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5 things you should know about the DanceEast Centre for Advanced Training

14 May 2021

Photo by Rachel Cherry


Kate Durrant has been teaching at the DanceEast Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) for 10 years, so who better to ask for inside knowledge? Read on to find out 5 things you should know about the DanceEast Centre for Advanced Training.

The deadline to join the CAT is just around the corner, what advice would you give a young person who is considering auditioning?

Go for it! What have you got to lose? You don’t need to have massive amounts of dance experience; we really are looking for potential. We love meeting new dancers at auditions, especially when we get to see how much they love dancing.

And can you tell us 5 things young people should know if they’re undecided about applying?

  1. The CAT is an amazing programme and the opportunities available to our young dancers are incredible.
  2. You get to train with likeminded, super brilliant young dancers.
  3. You have a wonderful team of highly experienced adults in the management and artistic team that will support you every step of the way in your training.
  4. The Jerwood DanceHouse is a wonderful place to come together and train at the weekends.
  5. Alongside all the amazing dancing and creativity that goes on you’ll also make amazing friends for life, that you wouldn’t meet otherwise! The DanceEast CAT is so much more than a dance training programme.

That’s some great insight. Now, let’s talk more about you! When you’re not teaching on the CAT, what do you do?

I work as a freelance dance educator. I teach at a couple of other dance organisations; ISTD, Sharpe Academy and Urdang Academy, and I run Cambridge Youth Dance Company.

That’s quite a lot to juggle! When did you know that dance was the career for you?
I loved dancing from an early age and got into ballet when I was 3 years old, but it was when I was older and my parents took me to see 42nd Street that I realised that you could dance for a career. I think I was around 9 or 10 at the time. From then I was hooked and never wanted to do anything else.

So dance has been a part of your life for a long time, what has been the biggest highlight of your career so far?
Hard to say, there’s been lots of highlights for different reasons. My first professional job was wonderful, I got to dance with the Royal Opera in Queen of Spades. Being part of Sol Dans Company is really special to me. Melody Squire who choreographs and runs the company creates such a fun and inclusive environment to work in that we never really felt like we were working. I made some great friendships in her company and we’re still friends today. My youth company was selected to go to the U.Dance National Festival in 2017 which was just brilliant – the group had such a wonderful experience and got to see and do so much. Watching our CAT students grow through their time on the CAT and go on to do great things both in and out of dance. They really are just brilliant, talented, hardworking humans.

I can see why it’s hard to choose! Is there something you wish more people knew about the dance industry?

Keep an open mind. It’s great to have an idea of what you would like to do in the dance industry but be open to letting it change as you grow and have different experiences. There are so many opportunities outside of performing and creating, and you never know where it might lead you.

That’s great advice, and so true. Finally, what’s next for you?
At the moment I’m taking part in a training course in coaching. I’m hoping to do research into how to utilise more coaching techniques in dance teaching to help create healthy and nurturing training environments for young dancers.

What a great topic to develop, I hope it all goes well – thank you for taking the time to share your insider knowledge today.


If you’re interested in finding out more about the DanceEast CAT, watch our free virtual open day – click here to find out more.

If you can’t make it, don’t worry! Click here to find out more online and apply.