Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) Contemporary (Newcastle)

Dance City CAT

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Dance City CAT

Dance City’s 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 – 18 years of age.  We are based at Dance City in Newcastle, although students from the south of the region can attend their weekday technique classes in Darlington.

Entry to the CAT is by audition only, and we are looking for young people who demonstrate exceptional talent or potential in contemporary dance.

Although students should be no more than 16 years of age when they join, once registered they can continue training until they are 18 years of age.

The Dance City Centre for Advanced Training is part of a national network of CAT’s delivering non-residential, pre-vocational, professional dance training.  The CAT’s were designed to allow students to access high-level dance training and support their development, irrespective of their personal finances and/or circumstances.

More information about the National CAT’s programme can be found here: www.nationaldancecats.co.uk


What can I expect as a Dance City CAT student?

Contemporary dance training at the Dance City Centre for Advanced Training includes:

  • A minimum of seven hours of training, split over three classes per week.
  • The choice to attend your two mid-week classes in Darlington or Newcastle. Mid-week classes cover contemporary technique and classical ballet.
  • All CAT students attend weekend classes at Dance City in Newcastle. Weekend classes cover contemporary techniques, creative movement, and body conditioning.
  • Regular opportunities to perform in the Dance City Theatre.
  • Two intensive, week-long dance workshops each year (during school holidays) with a guest teacher or choreographer.
  • Opportunities to attend workshops with leading dance companies and guest teachers.
  • Organized theatre trips to see leading dance companies.
  • Regular support for the prevention and management of injuries.
  • Termly progress reports from teachers.
  • Individual mentor support and mid-year tutorials.
  • Advice and guidance during the application process for vocational training.

Contact Information

For all general enquiries related to the Centre for Advanced Training, please contact CAT@dancecity.co.uk 


Staff Contacts

  • Hannah Moreno – CAT Manager
    • Email: hannah.moreno@dancecity.co.uk
    • Direct Line: 0191 269 5587
  • Kiran Kumar – CAT Coordinator 
    • Email: kiran.kumar@dancecity.co.uk
    • Direct Line: 0191 269 5578
  • Sofie Scholten – CAT Administrator
    • Email: sofie.scholten@dancecity.co.uk
  • Ellie Trow – CAT Administrator
    • Email: ellie.trow@dancecity.co.uk

National CAT Logo New

Department for Education

Dance City CAT – Funding and Fees?

The Dance City: Centre for Advanced Training is financially supported by the government’s Department for Education (DfE) as part of their national Music and Dance Scheme.  The fee structure for CAT training is set nationally by the DfE.

Means-tested grants are available to cover the cost of tuition and CAT students who have an annual household income of less than £31,481 will receive their training free of charge.

Tuition fees for CAT students with an annual household income in excess of £31,481 are charged on a rising scale related to income.  Payment plans such as full, monthly, or termly payments are available.

Before assessing your annual household income, £2,156 will be deducted from the final total for each child living with you as a dependant (including the child who is enrolling in the programme).

Please Note: The DfE may make slight adjustments to the fees and grants structure each year.  The information on this web site is accurate at the time of publication and any adjustments for the following academic year will be minimal.

An example is given in the table below of the fees to be paid for 2022 – 2023 depending on the annual household income:












Additional Support Available

Tuition Fee Bursaries

Dance City has a small fund available to offer bursaries towards CAT tuition fees. The bursaries will be awarded by application only and will be assessed on a case-by-case basis upon successful entry on to the programme.

Sibling Discounts

If two or more siblings attend the Dance City CAT, a tuition fee discount is provided.

Travel Expenses Claim

CAT students who travel 15 miles or more from their home to CAT classes can receive support to cover their travel costs, regardless of the method of transport used. All students are eligible to apply irrespective of whether they are in receipt of a DfE grant.

Ballet Shoes

All Dance City CAT Contemporary students receive two pairs of ballet shoes for free.


CAT Taster Days, Workshops and Auditions 2022

Auditions for September 2022 entry are now closed. 

For more information regarding CAT Contemporary Taster Days in 2022 – 2023 or Auditions for September 2023 intake, please contact CAT@dancecity.co.uk or call 0191 269 5578. 

For more information regarding the Dance City CAT Street Dance Programme, please click here.

Hannah Moreno

Centre For Advanced Training Manager
Hannah Moreno graduated with a BA Hons in Dance Choreography from Northumbria University in 2009. She then went on to be a member of the graduate company MapDance at Chichester University graduating with a Post Graduate Diploma in Contemporary Dance in 2010. Hannah then went on to work at Dance City as a teacher on the public and CAT programmes as well as on the CAT administration and ticket office teams. Hannah also co-produces a dance platform FRESH based at Dance City and other venues in the North with Rachel Jean Birch.


Kiran Kumar

Centre for Advanced Training Coordinator

Kiran graduated from Dance City in 2017 with a First Class BA (Hons) in Dance Professional Practice. Kiran has worked in the North-East ever since in various capacities, including teaching for various schools and public classes, working with SEN students and choreographing works for performance. Kiran has performed nationally in many works, including Vanessa Grasse’s MESH and has most recently worked with North-East contemporary dance company Fertile Ground on their UK Twilight Dances tour.

