cooper back in SPOTLIGHT

Patience Bambalele

Patience Bambalele

After keeping a low profile for a while, former Backstage star and professional dancer Lorcia Cooper is kicking off 2009 on a high note.

Cooper made her name as Charmaine in's Backstageand is now joining the fast-growing soapie Scandal.

Shooting started yesterday, so Cooper will start appearing on January 19 and will be playing the character of Erin, a fashion designer.

Scandal's publicist Bongi Potelwa said Cooper was excited to be part of the soapie. After Backstage was canned, she kept herself busy with a Kyknet dance competition called Dans! Dans! where she was a judge.

She also participated in the M-Net reality talent competition High School Musical: Spotlight South Africa, from August to September last year as a judge and choreographer.

Born and raised in Cape Town, Cooper started dancing at the age of four when she entered Ballroom and Latin American dance competitions with her brother.

She won her first competition when she was five and won the titles of provincial champion in both dance disciplines. At the age of eight, she joined the Academy of Dance under the guidance of Debby Turner.

Later she became a student and a teacher at the North West Arts Council's Dance Academy where she danced in various productions. At 19, Cooper won the FNB Vita Best Female Dancer award.

She has represented South Africa in Berlin through her work in Faust, directed by Robin Orlyn. She has presented SABC2's Travel Xplorer and played the lead role in the local feature film Hey Boy.