Rosemary James was born in New York State and raised in Toronto. Following a successful career as a performer with Toronto Dance Theatre, she assumed the position of Rehearsal Director in 1992. Among many responsibilities, she is instrumental in remounting and staging the work of Christopher House, former Artistic Director, on both the company and The School of Toronto Dance Theatre. James is the Training & Performance Associate at the School.

She has taught modern dance courses at York University, and choreographed extensively for community-based arts education programs. She was the movement teacher and choreographer for the musicals Spoke, This City of Angels, and Swimming for Shore, and the Choreography Consultant for the award-winning synchronized skating team Gold Ice. In 2019, James was the rehearsal director and collaborator for Black Ballerina, a Dora-nominated solo created by Syreeta Hector.

In addition to being a sought-after teacher, James holds a Bachelor and Master of Arts in dance from York University.