About the Pre-Professional Division

COCAdanceThe Pre-Professional Division develops nearly 300 career-oriented young artists annually by providing them with rigorous and diverse training as well as public performance opportunities, which are seen by more than 10,000 audience members annually.


Our student companies (in the realms of theater, dance and vocal performance) provide talented students with opportunities to develop individual accountability in preparation for performances and training with professional guest artists.

COCA's vocal ensemble, Allegro, consists of 20-24 talented students, ages 11-18. Under the direction of Phil Woodmore, Allegro performs a variety of vocal music at COCA and at community events during the school year. Participation is by audition in the fall.

For more information about Allegro, contact: Phil Woodmore, Voice Coordinator at 314.725.1834 x203

Ballet Eclectica, COCA's ballet company, performance opportunities in ballet for students at COCA and throughout the community. The repertoire of Ballet Eclectica incorporates elements of classical and contemporary ballet. In 2006, Ballet Eclectica, in collaboration with the Saint Louis Art Museum, created and presented The Little Dancer, inspired by the museum’s beloved Degas sculpture, which is now an annual part of the COCA Presents season. Members of the company participate in a minimum of five dance classes a week at COCA and rehearse two times a week.

For more information about Ballet Eclectica, contact: Amy Scheers (Director of Program Design and Production) - 314.561.4881 - ascheers@cocastl.org

COCAdance is an advanced level student dance company for students. The dance company gives performance opportunities to students ages 11 - 18. COCAdance company members rehearse and perform at COCA and around the St. Louis region. COCAdance members have had the rewarding experience of working in a wide variety of styles due to COCA’s commitment to guest choreographers. Over the years, COCAdance has studied with Robert Battle (Battleworks), Frank Chaves and Sherry Zunker (RiverNorth Dance Co.), Lane Alexander (Chicago Human Rhythm Project), Doug Elkins (Doug Elkins Dance Company), Clyde Evans, Jr. (Rennie Harris Puremovement), Jason Samuels-Smith (NYOTS) and Juilliard graduates Jessica Lang and Gelan Lambert, among others. Work set on COCA students by these choreographers has become an important component of their repertoire. COCAdance students have graduated to college dance programs including The Juilliard School, State University of New York/ Purchase, Point Park College, North Carolina School of the Arts, and Columbia University. COCAdance members are dancing professionally at The Houston Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ballet Hispanico, Trisha Brown Dance Company and Philadanco.

For more information about Ballet Eclectica, contact: Amy Scheers (Director of Program Design and Production) - 314.561.4881 - ascheers@cocastl.org

COCA Theatre Company (CTC) produces a season of plays and musicals each year featuring student performers, ages 10-18. Shows are cast by audition and are fully produced in either COCA's Blackbox or Founders' Theatre. Cast members pay a participation fee for each production and financial assistance is available for qualified students. Plays rehearse four to five times per week and are led by a variety of guest directors, music directors, choreographers and designers from the St. Louis community.

For more information contact Shawna Flanigan 314.561.4879 - sflanigan@cocastl.org

The Hip-Hop Crew is COCA's hip-hop student company, consisting of students in elementary through high school and select adult hip-hop performers from the St. Louis region. The company was founded by Anthony "Redd" Williams, who remains its artistic director today. Crew members are selected through an open audition process held every fall and rehearse weekly at COCA. The Hip-Hop Crew performs several times a year in various productions in COCA's Founders' Theatre.

For more information about the Hip-Hop Crew, contact: Amy Scheers (Director of Program Design and Production) - 314.561.4881 - ascheers@cocastl.org


This program provides new students who show a potential for successful training at COCA with scholarships, dancewear, transportation and homework assistance. For more information about the Talent Identified Program, contact Christy Kardell – (314) 561-4882- ckardell@cocastl.org


This program prepares high-potential students for college and professional careers by providing career counseling, faculty evaluations, master classes, dancewear, transportation, ACT tutoring, audition assistance and scholarships. For more information about the Honors Program, contact

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SPARK 2015: COCAbiz Creativity Conference
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Sep 2, 2015
At SPARK, keynote addresses are interposed with hands-on arts experiences and dynamic conversations led by teaching artists paired with business strategists.


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