Naomi Looker is a current DanceEast Centre for Advanced Training Parent.
Isaac has been a part of the CAT at DanceEast for a year now and after a brilliant first year is very much looking forward to returning to training again in September. His Journey with CAT, however, began some three years ago. After attending a workshop advertised on a flyer that he had picked up Isaac decided that he wanted to audition, he did and was unsuccessful - the audition process had prepared Isaac for this but he did admit that he was still holding 'a lot of hope'. Nevertheless he auditioned again the following year; hopes were high once more and when the second letter arrived saying that Isaac had not gained a place it also contained some advice for Isaac for the following year. Isaac spent that year dancing with his local dance school and with a boys only dance group in Norwich. He remained undeterred by his two rejections and filled out the CAT application for the third time, with perhaps a little less hope. After a second stage audition Isaac was thrilled to be offered a place on the CAT scheme and we have been very impressed with the nurturing structure that the CAT staff, teachers and tutors have in place.
Isaac has grown in independence, confidence and as a dancer, he has also learnt the value of perseverance and resilience. As CAT parents we feel that we can trust the professionals working with Isaac to draw the best from him, knowing when to push him and how to nurture him. Isaac's experience of school has not always been easy, his school is supportive of him but being part of CAT is proving to be an incredible benefit to his well-being and to his outlook on the future.
Q&A with Naomi
What do you think encouraged Isaac to keep auditioning for the CAT programme after being unsuccessful twice?
Naomi: We didn’t put any pressure on Isaac to apply and tried to move him on quickly after both rejections rather than dwelling on it. I think that he could see that there wasn’t anything to loose. As he said, he just went and enjoyed the audition days.
What do you think Isaac’s CAT audition process has taught him?
Naomi: It has certainly shown him that perseverance pays off. He has also learnt that sometimes it’s just not the right time and it didn’t do him any harm to wait in fact he had a great time developing his dancing in the time between his first audition and his first term at CAT.
What has Isaac’s DanceEast experience taught you?
Naomi: I think I’ve learnt a similar lesson to Isaac; keep trying and don’t let the set backs define you. It’s shown me that there are places where Isaac’s strengths can be celebrated and developed.
What has been the most enjoyable thing to observe about Isaac’s experience with DanceEast?
Naomi: I think the pride on his face when we saw him after the CAT end of year performance of Park Road.
What would you tell other parents about DanceEast?
Naomi: Our experience of DanceEast is that it’s a very nurturing and ambitious environment. The staff are very approachable and will always hold the best interest of your child at the forefront – even if it means making them wait for two years!