'I am delighted to be working with the CAT team and I am thrilled to be able to support new and current students to achieve their full potential. Dance City is a fabulous place to be and I feel very lucky to be here in such a wonderful capacity.'


Sofie Scholten

Centre for Advanced Training Administrator

Sofie has worked in arts administration for the past 7 years - you might recognise their face from their previous role on the Dance City ticket office. They are responsible for supporting the day to day running of the CAT programme. They enjoy dancing in their kitchen and sometimes in non-professional dance projects. They care about inclusive, equitable art spaces and workplaces. When not at Dance City, they are community organising, gardening and rollerblading.

Ellie Trow

Centre for Advanced Training Administrator

Ellie is a professional dance artist based in the North East. She is co-director of Pelican Theatre as well as being a freelance performer and dance teacher. Ellie started her dance career on the Lowry CAT scheme in Manchester before training at Trinity Laban and then moving to Newcastle to join The Collective company.

She is passionate about working with children and young people and is keen to assist those interested in dance to find their own passion. Ellie enjoys meeting new people, being in the countryside and spending time with dogs!


Geoff Hopson

Centre for Advanced Training Creative Teacher

Geoff trained at the Laban Centre gaining a degree in Dance Theatre, and has since worked as a dancer, choreographer and educator. Performance credits include: Transitions Dance Company, David Massingham Dance, Second Nature, balletLORENT and TDI performance and Repertoire Company. Through a dance commission programme with both Transitions and TDI he has worked with choreographers Liv Lorent, Richard Alston, Aletta Collin, Rui Horta, Mark Murphy, Della Davidson, Charlotte Vincent, Colin Poole, Ben Wright and Vertigo Dance Company. He has also co-run his own project based dance company Jointworks, developing an interest in film and media work. Geoff has a MA in Dance Professional Practice from Teesside University.

Juliet Thompson

Centre for Advanced Training Ballet Teacher

Juliet trained at Rambert School, London and has been a performer ever since. She has danced for David Massingham, Debbie Purtill Dance, Emma Diamond Dance, Northern Stage, and joined balletLORENT in 2003 as a permanent company member. Juliet teaches Ballet for the CAT.

Anthony Lo-Giudice

Centre for Advanced Training Teacher

Anthony is a contemporary dance artist based in the North of England. He trained at Newcastle College and then went on to complete further training at the S.e.S.T.A program in Prague and the Royal Ballet School. As a dancer, he has worked with notable artists and company’s such as Neville Campbell, Antonello Tudisico/Colletivi NADA, and the UBISOFT Just Dance franchise, amongst others. Anthony is also director of Lo-Giudice Dance, a regional small-scale dance theatre company which tours both nationally and internationally to countries including Italy, Spain, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Sweden and Iceland. As a teacher, Anthony is a regular tutor on the Dance City CAT program. He has also taught for The Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Zelyonka Fest in Ukraine, YDance (Scotland’s National organisation for Youth Dance), Dance Base, ArtGarage Pozzuoli, Interno5Start in Naples, The Royal Ballet School and The Royal Opera House.

Rosie Macari

Centre for Advanced Training Teacher

Rosie has worked as a performer, teacher, and choreographer. Originally from Newcastle, Rosie started dancing at the Dance City Centre for Advanced training, before progressing her training by completing a First Class BA Hons at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Rosie began her performing career working for Chantry Dance Company, Southpaw, Fully Booked Theatre, Neville Campbell, and State of Grace. Most recently, she has toured nationally and internationally with Motionhouse Dance Theatre, performing to thousands of audiences across Australia, South Korea and throughout Europe. Alongside performing, Rosie delivered many workshops ranging from the repertoire, technique classes, and audition toolkits. She has taught and choreographed work on youth company’s, students, and school groups. She was part of a collaborative production titled ‘Talk to the Waves’ in 2015, which was chosen to be performed in the annual Texas Grand Slam poetry event in Houston Texas as a guest performance. Rosie currently teaches technique and creative sessions for the Centre for Advanced Training

Molly Procter

Centre for Advanced Training Teacher

Molly Procter is a freelance dance artist based in Newcastle upon-Tyne. She achieved 1st class honours in Dance and Choreography at Northumbria University and during this time she also studied in New York to train with Risa Steinburg at the Limon Institute.

With over 15 years professional dance experience she has worked with many companies including Dodgy Clutch, Appetite Dance Productions, State of Grace. She performed as a soloist for Surface Area Dance Theatre and Company of Others and is currently working with Lo-Giudice Dance.
Molly has worked within the education department at Dance City, delivering workshops and classes for over 7 years. She is inspired by physical theatre techniques within dance and strives to implement them in her teaching, helping encourage clear intentions and narrative behind movement.

