Zoe Clark has been dancing and performing at COCA for quite a while—about 10 years in all—which is especially significant for an 18-year-old student! With upwards of 10 classes every week at COCA, you can find her at COCA almost every single day. COCA has become like a second home to Zoe.
“I’ve just grown so much here,” she said. “As a dancer and as a person, it’s shaped who I am.”
Beyond technique and choreography, Zoe shared that she has learned how to take risks and try new things that push her out of her comfort zone. She feels triumphant when she is experimenting with something new, giving it her all, working really hard, and then all of a sudden, it just clicks.
On top of taking dance and musical theatre classes at COCA, Zoe has developed profound relationships with the COCA teaching artists.
“Miss Kathleen got me on track and made me absolutely love ballet, and Miss Gina ignited my love of jazz and musical theatre,” she said. Now a senior in high school, Zoe is planning to pursue a BFA in Musical Theatre.
Zoe has had the opportunity to work with amazing COCA mentors one-on-one, including Antonio Douthit-Boyd, COCA’s Co-Artistic Director of Dance. In working directly with Antonio, she discovered so much more than just adding character to her dancing and improving technique. Antonio taught her to “relax just a little bit, and find that tension between relaxing and pushing that can create a more dynamic piece. It can make your dancing better and can add more artistry to it.”
Most importantly, COCA has helped increase Zoe’s self-confidence.
“I’m happy with who I am now. I believe in myself, and I have the confidence to go out and do whatever I want to do. It helped me overcome a lot of challenges in my life, getting past those and letting the art inside do its thing.”
Support students to keep taking risks and find their self-confidence by making a gift to COCA for Giving Tuesday!