José Costas teaches ballet, jazz and Latin dance at Orange Coast College. He began his dance training in his native Puerto Rico, under the direction of Julie Mayoral and Lolita San Miguel. He earned his BS and M. Ed. degrees from Catholic University of Puerto Rico, and his MFA from Tisch School of the Arts, New York University.
José was a principal dancer with Ballet Hispanico of New York for nine years. During his tenure with Ballet Hispanico, Mr. Costas created lead roles in many ballets and performed throughout the United States, Europe and South America. He has worked extensively as a choreographer, creating productions throughout the country. In 1995, he received a Modern Dance Award given by Puerto Rican Institute of New York.
José has taught for educational programs including Ballet Hispanico, City Center and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and master classes in ballet, modern, jazz and ethnic dance styles for universities, dance schools and public schools in the United States and Puerto Rico. He taught at California State University, Dominguez Hills for four years before becoming a full-time faculty member in the Orange Coast College Dance Department in 1999. For several years he was the artistic director of Fiesta Latina, an OCC student dance outreach program focusing on the Latino dance/music traditions. He received an award from OCC in 2008 for his efforts to improve community outreach.
In 2008 while on a one-year leave of absence from Orange Coast College, Mr. Costas served as the Director of the prestigious Ballet Hispanico School of Dance in New York City. During his tenure as school director Mr. Costas re-designed the school curriculum, created a new outreach performance program and was the choreographer in residence and Artistic Director for the new School Ensemble, Ballet Hispanico II.