Prof. Dr. Jenny Coogan

Professor of Contemporary Dance


Born in Ridgewood, New Jersey, USA


  • Amherst College, Amherst, MA, USA, Liberal  Arts Programme- Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Dance
  • The Juilliard School NYC, New York, USA
  • Training as a Feldenkrais teacher (Certificate of Feldenkrais Studies and acceptance as a certified teacher in the Feldenkrais Guild of America)
  • MFA Candidate, State University of New York, Brockport NY, USA (focus on Somatics and Laban Movement Analysis)


Dance career includes:

Dance theatre, Staatstheatre Darmstadt and Städtische Bühnen Freiburg, worked with Tanzprojekt Munich, Susan Quinn and Company, Munich Art Ensemble, ETA-Tanztheatre, Tanztheatre Neger, Kei Takei’s Moving Earth Theatre, Tanzatelier Sebastian Prantl, Susan Marshall and Dancers, Philip Grosser Dances, Mark Taylor and Friends, Charles Moulton and Company, Daniel Lewis Dance Repertory Company, Juilliard Dance Ensemble; works by Paul Taylor, José Limón, Doris Humphrey, Anna Sokolow, Wendy Hilton, Daniel Lewis; role of deputy choreographer in the TV film: “Wenn ich die Antwort wüsste”(1997), WDR; TV shows include “Die Harald Junke Show”, “Verstehen Sie Spaß?”

Choreography career includes:

Artistic director of the internationally active ensemble: Coogan Dancers, a repertoire company whose productions have been shown at many festivals including Spring Dance/Utrecht NL, Tanz im August/Berlin, Riverside Dance Festival/NYC USA, Spring Dance Week/Prague, Tanzwerkstatt Europa/Munich, Wiener Festwochen/Vienna, Tanzplattform Deutschland/Berlin, Mousonturm/Frankurt, Dokumenta/Kassel, Tage der Zeitgenössischen Musik/Dresden; commissioned works: Tanztheatre-Ensemble der Städtischen Bühnen in Darmstadt, for the Ballett am Staatstheatre Nuremberg, for the Munich Art Ensemble, Tanztheatre Neger, for students at Towson University; USA and the State University of New York at Brockport


  • Teaching in the fields of:  Contemporary/Modern Dance, Composition, Methodology of Contemporary Dance, Laban Movement Analysis, Body Awareness Method
  •  Professor of Contemporary Dance, Palucca University of Dance Dresden
  • Assistant Professor, State University of New York, Brockport, NY

Additional teaching commitments include: TU Dresden, Faculty of Architecture; Hochschule Musik und Theatre, Zürich; Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Art, Berlin; Dresden Academy of Fine Arts, Dresden; University of Dance and Circus, Stockholm; Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts (HfMDK); Towson University Maryland USA, Limòn Institute NYC, New World School of the Arts, Miami USA; Rotterdamse Dansakademie; Dance ensembles of the Städtischen Bühnen in Nuremberg, Oldenburg, Osnabrück, Freiburg, Gießen, Darmstadt, Brunswick, Compagnie de Danca de Lisboa (P), Ballett Jeune d’Europe,(F); Ballet Junior de Genève, Geneva; Company Dance Berlin; Dance Center Iwanson, Munich; Tanzprojekt Munich; Tanztendenz München e.V.; Sinner Schauspielschule, Munich; Schauspiel Studio Gmelin, Munich; CompanyDance Berlin, Tanz im August, Berlin; Tanzwerkstatt Europa, Munich; Tanzfabrik Berlin

Research among others:

  • Co-director of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) research project “Entwicklung und Implementierung innovativer Lehr-Lernstrategien für ein zeitgemäßes, praxisorientiertes Studium im Tanz
  • Member of a team of experts to draft the future structure of the Inter-University Centre for Dance (HZT) in Berlin
  • Collaboration on the BMBF research project “Der choreographische Baukasten. Entwicklung und Erprobung eines Vermittlungskonzeptes von Choreographie”, Universität Hamburg


I firmly believe that in teaching, the process of discovery and learning is just as important for the teacher as it is for the students.

My teaching methods and strategies are flexible and reactive. They grow and develop as I do and are adapted to suit the students’ requirements, ages, levels and interests. My expectations and physical demands are suited to the stage reached by each group: I try to show all students a way to gain confidence in their own kinaesthetic and sensory intelligence, to be inquisitive, and to select how and what they dance.

My aim is to stimulate and challenge the emotional motivation of each and every dancer and to present coherent physical concepts so that the dancers can unfold their full movement potential. Creative teaching requires an environment in which the dancers feel free to experiment, to explore their bodies and to find their own forms of expression.

My dance classes are embedded in the Humphrey-Limón Modern Dance Tradition. Through Feldenkrais, I have a profound understanding of functional anatomy, biomechanics and behavioural psychology, which has intensified my awareness of movement processes and expanded my verbal and non-verbal communication skills.