Jiali Deck

JiaLi Deck Reflects on Memorable Experience with COCA’s Pre-Professional Division

COCA Pre-Professional Division Student JiaLi Deck

With Pre-Professional Division auditions around the corner, we are excited to highlight one of our graduating seniors, JiaLi Deck.

JiaLi has been a part of COCA since she was three years old. Over the years, she has taken part in different dance programs and camps, and in high school, she joined the Pre-Professional Division where she worked with experienced choreographers in diverse dance styles. 

JiaLi not only became a better dancer, but she also learned important skills that she can use in other areas of her life. She learned how to stay motivated, balance busy schedules, hold herself accountable, and have respect for others. At COCA, JiaLi was able to see how important the arts are and how it can make a difference in people’s lives. 

“Being in a space where the arts—dance, voice, theatre, visual arts—are celebrated and displayed to their finest and bringing people together, really showed me that art matters and makes a difference. In my future, I’ve realized that I can pursue a professional career in the arts and this isn’t just a hobby,” says Deck.

JiaLi values the commitment to diversity and professionalism in COCA’s Pre-Professional Division and that dancers are not constrained to fit into a specific mold.

“I feel lucky to be in a space where everyone’s identity is tolerated and celebrated. […] All adults put everything into caring for the students and making sure that we have the ability and the agency to be able to do anything we want to achieve,” says Deck.

JiaLi has extensive commitments to COCA as a first company member of Ballet Eclectica and COCAdance and has been involved in a variety of productions including MOTheR, Triumphant, Little Dancer, spring musicals, and more.

JiaLi’s talent was recognized at the Regional Dance America National Festival in Daytona Beach, Florida, where she was awarded the prestigious title of Outstanding Soloist for the Midstates Region. Other Ballet Eclectica dancers from COCA also received high praise, putting COCA on the map as a school of well-rounded and highly trained dancers at a national level. 

JiaLi is now graduating high school and will be pursuing a degree in dance and English/journalism at Barnard College.

To be a part of COCA’s Pre-Professional Division, register for upcoming auditions to study Classical & Contemporary Ballet and/or Modern & Contemporary Dance. Along with high-quality dance training from professional guest artists, students receive unforgettable performance opportunities and individualized career guidance.


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