WILLIAM STARLING

I had always wanted to Dance but it had just been part of the long list of things I asked my parents if I could do, Karate… Trampolining… Running…and so I never started doing it until a trainee dance teacher came to my middle school and started running a short-term dance club. Although the style of dance was very different to the kind you do at CAT, I really enjoyed it and the teacher recommended a dance club at my local upper school called 3Volution.

After about ten months of doing 3Volution, I was shown a leaflet that advertised auditioning for CAT. I’d come really far with my dance and I wanted to see how good I really was. At that time I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I was older and I felt like auditioning would make up my mind about a career in the arts or in academics.

When I saw how good the other dancers were at the audition I felt like going home because they’d been doing it for years… and then there was Ballet. I didn’t know a thing about Ballet and there I was standing next to a ballet barre with a girl beside me who had done Ballet for years and could do a grand-battement that went up to her head!

Creative was probably the highlight of my audition because I loved just being able to move without having to learn the Ballet or Contemporary steps. When I made it through the first audition I just couldn’t believe it and even when I was at the second audition I couldn’t believe it. That being said, the difficulty of the second audition shook me out of my daydream. I wouldn’t say that it was impossible to keep up with the teachers in the second audition but they definitely stepped it up.

I went home that day thinking that I wasn’t going to get into CAT, even after having the chat with Elsa who was really encouraging. You’ll never guess how surprised I was when I got the call-back. I just remember picking up the phone and hearing Elsa say that I’d got in and then passing the phone over to my dad and then jumping around the room with my sister asking “What’s going on?”

If I thought that the feeling of getting into CAT was amazing then I was going to be surprised with how good it felt to actually go to a CAT class. As soon as I started Contemporary, I adored it. I loved how there was such a variation in the movement; how it could go from slow and quite beautiful into fast and animalistic.

Even though I wasn’t successful with my Ballet in the audition, I came to the class with an open mind. After a while, I felt comfortable with Ballet and started to enjoy learning it. I liked how there was only one way of doing the step/move because in Contemporary you could interpret the move how you wanted and there were very vivid guidelines. In Ballet there is only one way and I really like that precision.

When it came to shows…I was impressed. Both the Easter and Summer shows weren’t about using props and big, flashy moves but instead about portraying a certain thought or feeling through dance. Even though the process of creating the shows was a bit grueling, the end product was so satisfying and just amazing to perform.

If you want to audition for CAT, then let me give you some advice. The teachers don’t look for experience or how high you can kick your leg or how many turns you can do, they look for enthusiasm and how well you can pick up certain moves. I got into CAT with very minimal dance experience and I’m enjoying every second of it.

The teachers and other staff are lovely and really supportive and there are so many opportunities to see performances and sometimes to perform. If you want a career in Dance then CAT is the best place for you to go.