News: National Dance CATs online

Friday 9 April 2010

A new website brings together information about the wide range of opportunities in dance training for 10 – 19 year olds across the UK under the Centres for Advance Training scheme.

The National Centres for Advanced Training in Dance (National Dance CATs) providing world-class specialist dance training as part of a broad and balanced non-residential education for 10-19 year olds regardless of their background. They were established six years ago and since then, graduates have gone on to further professional training with schools including Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, London School of Contemporary Dance, Laban and English National Ballet School. A National Dance CAT graduate, currently a third year student at Central School of Ballet says: \“When I joined the Dance CAT I immediately knew I was part of something special. It provides the best foundation for anyone wanting to pursue a career as a professional dancer.\”

Dance companies in the UK and beyond are also now beginning to see the results of this exceptional scheme as CAT students move into their professional careers. Graduates of the scheme are working with Scottish Dance Theatre, Hofesh Shechter Company, Motionhouse Dance Theatre and in the West End.

Kenneth Tharp, Chief Executive of The Place (one of the London CATs) says: “*Few things could be more important than ensuring that the talent and skills of young people are identified and nurtured early on. The Dance CAT scheme is a shining example of what can be achieved with sustained support and joined up thinking. Long may it thrive.\”*

Viv Slayford, Programme Manager, Youth Dance Academy, Swindon Dance highlights an important aspect of the CAT scheme: “Talent spotting for urban dancers largely happens outside mainstream education. Many of the young people we train learn from the internet, the street and in clubs as opposed to theatres and dance studios. Our Urban Programme is aimed at exceptionally gifted and talented, often hard to reach 13- 16 year olds, male and female, from the South West region. The CAT provides the opportunity to develop their talents and to excel.”

*A new website now brings the message about the availability of this specialised training, and the bursaries available, to the widest possible audience across the country through one centralised website. *
Find out more at

The nine National Dance CATs are:
Yorkshire Young Dancers, Leeds
CAT at The Place, home to London Contemporary Dance School
Dance City Academy, Newcastle upon Tyne
Youth Dance Academy, Swindon Dance
CAT at Laban, London
DanceEast Academy, Ipswich
CAT for South Asian and Contemporary Dance, DanceXchange
CAT at The Lowry, Salford
Dance 4 CAT, Nottingham

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