Adam Park

Centre for Advanced Training Teacher

Adam began his training at Dance City on the Centre of Advanced Training and Dame Allan’s school at the age of 16 before going on to accept a place at The Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance. After two years of training, he joined Rambert Dance Company where he spent the next 8 years touring extensively, both nationally and internationally. Adam has performed in work by Christopher Bruce, Merce Cunningham, Ben Duke, Ashley Page, Itzik Galili, Mark Baldwin, and many more.

Cora Jay Williams

Centre for Advanced Training Teacher

Cora-jay Williams is a dance artist based in the North East, performing, teaching and creating her own work. After graduating in 2016, Cora-jay went on to work and tour with an array of dance theatre companies and teaches in both a community and professional setting. Cora continues to perform and strives to keep updated on happenings in the dance industry so that she can help teach and inspire emerging dance artists.

Michaela Wate

Centre for Advanced Training Teacher

Michaela began dancing with TinArts at Dance City, Newcastle when she was a teenager. She then moved on to train with the Centre for Advanced Training until 2009, which led to her completing an apprenticeship with the CAT, 2011.

She went on to complete 4 years of training at The Scottish School of Contemporary Dance, Dundee achieving a BA (Hons). It was during this time she established and choreographed for Duka Dance, a performance company that toured the UK and South Africa.

During her work with Duka Michaela gained a strong interest in social action and community development projects. She started working with Wellbeing Challenge CIC in 2015, where she trained in delivering Resilience, planning and organising family activities and delivering a programme of healthy activities following the Five Ways to Wellbeing framework.

She was a company dancer for KaSt Dance Company, Aberdeen between 2014-16 performing in 4 works. Her performance work also includes projects with Debbie Harbin's,The D Project, in which Michaela has danced in Solas Fae and the recent #Steam. She also taught at Dance City as a BA Tutor of African Dance for the degree programme.

Michaela now works teaching contemporary techniques and choreographing on the CAT programme at Dance City.

Image: Tom Banks

Giulia Coti Zelati

Centre for Advanced Training Teacher

Giulia is a dance artist based in the North of England. She completed a BA(Hons) at London Contemporary Dance School and then went on to complete an apprenticeship with balletLORENT as part of her MA with LCDS. As a dancer, she has worked with Sweetshop Revolution, Robby Graham and Regina Wielingen with Fertile Ground Dance Company, balletLORENT, Exit 12 Dance Company and Lizzie J Klotz amongst others. Giulia is also the co-creator of Tiny Dances, a local dance film-making project, and the creator of Giulia’s Home Ballet, which is an online ballet studio. As a teacher, Giulia has taught ballet and contemporary at Dance City, The Place, North East Dance Company and NUF as well as teaching dance workshops in Italy, Chile and UK. Giulia is also an international teacher with MindLeaps, an NPO that creates educational paths for the most vulnerable children in the world through a creative arts program that is built on data-driven metrics. With MindLeaps she has traveled to and taught in NYC and Guinea, West Africa.

Emily-Fleur Peake

Centre for Advanced Training Teaching Assistant

Originally from Royal Wootton Bassett, Emily-Fleur graduated from Trinity Laban in 2019 with a First Class, BA (Hons) in Contemporary dance. She moved to Newcastle to be part of Dance City’s postgraduate physical theatre company, ‘The Collective’, in which she gained an MA in Advanced Dance Performance with Distinction. During this time, she had the opportunity to work with David Lloyd, Gecko Theatre and Lost Dog.

At the start of her career, Emily is keen to follow her passion for performance, whilst giving back to the dance community by teaching and nurturing young talent; “I am very grateful for the opportunity to work and inspire such amazing young dancers whilst being mentored by an amazing team to help me grow as a teacher. Dance City is an incredible environment where every artist can make a difference, and I am grateful to be a small part of it.”

Jess Hill

Centre for Advanced Training Teaching Assistant

Jess is a contemporary dancer from the North East who began her journey as a student on the Dance City BTEC programme and CAT in 2013. Jess continued her training on the BA Hons at Dance City graduating with first-class honours. During her time on the CAT and BA, Jess had the opportunity to work with various choreographers such as Gary Clark, Regina Wielingen, Renaud Wiser, Neus Gil Cortez and Neville Campbell.
Jess is currently continuing her training on the Dance City postgraduate MA course as part of ‘The Collective’ Company, working with Lucy Suggate and Victor Fung on a double bill which tours in late 2022.
Following her passion for developing technique and performance, Jess also teaches public classes at Dance City, inspiring and nurturing young talented dancers to achieve their goals and fulfil their potential, whatever their future pathway.

