With our 2020 Centre for Advanced Training auditions coming up, we caught up with one of our talented ex-students Holly Swan to hear all about her experience on the scheme and where it has taken her so far!


How did you discover the CAT scheme?
When I was 14 years old a workshop was held at my high school; St Thomas More RC Academy where I then got invited to the audition day at Dance City. It was led by Martin Hylton who was a teacher on the CAT at the time.


What had been your experience of dance before the CAT scheme?
Before joining the CAT scheme I had trained in Ballet, Tap, Modern, Disco and Freestyle from a young age, but had never had access to contemporary dance before.


What has the CAT scheme taught you?
The CAT scheme was my gateway into contemporary dance. It taught me how to get the most out of my training and how to excel physically in the studio with Ballet technique, various contemporary style classes, Body conditioning and creative sessions per week. Alongside the obvious intense dance training the CAT provides , the CAT taught me how to be courageous and confident as an artist from a young age and to develop a high standard work ethic in the studio in a class atmosphere but also how to present myself when working with professional guest choreographers and how to get the most out of every experience.


Where has the scheme led you so far?
The scheme led me onto gaining a First class BA (Hons) degree at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London in 2017. I then went onto to complete further training in Jasmin Vardimon 2 educational company which is a postgrad company created by leading choreographer Jasmin Vardimon. I am also a contemporary dance workshop leader for Theatre for Life education. I am currently working on a project in Ulm, Germany ‘wild_ grandchild of tree / electric’ with Friedrich Glorian & the heArtLight collective.


What are any of your future aspirations?
I would love to make contemporary dance more accessible to young people in under developed countries.


What advice would you give to a young person who is interested in auditioning?
I would say GO FOR IT !! Go in with an open mind and enjoy the audition and just see what happens and can come from it.


Finally, is there anything else you would like to add?
I would like to thank all the teachers, guest choreographers and class mates I met and got creative with in the studio. My time on the CAT and the people I met will always have a place in my heart.


The Dance City Centre for Advanced Training is part of the Department for Education’s Music and Dance Scheme offering a contemporary dance training programme for young people from the North East region who are 10 – 16 years of age.


Taster Days:

Tuesday 18 February 2020, 10:30am – 1:15pm or 1:30pm – 4:15pm
Tuesday 14 April 2020, 10:30am – 1:15pm or 1:30pm – 4:15pm


Boys Workshop: 

Tuesday 14 April 2020, 10:00am – 12:45pm Age 10 – 13 years and 10:00am – 3:45pm   Age 14 – 18 years


Audition Dates:

Saturday 16 May 2020, 1pm – 3pm or 3:30pm – 5:30pm
Sunday 17 May 2020, 10:30am – 12:30pm or 1pm – 3pm


To find out more and book your place on either the Taster Days or Audition Dates, please visit www.dancecityta.co.uk or contact CAT administrator Hannah Marshall at hannah.marshall@dancecity.co.uk