Summer Intensives

Advanced Arts Training for Ages 9–20

Participants work with professional teaching artists, and meet and collaborate with other talented students while building and refining skills.

Summer intensives are offered in ballet, theatre, voice, virtual reality, and costume design.

Ballet Studio Jr. Intensive

JUL 1–19 | 9:30AM–4:00PM | Ages 9–13 | $700

Ballet Studio is COCA’s Jr. Ballet Intensive. This full-day, 3-week intensive includes ballet, modern, and character technique classes led by American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum Pre-Primary–Level 5 Certified Instructors Norma Gabriel and Carrie Fernandez. Students focus on elements to improve their training as performing artists: musicality, the expressiveness of contrasting movement energies, and character development. Technical focus includes pirouettes, petite allegro, adagio, and pointe (pre-pointe when appropriate). The dancers learn the process of preparing for a performance.

The intensive is divided into two sections based on each dancer’s ability. Dancers must be levels Ballet II, IIA, III, IV, or V (if currently enrolled at COCA) or have completed more than three years of classical ballet training. Culminates with a free, open performance for family and friends on Friday, July 19.

Auditions are held at COCA’s Regional Summer Intensive Auditions, January 12–14, or contact Norma Gabriel, Ballet Studio Coordinator, at to submit a video audition.

Instructors: Norma Gabriel & Carrie Fernandez

Create Your World VR Intensive

JUL 22–AUG 2 | 9:30AM–4:00PM | Ages 14–18 | $330

Immerse yourself in the exciting world of Virtual Reality (VR) with Breach’s Create Your World Summer Camp. This intensive and hands-on program is designed for high school students who want to explore the cutting-edge technology of VR and learn how to create their own immersive experiences!

During this camp, participants delve into the fundamentals of VR technology, gain insights into its applications in various industries, and acquire the skills needed to develop their own VR content.

The course curriculum includes:

1. Introduction to Virtual Reality:
  • Understanding the history and evolution of VR
  • Exploring different types of VR hardware and software
2. VR Development Tools:
  • Learning to use industry-standard VR development software
  • Hands-on experience with 3D modeling and animation tools
3. Storytelling in VR:
  • Crafting compelling narratives and immersive experiences
  • Designing environments and interactions for VR worlds
4. Interactive Design:
  • Building user-friendly interfaces and controls
  • Incorporating audio, haptics, and other sensory elements
5. VR Game Development:
  • Creating interactive games and simulations
  • Programming and scripting for VR experiences
6. Virtual Reality Applications:
  • Exploring real-world applications of VR in fields like education, healthcare, and entertainment
  • Guest speakers and industry experts sharing insights
7. Project-Based Learning:
  • Collaborating with peers to design and develop your own VR project
  • Receiving guidance and feedback from experienced instructors
8. Virtual Reality Showcase:
  • Presenting your VR creations to fellow campers and instructors
  • Celebrating your accomplishments and gaining valuable feedback

By the end of this summer camp, you will have the knowledge and skills to design and develop your own VR experiences, from immersive games to educational simulations. Whether you’re interested in a potential career in the VR industry or simply want to explore the limitless possibilities of virtual reality, this camp will provide a unique and exciting journey into the world of VR creation.

Join us for an unforgettable summer experience that combines creativity, technology, and innovation in the realm of virtual reality. Unlock your potential as a VR creator and step into a world of limitless imagination!


Songwriting Intensive student

Songwriting Intensive

JUN 17–21 | 9:30AM–4:00PM | Ages 14–18 | $264

Work with professional singer/songwriter/recording artist Michael Beatty to create lyrics and melodies that tell a story and reflect your own unique voice. Identify the important elements of the songwriting, recording, and performance process. Develop the expressive star quality of your music from concept to craft to capturing the moment. As you hone your own personal songwriting style you also learn best practices for successfully sharing your music with an audience. Students create, refine, and rehearse their songs and record them at Clayton Studios. All musical genres are appreciated. Price includes field trip and all studio costs.

Interested students should contact Phil Woodmore at to share your reasons for interest and musical background as well as any musical instruments you play and would want to include in your work.

Disney's Finding Nemo Jr.

Variety & COCA Youth Musical: Disney’s Finding Nemo Jr.

JUL 22–AUG 9 | 8:30AM–3:30PM | Ages 9–20

Explore the big, blue world as we rehearse and perform a stage version of the Pixar film Finding Nemo. COCA is thrilled to partner with Variety St. Louis’s inclusive Performing Arts program which brings together kids and teens with and without disabilities, giving every child the chance to shine. The collaborative musical program will not only teach new skills such as singing, acting, and dancing, but also foster friendships and build each child’s confidence. Marlin, an anxious and overprotective clownfish, lives in the Great Barrier Reef with his kid Nemo, who longs to explore the world beyond their anemone home. But when Nemo is captured and taken to Sydney, Marlin faces his fears and sets off on an epic adventure across the ocean. With the help of lovable characters such as optimistic Dory, laid-back sea turtle Crush, and the supportive Tank Gang, Marlin and Nemo both overcome challenges on their journey to find each other and themselves.

This delightful adventure musical rehearses 8:30AM–3:30PM weekdays for three weeks with a professional creative team. The show is fully produced and performed in the Catherine B. Berges Theatre on Friday, August 9 at 7:00PM; Saturday, August 10 at 1:00PM and 5:00PM; and Sunday, August 11 at 1:00PM. Tickets are $10 and available at COCA’s Box Office in June.

Auditions are March 9–10.

Instructors: Lara Teeter, Dawn Gilbertson, & Marc Schapman

Voice Intensive I: Personal Songbook

JUN 10–14 | 9:30AM–4:00PM | Ages 12–18 | $330

Take your singing to the next level. Students have a fresh opportunity to reexamine their personal songbook as well as learn new material from the latest and greatest works of musical theatre.

Audition requirements: Voice students not currently studying at COCA should submit a one-minute video excerpt of the song of their choice to Phil Woodmore at by May 30.

Voice Intensive II: The Singing Actor

JUN 10–14 | 9:30AM–4:00PM | Ages 14–18 | $330

This one-of-a-kind intensive is developed for vocalists who have completed the COCA Voice Intensive I and are interested in more advanced study. Utilizing songs that represent a variety of musical theatre styles, we integrate method acting technique into voice and scene work to better express a deeper understanding of the emotional life of the song. We also learn effective audition techniques and identify repertoire that highlights individual strengths as singing artists. All singers leave the intensive with two to three contrasting songs prepared for their vocal portfolio.

Audition requirements: Voice students not currently studying at COCA should submit a one-minute video of singing to Phil Woodmore at by May 30.


Michael Beatty, NYC actor, singer, & Broadway vocal coach

Phil Woodmore, musical director, composer, singer, & Broadway vocal coach

Sliding Scale Tuition

COCA offers a sliding scale tuition program for qualifying students.