Amy Becke

Centre for Advanced Training Teaching Assistant

Amy started dancing from a young age, training in various styles. She first engaged with Dance City in 2014 as a public class attender and has taken classes ever since. In 2016 Amy moved to train at Ballet West Scotland where she toured with the International touring company in Malaysia, in 2019 she graduated with a First Class BA (Hons) in Dance and Performance. She then went on to train with Ballet Cymru for a year on their Pre Professional Programme where she had the opportunity to tour with the company in 2020. During her time at Ballet West and Ballet Cymru Amy assisted the outreach programme teachers with their Ballet and Contemporary classes. In October 2020 Amy decided to return to Dance City full time to study her MA in Advanced Dance and Performance. This last year Amy has had the opportunity to perform works by David Lloyd of Mischief Company, Alleyne Dance, Joe Hufton and Southpaw Dance Company; in August she graduated her Masters in Advanced Dance and Performance with a Distinction. After graduating Amy had the opportunity to create new work with Robby of Southpaw Dance Company, 'Acedia' was performed as a Motion Capture performance at the Antheum in Sunderland. Amy is currently working for Northern Stage as an Usher, she is also a content writer for the Help for Dancers app, writing articles to inspire change and promote healthy minds for dancers. Since graduating Amy has been teaching for dance schools around Newcastle as well as teaching her own online weekly '80's Dance Fitness class'. Amy also teaches Ballet as a Dance City public class as well as assisting the teachers on the CAT programme.

Keith Hill

Centre for Advanced Training Musician

Keith Hill is a freelance musician who plays Cuban percussion, vibraphone, piano and drum kit. He has performed in over twenty countries in the last twenty years. He has written music for dance, short films and Street theatre. He studied religious and secular music in Cuba, jazz vibraphone in Ireland and has a BA in music. He has been a resident musician at Dance City for fifteen years, playing (and occasionally teaching), for their CAT and Degree programmes.

Brian Duffy

Centre for Advanced Training Musician

Francois Lewis

Centre for Advanced Training Physiotherapist

Francois graduated with a BSc degree in Physiotherapy from the University of Stellenbosch (South Africa) and holds a M.Sc. Manipulative Therapy degree from Glasgow Caledonian University.  His 26 years of experience include working as a musculoskeletal physiotherapist, both in private practice, sport and the NHS and lecturing on both pre- and post-graduate musculoskeletal physiotherapy courses. He regularly assesses, treats and advises patients with complex musculoskeletal conditions. His special interests include functional rehabilitation of all sport and musculoskeletal injuries, aiming to improve a client’s health through better movement.  His experiences as a therapist have led him to believe that specific, individualised care consisting of excellent communication, hands-on treatment and functional exercise is essential if you want to achieve the best possible outcome.  Francois says he is looking forward to the opportunity to work with CAT Students and helping them achieve their goals. 

Hannah Moreno
Kiran Kumar
Sofie Scholten
Ellie Trow
Geoff Hopson
Juliet Thompson
Anthony Lo-Giudice
Rosie Macari
Molly Procter
Adam Park
Cora Jay Williams
Michaela Wate
Giulia Coti Zelati
Emily-Fleur Peake
Jess Hill
Amy Becke
Keith Hill
Brian Duffy
Francois Lewis

Centre for Advanced Training Recruitment Activity in Schools

The Dance City Centre for Advanced Training is part of the Governments Music and Dance Scheme and is funded by the Department for Education (DfE).  We offer FREE contemporary dance workshops to schools across the North East region.

These contemporary dance workshops are led by a trained dance professional and are specifically geared to spotting students who may  be interested in finding out more about the CAT and auditioning to join the programme.  All of our talent scouts hold an enhanced DBS certificate.

Dance City Centre for Advanced Training contemporary dance workshops are:

  • Offered from September – May each year.
  • Available to young people in Years 6, 7, 8, 9 & 10.
  • Available to all schools in the North East region free of charge.

The Dance City: Centre for Advanced Training  looks for young people who display the potential, enthusiasm and commitment required to undertake a high level of contemporary dance training.  Students do not need to have had any previous dance experience to take part in a dance workshop in their school.

How can schools book a Centre for Advanced Training dance workshop?

If you are a local school and you would like to book a free Centre for Advanced Training dance workshop please contact:

General Enquiries

0191 269 5587

Recruitment Teachers

Tyne & Wear and Northumberland
Michaela Wate

County Durham and Teesside
Debbie Harbin

What happens at a Centre for Advanced Training contemporary dance workshop?

A talent scout from the Dance City Centre for Advanced Training will come into your school, to observe or teach a one-off contemporary dance workshop to a group of students (no more than twenty students per workshop).

Following the session, the talent scout will talk to the teacher about any participants who have displayed potential in contemporary dance.  The teacher will be given a flyer to pass on to the student about contacting Dance City.

Further information about the Dance City Centre for Advanced Training

The Dance City Centre for Advanced Training is one of nine Dance Centres for Advanced Dance Training across England. The Dance City Centre for Advanced Training offers professional level, pre-vocational, contemporary dance training to talented young dancers aged 11 to 18 years old in the North East region.

