William-Michael Cooper is the founding artistic director of Contemporary South Inc. which is a state recognized arts nonprofit whose mission is to cultivate dance education in Alabama through master classes, workshops, and professional dance performance. In 2015, Contemporary South performed 8 concerts in 4 cities in Alabama and continues to passionately strive to bring high quality contemporary and modern dance to the rural South. Cooper is currently a company member and soloist with Les Ballet Grandiva which is based in both NYC and Tokyo Japan. Cooper recently completed another international tour in the Fall of 2015 and has been touring with the New York City-based ballet company since 2003. Cooper began his pre-professional studies while on scholarship from American Ballet Theater to study at The University of Alabama where he was awarded the Dancer's Award (Edie Barnes Award) and presented work for Dance Alabama! while dancing as a member of the Alabama Repertory Dance Theatre. In 2002, Cooper joined Dayton Contemporary Dance Company II where he intensely studied ballet, jazz, and the Horton modern dance technique. During his time as a student, he worked with Ballet Tech while obtaining his BFA in Ballet at nationally acclaimed College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), University of Cincinnati. Cooper has performed professionally with Cincinnati Ballet, Alabama Ballet, Les Ballets Grandiva, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, and the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company. Cooper was a founding member of Men on Pointe in New York City under the direction of Brian Norris. In New York City, Cooper continued his ballet training with Paul Boos, former New York City Ballet soloist and a current repetiteur for the Balanchine Trust and with Vladimir Dokoudovsky at the New York City Conservatory of Dance. As a member of Les Ballets Grandiva, Cooper has performed in New York City and toured both nationally and internationally. Cooper has had the honor to work with many acclaimed choreographers/directors including; Peter Anastos, Lar Lubovitch, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Maureen Flemming, Brian Norris, Mark Dendy, Victor Trevino and Katherine Crockett. Cooper studied at the Martha Graham School where he obtained certification to be a Graham instructor. Cooper has taught for the Ecole Superieure de Danse Cannes with Rosella Hightower, the College-Conservatory of Music’s Preparatory Department, Ballet Tech of Ohio, the ABT Summer Intensives, the NYU Preparatory Department in Dance, Staten Island University in New York, and Birmingham-Southern College, The University of Alabama at Birmingham's ArtPlay, and the Birmingham Ballet. Cooper’s choreography has been commissioned by several professional dance companies in the United States and Japan. William-Michael Cooper serves as a faculty member for Marilyn Sanders Performing Arts Center in Jasper, AL and the Grebel Center for Dance in Pelham, AL.