What is the CAT?

Welcome to the DanceEast Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) based at the Jerwood DanceHouse. We are a part-time pre-vocational programme offering high-quality dance training to young people aged 10 – 18 years. We deliver contemporary dance, ballet, health, and creative studies to young people with exceptional potential and talent.

We are part of a national programme which launched in 2004, supported by the Department for Education’s Music and Dance Scheme, offering the highest quality dance training to young people across England.  You can find out more about the National Centres for Advanced Training by clicking here.


Our CAT students work with a large team of professional dance artists and other like-minded young people from a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences. We accept applications from young people aged 10 – 16 years (on 1 September 2021) from the East of England from all backgrounds. We’re looking for applicants with strong physical awareness, creativity and the ability to work as part of a team and independently.

Both non-experienced and experienced young dancers are encouraged to apply.

Means-tested grants are available to cover training, transport and dancewear costs, so that anyone can apply regardless of personal circumstances.



The Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) is a non-residential intensive programme, which is suited to those who are ready to make a commitment to intensive training in dance.

One of our main purposes is to prepare young dancers for full-time professional dance training, and to support any young person entering the field of dance and beyond.

Our students attend classes three times a week during term time which is approximately eight hours of dance a week. We’re very fortunate that our technique classes are accompanied by professional live musicians.

If you were to join the CAT you would have the following classes:

Weekend Classes
A full day of classes at the weekend, either Saturday or Sunday at the Jerwood DanceHouse, Ipswich. Our core classes are:

  • Contemporary Technique
  • Ballet Technique
  • Health Studies
  • Creative Studies

Midweek Classes
You would also take part in midweek evening classes in Ipswich, Norwich or Cambridge, depending on your location:


  • Contemporary – Tuesday or Wednesday
  • Ballet – Thursday


  • Contemporary – Tuesday
  • Ballet – delivered by an external provider (in consultation with the CAT Team)


  • Contemporary – Wednesday
  • Ballet – delivered by an external provider (in consultation with the CAT Team)


In addition to our weekly classes, we offer enrichment activities and additional support, including:

  • Physical Health Support: access to a physiotherapist and the Health Team
  • Audition support and preparation
  • Performances
  • Theatre trips
  • Easter and Summer Intensives
  • Projects and workshops


Our curriculum gives a strong basic grounding in technical and creative skills, as well as an introduction to the wider dance profession, enabling all students to apply to a range of dance colleges, conservatoires, and universities should they wish to.

We continue to review and adapt our provision to ensure that students receive the best training possible during their time on the CAT. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, our students have received a mix of in-person and online training and enrichment sessions, in accordance with government guidelines, allowing them to expand and continue to improve their dance skills and experience.



Every year we host Easter and Summer Intensives with national and international choreographers, giving our students a varied and rich experience of what it is to be in a professional creative process.

A range of projects lead towards performances at the Jerwood DanceHouse and beyond, including the Centre for Advanced Training End of Year Show. We have previously performed in regional, national and international venues such as the State Ballet School of Berlin, Royal Opera House, South Bank Centre, Norwich Theatre Royal and Snape Maltings.

In 2020 we hosted a sharing online via zoom where our students presented works they had created with influential artists such as Alleyne Dance, James Cousins and more.


  • 2Faced Dance Company
  • Alexander Whitley
  • Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
  • Anna Williams
  • Arthur Pita and Valentina Golfieri
  • Avant Garde
  • Jamaal Burkmar
  • Martin Lawrance
  • Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures
  • Gecko Theatre
  • Hofesh Shechter Company
  • James Wilton Dance
  • Joss Arnott
  • Jasmin Vardimon Company
  • Joseph Toonga
  • Protein Dance
  • The Royal Ballet
  • Richard Alston
  • Tim Casson
  • Uchenna Dance
  • Humanoove/Didy Veldman.

Click here to see videos of past performances.



We offer Individual Training Plans (ITPs) to all students to aid their development and highlight personal goals and needs. ITPs are created in consultation with parents/carers and our CAT Tutors to monitor and support the student’s learning. This ensures that every effort is made to encourage a healthy balance between academic work, dance training and personal life.



Clck here to find out how you can join the DanceEast CAT.



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