The Dance City: Centre for Advanced Training is supported by the government’s Department for Education (DfE) as part of a national Music and Dance Scheme. More information about the government’s Music and Dance Scheme and the National Dance Centre for Advanced Training can be found here: www.nationaldancecats.co.uk 

Guest Artists on the CAT

Kate Coyne

Born in London, Kate Coyne trained at the Royal Ballet School and London School of Contemporary Dance, from where she graduated into London Contemporary Dance Theatre under the directorship of Robert Cohan, and later joined Rambert Dance Company with the appointment of Christopher Bruce as Artistic Director. Working as a freelance artist, Kate danced with Michael Clark Company for over 15 years from 1997 to 2012, before returning to the company in 2016 as Assistant Director. As a dancer, she has also appeared with DV8, Jeremy James and Dancers, Martha Clarke, Arthur Pita, and Mark Baldwin Dance Company, and has worked on various film and photographic projects. Since retiring from dance in 2012 Kate has held roles as Producer of Frieze Projects and Programme Director, Siobhan Davies Dance, assuming the position of Associate Director at Michael Clark Company in 2017.

Image Credit: Jake Walter

Maya Carroll

Maya graduated from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance with a First Class BPA(Hons) degree in 2018. Maya continued her training with Verve, the postgraduate performance company at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance, graduating with a Distinction as well as being awarded the ‘Overall Achievement in Professional Practice Award’ for her year in the company. Throughout her training, Maya had the opportunity to work with artists such as Ben Wright, Maxine Doyle, Joan Clevillé, Noa Zuk, Jamaal Burkmar (Extended Play Dance) Ben Duke, Gavin Coward and Francesco Scavetta. Since graduating, Maya has worked as a freelance dancer in projects with a variety of artists including Jamaal Burkmar (Extended Play Dance), Petri Delights for Resolutions 2020, Douglas Thorpe (Mad Dogs Dance) and Rod Dixon (Red Ladder Theatre Company), Matthew Robinson, Night People Events, Ruby Portus as well as Wilhelmina Ojanen and Amy Voris as a part of Mobius Dance.

Social Media @mayarosecarroll

Richard Chappell

Richard Chappell is an internationally renowned choreographer. Since 2013, Richard has lead his own ensemble Richard Chappell Dance as a platform for his choreographic research and critically acclaimed performance work.

Based between Wales and the South West of England, Richard is currently a commissioned artist for Swindon Dance and Associate Artist at Exeter Northcott. Prior to this, Richard was a Resident Artist for Dance in Devon and Discovery Artist at Pavilion Dance South West.

Richard's creative process is rooted in collaboration, co-authorship and emotional connectivity. Richard also loves to work in community settings, creating ambitious choreography for large intergenerational community casts with organisations such as Dance Blast, Dance in Devon and Torbay Culture.

As a guest choreographer, Richard has created work for renowned dance companies and theatres, including the Royal Opera House, Stuttgart Ballet, BalletWorks, English National Ballet, Belfast Ensemble, Transitions Dance Company and Frontier Danceland (Singapore). For institutions, Richard has created works for Rambert School, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (Singapore) and Chichester University.

Focusing on contemporary technique, improvisation and choreography, Richard has guest lectured for renowned course, including Rambert School, ArtEz Institute of the Arts (Holland), Lasalle College of Arts (Singapore), Singapore School of the Arts, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Bath Spa University and Tring Park School.

As a community dance artist, Richard has five years of experience working as an inclusive arts facilitator and support worker for ROC Creative, alongside delivering regular workings to young people with learning difficulties, through Lifeworks and Dance in Devon. Richard works regularly with young people through organisations such as One Dance UK, National Youth Ballet and the Centre of Advanced Training programmes at Dance City, Swindon Dance and DanceXchange.

Image Credit: Faye Tan

Jennifer Essex

Jennifer is a performer, choreographer, and teacher. Originally from Canada, she has created works for stage, screen, and the outdoors across the UK and North America. Her bold theatrical language and rare eye for detail and subtleties have won her commissions and awards including from Arts Council England and the Canada Council for the Arts.

Social Media @fullybookedtheatre

Image credit: Phil Hill

Yue Ying Ho

British born Yue Ying Ho is a performer, creator, and dance artist- aiming to deliver high quality and captivating performances.
Yue Ying joined Joss Arnott Dance Company in 2021 and will be touring their new piece, Tin Man, spring 2022.
Yue Ying completed her MA Dance: Performance and Professional Practices under the artistic direction of Joss Arnott as part of EMERGENCE; touring new works by Joss Arnott, Becky Namguards and Kevin Edward Turner (Company Chameleon).
Yue Ying began her training at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, graduating in 2020 with a First-class BA Honours in contemporary dance.
Since finishing her training, Yue Ying has been working with Kapow Dance Circus Theatre and HAWK Dance Theatre- touring nationally. Growing up in Swansea, Wales, Yue Ying started her training with Pamela Miller Ballet School, County Youth Dance Company, National Youth Dance Wales and National Dance Company Wales: Associates.

Social Media @yueyingho_dance

Blue Makwana

Blue is a London based dancer, choreographer, movement director and teacher specialising in Contemporary and Jazz dance techniques, Commercial Dance, Musical Theatre and Choreography. She is a currently a dancer in the production ‘He’s Dead’, choreographed by Malik Nashad Sharpe aka Marikiscrycrycry.

