The Facts

The DanceEast Centre for Advanced Training is one of nine CATs in England funded by the Department for Education (DfE).  It is aimed at young people aged 10-18 years with exceptional potential in dance.  As it is the most intensive and committed of DanceEast’s youth activities, training is suited to those who have aspirations to pursue a career as a dance professional, or at least are ready to make a commitment to intensive training.

The scheme is devised to prepare young dance artists for full-time professional dance training or university and includes tuition in five key areas:

  • Technique
  • Creative dance and choreography
  • Performance
  • Dancers’ health and wellbeing
  • Cultural activities such as theatre and gallery trips, workshops and volunteering opportunities

The curriculum is intended to give students a strong basic grounding in technical and creative skills, as well as an introduction to the wider dance profession. The aim is to enable students to apply to a range of schools, colleges and universities with a broad set of skills.


Classes take place at the Jerwood DanceHouse, Ipswich on Sundays (Saturdays for Introductory Level), with mid-week classes available in Ipswich, Norwich and Cambridge. All students also take part in intensive weekend, Easter and summer holiday workshops, often with leading British and international dance artists.  In certain circumstances it is possible to tailor a more individualised programme for those who may have difficulty travelling to one of the CAT classes during the week.

All students receive an Individual Training Plan (ITP) to aid their development and highlight personal goals and needs.  The scheme is delivered outside of school time and every effort is made to encourage a healthy balance between academic work, dance training and normal life.


New applications are accepted from young people aged 10-16 years from the East of England.  We will occasionally accept applications from young people aged 17 years depending on their experience and career aspirations. Applicants must be enthusiastic and motivated, with exceptional potential in dance. We seek children and young people with strong physical awareness, creative aptitude, the ability to problem solve and work both as part of a team and independently. We are also interested in applications from children and young people who are persistent, passionate and willing to persevere in the face of challenge. Both experienced and non-experienced dancers are encouraged to apply. Students are levelled according to age, ability and physical experience.

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


The scheme equips students with the skills necessary to pursue further training if they choose, usually either at 16 or 18 years. Most dance colleges, conservatoires and universities offer Further and Higher Education programmes. Careers guidance and advice is available throughout the course, for students and parents.

The DanceEast CAT currently has a 100% success rate of graduates continuing on to full-time training at conservatoire or university level. Previous students have gone on to:  Arts Educational School,  Bath Spa University, Bird College, BRIT School, Central School of Ballet, Edge Hill University, Hammond School, Laine Theatre Arts, London College of Music, London Contemporary Dance School, London Studio Centre, Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, Northern school of Contemporary Dance, Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance, Roehampton University, Royal Ballet School, Tring Park Performing Arts, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, University of Middlesex and University of West London.

"As well as technique, we get the chance to perform and work with famous choreographers. It opens up lots of other opportunities in dance."
DanceEast Student
“The aim of the scheme is to help identify and assist children with exceptional potential, regardless of their personal circumstances, to benefit from world-class, specialist training as part of a broad and balanced education.”
DfE Music and Dance Scheme
"If you’re serious about this career, then you need all the opportunities to perform and I can’t get that anywhere else. And I need the grant to do it."
DanceEast Student

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