MacLean Hopper was born in Richmond, Virginia. He started dancing when he was nine years old, and went on to train at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and San Francisco Ballet School, with summers spent at Washington Ballet and Boston Ballet.
He joined the RNZB for Giselle in 2012, and his performance as Wilfrid featured in Toa Fraser’s 2013 film of the same ballet. Roles with the RNZB include the Spanish and Hungarian Dances in Swan Lake, Mark Baldwin’s ‘Charlie’ from Ihi FrENZy and Antony Tudor’s Little Improvisations (both Tutus on Tour), and he created the role of the Bar Keeper in Ethan Stiefel’s Bier Halle (2013). 2014 saw Mac take centre stage as the Ghost of Christmas Present in A Christmas Carol. In 2015 he appeared as Cupid in Don Quixote, in Andrew Simmons’ Dear Horizon and created the principal role of Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream for which he garnered praise from the critics with the Dominion Post saying he “invests the role with all the command and charisma it requires, plus a dash of cruelty. Just right.”