MJ Imani

Artistic Director of COCA Hip-Hop Crew

MJ Imani is a professional dancer and choreographer from St. Louis. Her love of dance began at the age of eight when her mother enrolled her in lessons at COCA. Thanks to instructors such as Lee Nolting and Anthony “Redd” Williams, she was able to cultivate her passion for dance as an art form. After graduating high school, she studied at Webster University, earning her B.A. in Cultural Anthropology and graduating with Department Honors (2016).

Much like her dance inspiration Katherine Dunham, MJ wanted to combine her anthropological studies with her love of dance. In 2017, she was named COCA’s Katherine Dunham Pre-Professional Division Fellow in 2017. The following year, MJ relocated to Atlanta, where she interned at Dance 411, trained in commercial styles and choreographed/performed for various artists. She returned to St. Louis in Fall of 2020 to open her studio/dance media company: 314 Movement Lab. Since her hometown return, MJ has choreographed for over six artists, provided multiple professional opportunities for local dancers, instructed various classes in hip-hop, contemporary, heels, and jazz-funk styles, and has even partnered with Sumner High School to revamp their performing arts program. Her goal is to make St. Louis a hub for young artist development and professional opportunities. She believes COCA is an exciting place to further that vision!  

MJ Imani Headshot

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