The CAT is actively recruiting young people aged 10 – 16 years. Applications may be accepted outside this age range in certain circumstances, but you will need to contact the CAT team to discuss your application.
It is not necessary to have had lots of previous dance training, although some dance experience is preferable. You need to demonstrate potential, dedication and enthusiasm.
You will need to attend classes all day on Sundays (Saturdays for the Introductory Level) and one or two evenings during the week (dependent on age and level). In addition there will be short courses in the Easter and summer holidays. As you reach the age when you start to audition for full-time training your hours may increase.
The scheme is designed to fit around school work and in the first year you will only need to attend classes twice a week.
It is important that students continue with a range of other activities. You will however need to be able to commit to attend all classes on the scheme.
If you don’t think you could commit the time and effort it takes this probably isn’t the right course for you, but don’t stop dancing, this is just one of many pathways into a career in dance.
The first audition consists of practical dance sessions containing creative work, contemporary and simple ballet technique. Applicants are placed in a class with people of a similar age and level of experience. At the second stage of auditions applicants have a short interview with a member of the panel (parents/guardians/carers are asked to join them).
The cost of the course includes provision at the Centre for Advanced Training, mid-week training according to the Individual Training Plan, uniform, theatre trips, medical support, performance opportunities and costumes. 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.
Students are assessed continually throughout their time on the course and are supported right through to the time that they go on to further vocational training at age 10 – 16 years. If the CAT team feels that the course is no longer right for a student, they are positively supported off the course and encouraged to continue with other dance activities.
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. In addition to regular workshops, guest teachers will deliver extra sessions, making the training delivered relevant to today’s dance profession.