Congrats to our 2020 CAT graduates

The Dance City Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) is a professional training programme for young people in the North East who show exceptional talent or potential in contemporary dance.

Our aim is to inspire and empower gifted and talented young dancers to fulfil their creative potential.

Dance City CAT is part of a national partnership of Dance CATs. The programme is supported by the Department for Education as part of the government’s national Music and Dance Scheme. Means tested grants are available so that all or part of the tuition fees may be paid by the government.

Every year we welcome over 100 young people into our building for a minimum of seven hours dance training per week in term time. New starters must have passed an audition to ensure they show the right potential to succeed.

This year we are thrilled that seven of our CAT graduates are heading on to further dance training!

Betty Valentine Warnock is starting the BA degree at the prestigious Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds. She credits her four years on the CAT for her creative confidence and hopes to pursue a career as a choreographer.

Phebe Dalby will be staying with us at Dance City to undertake the BA Professional Dance programme. She envisions her career as a professional dancer, performing all over the world – getting the chance to see new things, all while doing what she loves.

Tom Sutton is going on to study at the world renowned Rambert School in September 2020. He says:

“I joined the Dance City CAT in 2017 and in the space of 3 years it’s totally changed who I am. I looked forward to every class and loved getting challenged by all the teachers and feeling stiff the next day from it. I got to do some really fun pieces that were all so different, I felt like I could take something away from each of them.”

Hope Brown-King thinks of Dance City as her second home, having been on the CAT since age 12. She is continuing her dance training at Northern School of Contemporary Dance where she is looking forward to her favourite aspect of dance training – show days!

Aimee Louise Turnbull has been inspired by her experiences of working with professional choreographers during her four years on CAT. She is staying at Dance City to complete the BA Professional Dance and launch her own choreography career.

Tabby Seago is taking up a place at Northern School of Contemporary Dance, with an ambition to perform and teach dance as a career. She says about her time on the CAT:

“The brilliant teachers and choreographers have been inspiring to work with and I’ve made an amazing group of friends. I do not have one specific highlight of my time on CAT, the whole experience has been fulfilling and exciting.”

Louis Baxter was a student on the CAT for six years before graduating in 2020 and feels lucky to have been taught and mentored by so many amazing dance artists including Kevin Turner, Natalie Dickmann and Joss Arnott. Louis is joining Rambert School in September and hopes to become a professional company dancer and tour the world.

At Dance City we are all so proud of these young people and what they have accomplished. We wish them all luck in their further dance training and future careers.

Auditions and applications for 2020 entry onto the Dance City CAT have now closed. For more information about how to apply for September 2021 visit