Alongside performing, Blue also teaches Contemporary technique, Commercial, Jazz technique and Musical Theatre at The Urdang Academy, Bird College, The Place, Emil Dale Academy and Trinity Laban (Musical Theatre Department).

Blue’s aim is to utilise the vast training she has gratefully received by fusing the multiple styles she works with, to create intricate and physically challenging work for her dancers. Blue is making versatile work which focuses on an array of subjects. At the core of Blue’s work, the goal is to ensure her dancers can utilise the training they have received, apply it to performance and push their bodies to work hard and with effort.

Social Media @bluemakwana

Thomas Page

Thomas Page (He/They) is an independent dance artist based in Oxford, and the Artistic Director of Thomas Page Dances. An Associate Artist of Swindon Dance, and the Old Fire Station Theatre their practice includes choreographing, teaching, facilitating, and occasionally performing. In addition to their professional practice, they have
recently begun a research masters at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance.

Social Media @thomaspagedances

Image Credit: Jazzula Donaghue Photography

James Southward

James Southward (1989) is originally from the
North East of England and
Studied at the Northern School of
Contemporary Dance (2009-2012). Upon
graduating, he was the recipient of the Carole
Woolridge award for outstanding performance and went onto work with choreographers Janis Claxton, Simon Birch, Gary Clarke and Tamsyn Russell.

James joined Scottish Dance Theatre in 2016 under the direction of Fleur Darkin. There he had the opportunity to perform pieces by and work with choreographers Damien Jalet, Sharon Eyal, Anton Lachky, Colette Sadler and Fleur Darkin. Most recently he has worked with local North East companies Ballet Lorent,
Southpaw Dance Company and Lo-Giudice Dance. James also joined Teac Damsa
led by Choroegrapher Michael Keegan-Dolan
for the creation of Olivier award nominated
show “MÁM” which is currently touring

Social Media @jimbz1

Image credit: Cherriesonfire

Kate Coyne
Maya Carroll
Richard Chappell
Jennifer Essex
Yue Ying Ho
Blue Makwana
Thomas Page
James Southward

Betty Warnock

How did you discover the CAT scheme?

I discovered the CAT scheme through my friends I used to dance with when I was younger. A lot of them joined the CAT and I also wanted to join because I could see them improving and they spoke of how much they enjoyed it.

What had been your experience of dance before the CAT scheme?

Before I joined CAT I was doing weekend classes at Dance City in Contemporary and Street Dance – which I had been taking since I was 7. Before CAT I was and continued to be in a dance company called ‘Division’.

What has the CAT scheme taught you?

CAT taught me to work hard and to really strive for what I wanted. My teachers were really helpful and would always push me to try my hardest and not give up. My teachers all gave me amazing feedback not only to help improve my dance technique but to help improve my outlook on dance and my future career.

Where has the scheme led you to so far?

So far I am now currently on the BA in Contemporary Dance at Northern School of Contemporary Dance. CAT helped me prepare for the audition and decide where was the right place for me to further my dance career.

What are any of your future aspirations?

In the future, I hope to complete my Degree and develop my choreography. I hope to be able to choreograph on many different people/groups all over the world and maybe even create my own dance company.

What advice would you give to a young person who is interested in auditioning?

Try your best - when you try hard you can exceed your expectations. It’s great training for anyone wanting to do dance as a profession or just to train at a higher professional level.

7. Finally, is there anything else you would like to add?

CAT helped me know that I wanted to pursue dance professionally. I wouldn’t be where I am now without help and inspiration from my teachers.

Alex Thirkle

How did you discover the CAT Scheme?

I found about the CAT scheme through my secondary school. They told me about a workshop where people would be picked to audition for the scheme. Although I didn’t even know what contemporary dance was at this point, I took part anyway, and it ended up being successful!

What had been your experience of dance before the CAT scheme?

Before the CAT scheme I had no knowledge of classical or contemporary dance whatsoever. I was only familiar with hip hop and house styles of dance. Nevertheless, I felt really comfortable in not knowing so much, even in the audition for the CAT scheme because the environment was so nurturing and friendly; everyone has their weaknesses, so it’s about admitting to this in order for a person to grow. It gave me space to learn and develop technically, artistically and emotionally.

What has the CAT scheme taught you?

I could write endless pages about what the scheme has taught me, so it’s really difficult to keep this answer concise. It taught me a lot technically as a dancer and helped to refine who I am. However, obviously not everyone who joins wants to pursue dance as a career - the scheme allowed me to meet the amazing people and allowed me to gain skills which apply beyond dance - especially elements like having a determined mind set; being organised; being creative. It’s important to note how you acquire all of these skills whilst having a good time too - they create the most incredible environment to meet new people and learn new things.

Where has the scheme led you so far?

The knowledge I gained from the CAT scheme led to be audition for dance schools for vocational training. I’m currently a second year student at the Rambert School of Ballet & Contemporary Dance, which wouldn’t have been possible without the skill set I acquired from training at Dance City. It also led to me to discover my own personal movement interests, which has passionately connected me to the watching and performing of contemporary dance. Also, the skill set I acquired from the CAT scheme led me to successfully audition for the National Youth Dance Company, working with Damien Jalet and Sharon Eyal.

