Centre for Advanced Training – Frequently Asked Questions
Dance City CAT – 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 need 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 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 ballet barre, a contemporary centre 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 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’ area of the Dance City CAT home page.
What is covered by the cost of the course?
The cost of the course includes 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
Debbie Harbin – 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 Manager and we can provide any support you need.