There are only 9 Centres for Advanced Training (CAT) across the country. These are a consortium of dance organisations that provide 11-17 year olds demonstrating exceptional potential in dance, with access to the best available teaching at top-class facilities alongside strong links with the dance profession. The CATs are supported by the Department for Education (DfE) Music and Dance Scheme (MDS) through means-tested grants.
For those who qualify the training is free.
Where to find a CAT:
- Academy of Northern Ballet, Leeds – ballet & the Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Leeds – contemporary
- Dance4, Nottingham – contemporary
- Dance City, Newcastle Upon Tyne – contemporary
- Dance East, Ipswich – contemporary
- DanceXchange, Birmingham – contemporary & Yuva Gati (South Asian)
- Swindon Dance, Swindon, and Exeter – contemporary and urban
- The Place, London – contemporary & The National Centre for Circus Arts – Circus skills
- The Lowery, Manchester – contemporary
- Trinity Laban, London SE – contemporary
What our CAT offers
Our CAT covers the south-west of the country. Our CAT is open to young dancers aged 11-17. Our CAT offers pre-vocational training to young dancers demonstrating exceptional potential and the commitment and passion for a career in dance.
Dances styles covered on our CAT: contemporary, ballet, jazz, hip-hop, breakin’, popping, house, battling, choreography plus other dance styles appropriate to the industry demands of today’s professional dance world.
Our CAT develops the technical, creative and performance skills in dance as well as the knowledge and understanding that will prepare young dancers for higher vocational training and ultimately a career in dance.
Our CAT provides students with mentoring, guidance and information on current training and career choices and related training matters like the healthier dancer programme. Each dancer has their own Individual Training Plan based on their individual goals, training needs, and aspirations.
Our CAT runs 3 programmes:
Swindon Urban Programme
For dancers aged 11-17
Meets Sundays 11:30– 5:00pm during school terms with extra intensive training during school holidays. Training covers technical, creative & performance skills in various urban styles – popping, breakin’, house. This programme is based at Swindon Dance.
Swindon Contemporary Programme
For dancers aged 11-17
Meets Saturdays 12:00– 5:30pm during school terms with extra intensive training during school holidays. Training covers technical, creative & performance skills in contemporary, jazz and classical ballet. This programme is based at Swindon Dance.
Exeter Contemporary Programme
For dancers aged 11-17
Meets fortnightly on Sundays 11:00– 5:00pm during school terms with extra intensive training during school holidays. Training covers technical, creative & performance skills in contemporary, jazz and classical ballet. This programme is based at Exeter University.
Past students have gone on to train at some of the top vocational colleges and Dance Conservatoires:
- Arts Educational
- Bird College
- Central School of Ballet
- Institute of Arts Barcelona
- Laine Theatre Arts
- London Contemporary Dance School
- London Studio Centre
- Millennium Performing Arts
- National Centre for Circus Arts
- Northern Ballet
- Northern School of Contemporary Dance
- Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance
- Royal Ballet (upper school)
- Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance
- SLP College of Performing Arts
- Trinity Laban Conservatoire for Music and Dance
- Urdang Academy
Two of our alumni have won their dance categories in contemporary and urban to go through to the finals of the BBC Young Dancer of the Year.
Our alumni are working as professional performers, choreographers and directors in the arts world, such as:
- Black Box Dance Theatre, Denmark
- Boy Blue Entertainment
- Company | Wayne McGregor
- Cullberg Ballet
- Danish Dance Theatre, Denmark
- James Cousins Dance
- Munich Ballet (Staatsballett) – principle dancer
- Protein Dance
- Punch Drunk
- Rambert Dance Company
- Russell Maliphant Company
- Tavaziva Dance
- modelling contracts (including Top Shop & Ellesse)
- Tribe Dance
- TV commercials (Lexus, Uber & Halfords) and music videos (including Beyonce, Florence + The Machine and Digital Farm Animals)
- Wim Vadekeybus | Ultima Vez
- Warner Brothers – Peter Pan
- West End – The Lion King
Joining the CAT
Audition for entry September 2019
Auditions are held from March to June for both contemporary and urban programmes. Each audition is in front of a panel of dance experts and lasts approximately 2.5 hours.
Please note: audition for entry in September 2018 has now closed. Please register your interest to join our mailing list and find out about future open days and auditions