What are your furtue aspirations?

I think being present is a better state of mind to have right now, especially with so much uncertainty in the world. In the future I just want to keep dancing and see where it takes me.

What advice would you give to a young person who is interested in auditioning?

For people interested in auditioning, just go for it. When auditioning, don’t pretend to be something you’re not. Something which made my experience on the CAT scheme incredible was how different each person in my classes were - from the teachers, to the musicians, to the other people taking the class. They’re not looking for the perfect dancers; they want people are passionate about what they do. One thing I remember from the CAT scheme is Neville Campbell talking about ‘beige’ dancers, which basically means a boring dancer… so don’t be beige.

Finally, is there anything else you would like to add?

The whole experience is really like a new chapter of a half-written book - it helped me build skills in all aspects of my life: from meeting new people to enhancing my dance technique. The benefits from this scheme are endless and it definitely helped to shape the way I am today.

Image Credit: Nicole Guarino

Esmee Halliday

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.

Holly Swan

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 classmates I met and got creative within the studio. My time on the CAT and the people I met will always have a place in my heart.

Hayley Walker

How did you discover the CAT scheme?
I discovered the CAT scheme through a friend who knew people already on CAT Dance City.

What had been your experience of dance before the CAT scheme?
I had been attending RAD ballet and modern classes at a local dance school in Jesmond, I continued to go to this whilst training at CAT receiving an Advanced 2 ballet qualification.

What has the CAT scheme taught you?
Having no prior experience of contemporary dance before joining CAT, the scheme was fundamental in teaching me the contemporary technique in many styles such as Cunningham, graham and release. Over the 4 years I spent at CAT my technique and creative flourished and I ended up moving in ways I never thought I would be able to. Every class was a joy to attend with such invested teachers focused on pushing you to dance the best you can.

Where has the scheme led you so far?
The scheme led me to audition and be accepted into Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance at the age of 16. When auditioning for Rambert School I received endless support with the audition and solo advice from the teachers on CAT. I studied there for 3 years receiving a First Class BA (hons) Degree. Whilst at Rambert I had the pleasure of working with many established choreographers such as Mark Baldwin, Russel Maliphant, Theo Clinkard, Ashley Page and Arielle Alexander. Upon graduating at 19 years old, I then joined postgraduate dance company ‘Emergence’ led by choreographer Joss Arnott in partnership with the University of Salford to receive a MA.

What are any of your future aspirations?
My future aspirations are to join a professional dance company, ideally a repertoire company, touring the UK and overseas. I also want to grow more as a performer, discovering different ways of moving, forever challenging myself to be better.

What advice would you give to a young person who is interested in auditioning?
My advice for anyone auditioning for the CAT is to relax, enjoy yourself and perform. Show the panel who you are as a person also as that is what makes you different from everyone else!

What impact has the financial support of a Department for Education Grant had on your dancing?
The financial support I received from the department for education grant was great and really supported my dancing throughout the 4 years at CAT. I’m very thankful for the education grant as it allows many students to have access to the best dance training in their local area.

Finally, is there anything else you would like to add?
I loved my time on the CAT scheme and I definitely wouldn’t be where I am now without it and the brilliant support from the teachers there. I always used to look forward to the classes there as the teachers want to see everyone improve, I would come out of them knowing that I had worked hard!

Betty Warnock
Alex Thirkle
Esmee Halliday
Holly Swan
Hayley Walker

Frequently Asked Questions

How old do I have to be to apply?

To apply and audition for the Dance City CAT you must be aged 10 – 16. Although students should be no more than 16 years of age when they join, once registered they can continue training until they are 18 years of age.

Does it matter if I haven’t had a lot of experience in Dance?

No formal dance experience is required; we are looking for enthusiastic and motivated young people with exceptional potential and an interest in pursuing dance as a career.

I have received a CAT Spotted Card, what do I do next?

The next steps, if you are interested, would be attending one of our CAT Taster Days, which will provide more information about the Dance City CAT, and help you decide if you want to apply for one of the open auditions.

Although receiving a spotted card does not provide any guarantees, it demonstrates that you have shown great enthusiasm for dance in one of our workshops and is something you should be proud of.

How often will I attend classes?

Students receive a minimum of seven hours training; split over three classes per week. This includes two mid-week evening classes and a full weekend day either Saturday or Sunday.
A normal week for a CAT student would include a weekday classical ballet class, a weekday contemporary technique class and either Saturday or Sunday, which would include contemporary technique, creative movement and body conditioning.
Students will also attend two intensive, week-long dance workshops each year (during school holidays) with a guest teacher or choreographer.

How will I fit this in with my schoolwork?

All classes as part of the Dance City CAT scheme happen out of school hours. Classes are restricted to weekday evenings and one day at the weekend meaning that you should still have time to do your homework. You will have access to a CAT Mentor and Counsellor, who are able to help you plan your time using an Individual Training Plan (ITP) so that you can fit in both your schoolwork and your dance classes.

