Stephan Koplowitz has a degree in music composition from Wesleyan University and an MFA in Choreography from the University of Utah. His deep love and commitment to teaching began at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival when he was engaged to teach regular students at the festival in 1980 on music/dance composition, master classes to Boston area school children and as a faculty member of the world-famous Virginia Tanner Creative Dance Studio in Salt Lake City. In 1983, he began a 23-year tenure as a faculty member and director of dance at the Packer Collegiate Institute, a private K-12 school where he taught, choreographed, and developed skills in curriculum design, pedagogy, and interdisciplinary teaching at all three levels of learning. During that time, Koplowitz’s creative work introduced him as a guest teaching artist to numerous college campuses and dance festivals, they include: Amherst College, Plymouth University, UK, Gustavus Adolphus College, MN, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, the Ohio State University, Bates College, ME, La Mama Umbria International Director’s Symposium, St. Olaf, Carleton Colleges, MN, George Mason University, to name just a few.
In 2005, he was invited to apply to be dean of Dance at the California Institute of the Arts and served as dean and faculty for the Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance for ten years (2006-16) capping a 33-year career in arts education spanning almost every age and level of learning (pre-K through MFA). As dean, Koplowitz transformed the CalArts dance curriculum and modernized the program in terms of its teaching, global outreach, creative process and production. During his tenure at CalArts, Koplowitz was a member of the National Association of Schools of Dance and was elected to its Board of Directors from 2013-2016.
His interest in education has inspired his contribution to the first book on site-specific choreography Site Dance, published by Florida University Press published in 2009 and 2011 (paperback edition). In addition, his interest in the potential of online creative work lead to the creation of his course, “Creating Site-Specific Dance and Performance Works” launched in September 2013. This course has the distinction of being the first dance-related course on Coursera and the MOOC platform. The course was relaunched in 2014, 2015, and 2016. Over 20,000 people from 151 countries registered for this course with thousands of people completing the course and initiating new site projects around the world.