at the University of Southern California (USC). As an Assistant Professor of Practice, she currently teaches ballet, pointe, conditioning, variations and repertory as well as dance appreciation, history and colloquium courses in the academic classroom. In 2017, Jackie co-created a study-abroad Maymester with the USC Thornton School of Music, leading music and dance students through an experiential history of the Performing Arts in Paris, France. She has taught the course in Paris for the past three years.
Jackie also holds a B.A. in History from the University of Washington, where she founded, directed and choreographed for the university’s first ballet company. She has since choreographed and collaborated with the American Youth Symphony, Angeles Chorale, Ballet Bellevue, Bel Canto Chorale and Orchestra, Beverly Hills' Theatre 40, Colburn School of Performing Arts, Evergreen City Ballet, Inland Pacific Ballet, LA Art Show, LACMA, MUSE/IQUE Symphony Orchestra, Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena Civic Ballet, Pacific Symphony, San Marino Unified School District, The Washington Academy of Performing Arts and the University of California, Irvine. Jackie is also a co-founder and director of ArtistsPlus Productions, an interdisciplinary production company.
A certified teacher in Primary through Level 3 of American Ballet Theatre’s National Training Curriculum®, Jackie is a sought-after ballet teacher and has taught for various schools around the country.
Full CV and References available upon request.
"Unafraid of being labeled a “populist,” I believe ballet can break free of its elitist and oft-times authoritarian shackles to be an inclusive, accessible and joyous experience both in the classroom and on the stage. As an educator and dance historian I feel compelled to build a friendly bridge between the classical traditions and contemporary generations, endeavoring to honor my artistic ancestors while remaining true to the pulse of the present. This paradigm has significantly influenced my creative process, resulting in choreography that embraces the elegance and sophistication of ballet’s illustrious past to produce fun and highly theatrical work intent on educating and entertaining today’s audiences. - JK"