The Company of Dance Arts (CODA) is one of the foremost pre-professional dance companies in New Jersey. CODA, a nonprofit corporation, was founded in 1985 under the direction of Jennifer James Church, RAD RTS; AISTD, making its debut and performing Octoberfest at the Citicorp Building in New York City. In December 2010, the position of Artistic Director was passed on to former CODA dancer Shayne Mishoe and her husband Nicholas Mishoe.
CODA’s objective continues to be exposing pre-professional dancers to the real life rigors of a professional dancer. The Company serves first and foremost to provide young dancers with performance opportunities that meet professional standards of artistic development, performance values, and production qualities.
Dancers for each production are chosen from open auditions. They range in age from 6 to 18 years with the average age of the corps de ballet dancers being age 14. Daily training is essential for the corps dancers to be technically prepared and rehearsal time, approximately 12 hours each week, is required in addition to class time.
“It’s not just tutus and diamonds” – Jennifer James Church, CODA Founder & Artistic Advisor.
At the corps de ballet level, the dancer is at the studio perhaps 15 to 22 hours each week for class; at the junior corps de ballet level, the student is training an average of 10 hours weekly. Most of our young children study classical ballet at least 2 hours weekly, with many studying much more. Our dancers have rehearsed and performed alongside guest dancers from The Company of Dance Arts, American Repertory Ballet, Ailey II, Ballet Hispanico, NYC Ballet, New Jersey’s Garden State Ballet, Alvin Ailey, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Urban Ballet Theater, Joffrey Ballet, Martha Graham Dance Company, American Ballet Theater, Parsons Dance, and the Metropolitan Opera Ballet. Working with such renowned choreographers as Peter Anastos, Frank Ohman, Yvonne Lamb Scudiery and Daniel Catanach, gives the young dancers invaluable experience.
CODA has mounted successful productions at regional venues including the Count Basie Theatre and Two River Theater in Red Bank, Monmouth University’s Guggenheim Theater in West Long Branch, Rutgers University, the Strand Theater in Lakewood, the Mary B. Burch Theater in Newark, Red Bank Regional High School, Red Bank, the Park Theater in Union City, and Montclair High School in Montclair.
Our repertoire includes: Peter Anastos’ A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Nutcracker, and The Sleeping Beauty; Yvonne Lamb Scudiery’s Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz; Nicholas and Shayne Mishoe’s Cinderella; Daniel Catanach’s Peter Rabbit & Other Tails; Frank Ohman’s La Boutique Fantasque; and Jennifer James Church’s Fire Maiden, Hansel and Gretel, and the Celebrate Dance series.
The company is administered by an all volunteer Board of Trustees that oversee many aspects of each production. The yearly operating budget of approximately $160,000 does not include these “in kind” services. Revenues are generated through ticket sales, grants, and intense fundraising.
We are proud of the professional caliber of our performances.
Ask any of our dancers how their journey started when they were young–it was nurtured, developed and supported by a group of mentors and a support network.
CODA dancers have gone on to study (many on full scholarship) and perform with such noted institutions as the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ailey/Fordham, American Ballet Theatre, American Repertory Ballet, Ballet Hispanico, Ballet Idaho, Ballet Lubbock, Boston Ballet, Boston Conservatory, Catanach Ballet Theater, Cedar Lake, Corella Ballet, Dance Theater of Harlem, Garden State Ballet, Harid Conservatory, Houston Ballet, The Juilliard School, Miami City Ballet, NYU/Tisch Department of Dance, Nashville Ballet, North Carolina School of the Arts, Ohio Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet, University of South Carolina Dance, School of Ballet at the Mason Gross School of the Arts, SUNY Purchase, School of American Ballet, Staten Island Ballet, UNC/Charlotte Ballet, Urban Ballet Theater, the Washington Ballet, and the Wolfgang Bocksch Company.