Who We Are

Our story began in 2013, when our Founder and Artistic Director Nikki Watson discovered a lack of dance for people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Nikki had always wanted to choreograph and create exciting experiences, but hadn’t known it would end up being so intrinsically linked to her own life. Her mother had recently been diagnosed with the neurological condition and choreography became a way to process and express Nikki’s situation. At the same time she could see the impact dance was having on people with Parkinson’s and wanted a similar provision for other neurological disabilities like MS.

Today CoDa is an award-winning, socially driven, female- & disability-led dance company, delivering exceptional participatory projects in hospitals and communities for people that experience neurological conditions and disabilities, including Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, and Acquired Brain Injury. We invite our participants directly into the artistic process, working collaboratively with our Lived Experience Consultants and using immersive technology to create pioneering digital dance works that challenge perceptions of disability.

We became an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation in 2023, joining arts organisations across England considered leaders in their area of specialism, in receiving three years of investment to develop our work. 

Nikki Watson 

Artistic Director

Nikki founded CoDa Dance Company in 2013 after her mother was diagnosed with Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. She has been creating dance performance that reflects on this since then.

Nikki’s choreographic practice has always strongly featured lighting and visual design to accentuate the athletic dance performances she creates, so it has been a natural progression for her to work more with virtual realms.

Nikki has choreographed, facilitated and consulted on over 50 dance projects, including for Barbican, Ludus Dance, Rhiannon Faith Company, and Create Arts. She delivers Dance as Physio activity at Royal Hospital for Neurodisability, St George’s Hospital & the MS Society.

Elise Philips 

Executive Producer

Elise began working with CoDa on in 2017 and came on as permanent senior staff in March 2020. Her unique skill set draws on experience as a community practitioner as well as corporate education manager, which ultimately led to her specialising in audience development, marketing and community arts delivery. 

Having worked for NPO dance companies and independent artists such as Vincent Dance Theatre, Tilted Productions, Stopgap, and South East Dance, Elise’s work is underpinned by a desire to share the joys and multifarious benefits of dance.

Meet the team

Jodie Honeybourne

Jodie is a freelance contemporary dance artist who has collaborated with CoDa since 2014 as a dancer and a facilitator for our Dance & Neurology workshops. Jodie was an integral part in the research and development residencies for REwired and As The Floor Shifts.

Bertie Sampson

Bertie is a multimedia artist working with light, motion, reaction and interaction. He is focused on merging art and design with ever-evolving technologies to challenge the viewers’ perception of space and their place within the environment. Bertie was a key part in the R&D residencies for REwired and As The Floor Shifts.

Jeph Vanger

Jeph is a sound artist and electronic composer exploring the interaction between sound, space, movement, and the human body has been an important part of his current artistic practice. Jeph was a key part in the research and development residencies for REwired and As The Floor Shifts.

Claire Lambert

Claire is a freelance dance artist who enjoys a collaborative process in which imagination, playfulness and invention can thrive and is driven to produce performative work by a desire to draw audiences into a compelling and meaningful experience. Claire was a key part in the research and development residencies for REwired and As The Floor Shifts


Emily Neighbour

Emily is a freelance community dance artist working in a wide range of settings across Surrey and West London. She leads contemporary and creative dance sessions for all ages and specialises in dance for early years and dance for health and wellbeing. Emily currently assists CoDa’s Dance & Neurology workshops at The Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability.

Maiya Lambert

Maiya is a Contemporary dancer, performer, and teacher. She combines her musical background with her distinct movement style creating her movement language as a semi-verbal wheelchair user. Trained at the National Youth Dance Company and with an MA in Contemporary Dance Performance from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Maiya continues to work, perform, and teach.