With our 2019 Centre for Advanced Training auditions coming up, we caught up with one of our talented ex-students Esmée Halliday to hear all about her experience on the scheme and where it has taken her so far!
How did you discover the CAT scheme?
I discovered the CAT scheme initially through wanting to try out contemporary dance. During a quick visit to Dance City for a leaflet, I was lucky enough to bump into the Head of CAT at reception, providing me with information about the upcoming auditions.
What had been your experience of dance before the CAT scheme?
Before joining the CAT I attended the local dance schools in my area, trying out different styles such as ballet, tap, street and stage dance.
What has the CAT scheme taught you?
The biggest thing the CAT scheme taught me was discipline and dedication. Joining at 12 years old, it was a big commitment for me to dedicate so much of my free time to dance, however, this instilled a really strong work ethic within me which I believe I’ve taken forward, not just into my dance training but into my way of living.
Where has the scheme led you so far?
After my time on the CAT, I continued my training at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Contemporary Dance, achieving a First Class BA (hons) Degree. During my time at the school, I got the opportunity to perform works by many established choroegraphers such as Alison Curtis-Jones, Lizzie Kew-Ross, Marina Collard and Joss Arnott. Upon graduating I was awarded with the Sylvia Bodmer Memorial Fund for Outstanding Achievement in Choreological Studies. I then went on to join the postgraduate dance company ‘Emergence’ led by artistic director Joss Arnott. In partnership with the University of Salford, this course prepares dancers for a professional career in the industry whilst receiving a Masters in Dance Performance and Professional Practice.
What are any of your future aspirations?
I would love to join a professional dance company and tour works internationally. It’s also important to me that I continue growing as a dance artist and find new ways to push myself as performer.
What advice would you give to a young person who is interested in auditioning?
Go for it! My best advice would be to forget about it being an ‘audition’. Try to relax and make sure you enjoy yourself, show who you are as an individual and why you deserve to be there!
What impact has the financial support of a Department for Education Grant had on your dancing?
The financial support from the department for education grant allowed me to gain access to the highest quality training I could imagine. I am very thankful for what is has offered me and continues to offer to young people in the area.
Finally, is there anything else you would like to add?
The CAT scheme was instrumental in setting me up on my career path and I am extremely thankful for the training I received from the most supportive teachers. Over the six years I was there, I made some amazing memories and great friendships. It was definitely hard work, but I wouldn’t be where I am today without it.