James grew up in Chicago and began his training at an early age, studying many forms of dance. He performed with Especially Tap Chicago then trained at the Julliard Summer Intensive and Butler University, where he graduated with a BFA in Dance Performance. He studied under Marek Cholewa, Susan McGuire, Cynthia Pratt, Michelle Jarvis, Derek Reid, Stephant Laurent, Rosanna Ruffo, and Tong Wang at Butler University. He also had the opportunity of studying and dancing overseas in Poland and Russia. After graduating, James joined Ballet San Jose. James is currently a company member of Charlotte Ballet in North Carolina.