||[Oct. 10th, 2005|07:56 pm]
Throughout the remainder of college and the few years following, Cokie felt conflicted about many things – among them, what career path she should pursue, whether she wanted to get married one day, and how long she would be able to have dance as a part of her life.|
She finished her degree in dance at Marymount Manhattan in New York when she was 24, after alternating between being a part-time and a full-time student. Cokie continued to work at the Scores West Side strip club until she was 22, much to her parents' dismay. She left the club after an argument with Scores' owner, who she felt began to care more and more about drawing customers rather than looking out for his dancers' best interests.
Cokie continued to live in New York with two of the friends she met during her college days. After finishing college, she found reasonably consistent temp work in various offices as she tried to figure out what she wanted to do. During this period, she submitted her photos to Maxim and Stuff but was not accepted. A year after these initial submissions, she tried again, this time using photos taken by a roommate's boyfriend who was interested in gaining more photography experience. While this set of pictures helped Cokie to secure a spot as one of the finalists in Maxim's Hometown Hottie contest, she lost the friendship of her roommate Amy, whose boyfriend had let slip that he and Cokie had been seeing each other on the side since their photo shoot.
Distraught after losing one of her best friends, Cokie turned again to the Kabbalah studies she had begun as a college student and also refused to let herself date again for some while. Eventually, she began having a series of both casual and more serious relationships with the intention of not settling down for a while, if at all. She found it harder and harder to maintain friendships with women and developed close friendships with several of the gay men she was getting to know through the local dance events she participated in. This was a big step for Cokie, as she had previously been unsupportive of the homosexual community (despite her experimentation with Shawna Riverson at a party in high school and several other similar instances over the years).
She continued her temp work and was eventually asked to teach modern dance at a dance studio where she had previously completed an assignment. Cokie enjoyed the environment there, and although she enjoyed working with college students and adults more than younger children, was satisfied with her niche she had found. Throughout the next several years, she was invited to take on more of a business role in the functioning of the studio.
At this point, although Cokie still was not sure what the future held, she felt more accomplished than she ever had before. Even in the midst of grappling with the health issues of some of her gay friends and her continued insecurities in her dating relationships, she felt she might have finally found a path that worked for her.