Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) Street Dance (Sunderland)

About CAT Street Dance
Fees and Funding
Workshops and Auditions
Schools Workshops
Frequently Asked Questions
CAT Current Student Information
CAT Parents Feedback

About CAT Street Dance

Dance City’s Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) is part of The Department for Education’s Music and Dance Scheme offering a Street Dance training programme for young people from the North East region who are 10 – 18 years of age.  The Dance City CAT Street Dance programme is based at Dance City at The Fire Station, Sunderland. We also offer a Contemporary Dance programme at Dance City, Newcastle.

Training covers technical, creative and performance skills in various Street Dance styles including but not limited to; Popping, Breaking, Locking and House with Contemporary as a supporting technique.

The CAT Street Dance group meets every Sunday 10am – 4pm at Dance City Sunderland at The Fire Station on High Street West.

Young people accepted onto the programme also attend intensive week-long workshops during school holidays.

Entry to the Dance City CAT Street Dance is by audition, and we are looking for young people who demonstrate talent, potential and most importantly a passion for dance.

Although students should be no more than 16 years of age when they join, once accepted onto the programme 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 CATs delivering non-residential, pre-vocational, professional dance training.  The CATs 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 CATs programme can be found here: www.nationaldancecats.co.uk

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

Fees and Funding

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.


Workshops and Auditions

CAT Taster Days, Workshops and Auditions 2022

Auditions for September 2022 entry are now closed. 

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

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

Schools Workshops

Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) Street Dance Recruitment Activity in Schools

The Dance City CAT Street Dance is part of the Government’s Music and Dance Scheme and is funded by the Department for Education (DfE).

We offer FREE Street Dance workshops to schools in Sunderland and the surrounding area.

These workshops are led by a dance professional and are specifically geared to spotting students who may  be interested in finding out more about the CAT Street Dance and auditioning to join the programme which operates in our Dance City Sunderland studios in The Fire Station, High Street West.  All of our talent scouts hold an enhanced DBS certificate.

Dance City CAT Street Dance workshops are:

  • Available to young people in Years 6, 7, 8, 9 & 10.
  • Available to all schools in the Sunderland area free of charge.

The Dance City CAT Street Dance  looks for young people who display the potential, enthusiasm and commitment required to undertake a high level of  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 CAT Street Dance workshop?

General Enquiries

0191 269 5587

What happens at a CAT Street Dance workshop?

A talent scout from the Dance City CAT will come into your school, to observe or teach a one-off dance workshop to a group of students. The workshop will give students an insight into the training involved in a CAT and provide further information.

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,  dance training to talented young dancers aged 10 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

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.

How often will I attend classes?

Dance City CAT Street Dance meets on Sundays 10am-4pm at Dance City Sunderland, The Fire Station, High Street West. There are also week-long intensives during school holidays.

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 at the weekend meaning that you should still have time to do your school and 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?

We feel it is important for students to continue attending their current dance school / class if they wish to as an addition to attending Dance City CAT Street Dance.

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?

A t-shirt or vest with leggings or shorts will be suitable.

Baggy 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 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 students 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 FUNDING AND FEES tab above.

What is covered by the cost of the course?

The cost of the course includes the training sessions at the CAT, theatre trips, intensives with guest choreographers, physiotherapy and counselling support and performance opportunities in the state of the art Dance City Theatre. 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.

CAT Current Student Information

Dance City CAT Street Dance 2022 – 2023

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

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


What Parents/Guardians 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.