What about my current dance classes/school?

Any student who is currently training with another dance provider should ensure that the dance provider is aware that they are/will be taking up a place on the CAT and that all CAT students are expected to attend classes during the week and on weekends. The CAT does not require students to stop attending their current dance provision however, it is important to make sure that there are no timetable clashes and that students are able to balance both commitments. This is an important aspect of a child’s physical and mental well-being and balancing schoolwork with dance training can be very demanding for some students so we advise you to be realistic about how much you can take on at once.

All students and parents/guardians should give serious consideration to their ability to balance their commitments before accepting a place on the CAT and it is the responsibility of parents/guardians and students to discuss this with their current dance teacher. We encourage students to continue with their current dance provider if they are confident that they are able to maintain a positive balance.

What if I can’t make all my sessions during the week?

Individual queries regarding timetabling can be directed to the CAT Manager and best efforts will be made to accommodate any requests made.

What if I don’t know if a career in dance is for me?

Attending the CAT does not mean that you have to pursue a career in dance. The scheme will give you the dance training and information to help you decide if a career in dance is for you.

What do I wear for the audition?

Leotard/vest, footless tights, ballet shoes or socks. However, if you do not have any dancewear, leggings or shorts and a t-shirt or sports vest will be suitable.

Loose clothing is not appropriate as the audition panel needs to be able to observe body alignment. All jewellery should be removed and long hair must be tied back

What will I have to do at the Taster Day and at Audition?

At a Dance City CAT taster day, you will take part in a 1½-hour contemporary class. You will also observe current CAT students taking the class and both parents/guardians and students will attend a presentation to find out more information about the CAT.
At the audition, you will take part in a short technique class and a creative class (subject to change). Students may be invited to the second stage audition where you will take part in an interview.

What happens if I don’t get through the audition, can I try again?

Yes. We welcome applications from young people who have been unsuccessful in the past and you can apply to audition again as many times as you like.

 Can I get any feedback from my audition?

Due to the high volume of student’s we see at the audition, we may not be able to provide individual feedback.

How much does the CAT cost?

There is no charge to attend a Dance City CAT Taster Session or Audition. Should you successfully audition and gain a place on the CAT there is a tuition fee for your training.

The Department for Education offers means-tested grants towards CAT tuition fees, which means the Government may cover part, or all, of the cost of CAT training.

Dance City is also able to offer financial support to some CAT students towards travel costs to attend CAT classes.

For full information on CAT costs, please visit the ‘DANCE CITY CAT – FUNDING AND FEES’ tab above.

What is covered by the cost of the course?

The cost of the course includes the provision at the CAT, mid-week and weekend training, theatre trips, intensives with guest choreographers, physiotherapy and counselling support, performance opportunities in the state of the art Dance City Theatre, costumes and two pairs of ballet shoes a year. In addition, students receive ongoing advice and career guidance and may be offered the opportunity to take part in projects with the National Dance CATs.

Does the course only last for a year?

Most students stay on the programme for a number of years. Attendance, commitment and progress are monitored across your time on CAT to ensure you are supported and encouraged to do well. Some decide the Dance CAT is not for them and may leave after one or more years.

Who teaches for you?

The teaching team is made up of teachers and accompanying musicians of the highest calibre as the quality of teaching is paramount to the success of the scheme. Guest teachers are invited to deliver one-week long intensives making the training delivered relevant to today’s dance profession.

Anthony Lo-Giudice – Contemporary / Creative Teacher

Rosie Macari – Contemporary / Creative Teacher

Michaela Wate – Contemporary / Creative Teacher

Juliet Thompson – Ballet Teacher

Giulia Coti Zelati – Ballet Teacher

Adam Park – Ballet Teacher

Geoff Hopson – Creative Teacher

Molly Procter – Creative Teacher

Cora Williams – Creative Teacher

Brian Duffy – Musician

Keith Hill – Musician

What if I need help to fill in the audition application form?

Please feel free to get in touch with the CAT team and we can provide any support you need. If you have any further questions then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Kiran Kumar, CAT Coordinator, kiran.kumar@dancecity.co.uk

Dance City CAT Contemporary 2022 – 2023

CAT Contemporary Student Handbook 2022 – 2023 (click to PDF download file)

CAT Contemporary Term Dates 2022- 2023 (click to PDF download file)




What Parents Say About The CAT

The first priority for students on both our CAT programmes is to receive professional standard training as well as receive Health and Wellbeing support.  We receive consistently great feedback from Parents about the CAT student’s experience on the Contemporary and Street Dance programmes and here is some some of the wonderful feedback from recent surveys.







“Students have a mutual bond, they’re like a family” 

“It’s confidence building, students don’t feel judged” 

“Educational and fun” 

“There’s too much peer pressure in schools, [students] have the freedom to express their emotions at CAT” 

“A fantastic opportunity with great teaching/teachers” 

“An empowering and inclusive family”

“CAT has provided a really great dance education”

We are overjoyed to see the impact that CAT programmes make to young people and their families.