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29 Mar 2023

The DanceEast Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) gives aspiring young dancers the opportunity to work with world-class dance companies and choreographers.

We have reached the highly anticipated time in the year again when we announce the choreographers that will be working with the DanceEast CAT students across their Spring and Summer intensives, creating pieces for the End of Year Show in July. CAT students will work with a line-up of diverse and inspiring artists from across the country, which is a great opportunity for them to experience the professional world of dance.

Next week, the students will take part in their Spring intensive, working with professional artists to create or restage pieces for the End of Year show. CAT students have previously shared their highlights from the programme and the intensives always get a mention! Read our blog post with the 2022 CAT Graduates here.

Students get introduced to established and emerging dance artists for the first time on the CAT, which is often the first touch point they have to working with these artists, and then they can go on to work with them in their future careers. It’s always exciting to see CAT alumni go off to join these companies and perform with them. This Spring, we are lucky to have ex-CAT alumni George Frampton return for the Spring intensives as a rehearsal director for James Cousins Company. George currently works for James Cousins Company, teaching, choreographing and performing.

Get to know this year’s artists below…


Founded in 2014 by James Cousins and Producer Francesca Moseley, James Cousins Company has been on 4 extensive UK tours as well as numerous international tours in Europe, South America and Asia. James Cousins was Associate Artist at DanceEast between 2013-2016.

“Our interest in the world motivates us to bring together creative and diverse teams who widen our work’s perspective, who passionately give voice to the underrepresented, and who nurture communities, cultivate young talent and connect to our audience”

In 2016, James Cousins Company premiered their piece Rosalind: set in a modern city – conservative by day, wonderland by night – the curious, courageous heroine Rosalind embarks on a journey of self-discovery, fuelled by love and oppression. Created in collaboration with Korean dancers and artists, Cousins takes Rosalind’s passion and eloquence beyond words, to somewhere only movement can take you.

James Cousins and company dancer Gareth Mole will share an extract of the piece with DanceEast CAT students.


Led by Artistic Director Botis Seva, Far From The Norm is a performance company that strives to make honest, relevant and needed performance work that reflects our generation. Far From The Norm performers bring to the studio a range of dance styles from Popping to Breaking, Krump to House, and it is with their informed knowledge of different dance styles that Botis is able to question, learn and translate what else is possible.

“We deconstruct street dance vocabularies, challenge perceptions of Hip Hop and create work that empowers marginalised people. All our work is original, vital and fearless and invites debate on social political issues and the contemporary world”

Established in May 2009 in a youth club in Dagenham, Far From The Norm was founded by artistic director Botis Seva and is a collective of artists renowned for experimenting with hip hop. Simply, it was a collective of creatives thinking about creativity and moving in a different way to what was considered the norm. After years of presenting work in community settings, through talent development initiatives and self-investing in our own productions, Far From The Norm are now touring their work internationally to sold out audiences.

CAT students will work alongside company artists Jordan Douglas and Victoria Shulungu to restage a 15-minute version of 60 sec.


SAY dance company, is a collaboration between Sarah Golding and Yukiko Masui. Yukiko, originally from Tokyo, Japan, started her training in Hip Hop, Ballroom Latin where she developed her passion for dance and movements. Sarah Golding graduated with a BA (Hons) in Dance Theatre in 2012, before joining Transitions Dance Company and completing an MA in Dance Performance in 2013. Since graduating, she has taught, choreographed and performed for a number of different
companies. Sarah and Yukiko are currently Associate Artists at DanceEast.

the album features fast-paced and slick dance routines to incredible music tracks from artists including UK beatbox champion MC Zani; the unapologetic and raw Juliana Yazbeck; stunning spoken-word artist Holly Williams; South Africa’s hottest new duo Tina Redmxn & L Tune ‘Chillin’ and more”

In 2022, SAY brought their piece ‘the album’ to the stage. In an explosive mix of everything that inspires them, the album is a fusion of great music, personal stories, and collaborations with a range of exciting new artists.

CAT students will be working with Sarah Golding, Yukiko Masui and Coralie Calfond.


Yael Flexer is co-artistic director of Flexer & Sandiland. Originally formed by Yael as Choreographer in Residence at The Place Theatre, London, to date Yael has created 13 full-length productions for the company, touring throughout the UK and internationally.

The company has been commissioned to create live and/or interactive works for among others: Brighton Dance Festival and Digital Festival, Sadler’s Wells, Woking Dance Festival, The South Bank Centre, Barbican Centre, London & Cinedans (Amsterdam, The Netherlands). Recent and current Flexer & Sandiland projects include Imagining Otherwise (2020-21) an immersive digital dance performance, as well as a new music video for Birdmask, Manuel Gagneux.

The students will be working Yael Flexer and Lorna Cross-Clark.


Avant Garde Dance Company is at the forefront of London’s innovative Hip hop/ Contemporary Dance scene. The company was founded in 2001 and is led by Artistic Director Tony Adigun.

Avant Garde Dance has performed in the UK and internationally at venues and festivals including:The Place, Breakin’ Convention, Sadler’s Wells, Pavilion Dance, Southbank Centre, The Barbican, DanceXchange, Greenwich Dance, Latitude Festival, British Dance Edition, Greenwich & Docklands International Festival, Brighton Dome, East London Dance at Stratford Circus, Barcelona Festival and Madison Square Gardens New York.

Since 2015, Avant Garde Dance Company has reached over 170,000 audiences and engaged over 2000 young people in learning opportunities.

CAT students will be making an original piece with Tony Adigun and Emma Stansall.


Stopgap Dance Company is driven by a diverse creative team who uses dance as a movement for change.

“Our vision is to create an inclusive world where diversity is not just accepted but pursued, a world where no one is limited by prejudice against D/deaf, disabled, or neurodivergent people. Working with an artform shaped by human touch and energised by the spark of connectivity, our work demonstrates the compelling power of diversity and inclusivity. We move together to create a remarkable experience that transforms society’s perceptions of difference and dismantle the inequity of privilege, in dance and in all aspects of living, collaborating, and creating together as humans”

In 2022, Stopgap Dance Company produced Frock. In this piece, six dancers collide in an uplifting dance riot accompanied by especially composed original music by Hannah Miller and Oli Austin of Moulettes. In this quirky dance piece, there are playful observations of the yesteryears exploding into a ‘punkish’ celebration of individuality and difference.

CAT students will work alongside company artists Christian Brinklow and Hannah Sampson to create a new 5-minute work inspired by Frock.


Vanhulle Dance Theatre (VDT) is a national touring contemporary dance company based in Cambridgeshire, UK. The company collaborates with highly skilled and critically acclaimed artists; choreographers, musicians, composers and designers to create inspiring original productions that offer unforgettable experiences through performances, workshops, projects and short films.

Led by Co-Directors Belgian born Laura Vanhulle and UK born Oliver Russell, VDT has an international view of dance and believes that the most extraordinary art comes from people of different artistic backgrounds collaboration and sharing. Vanhulle Dance Theatre uses contemporary dance and open inter-disciplinary conversations with other art forms as the anchor for its work.

Working creatively with philosophical influences, improvisation and taking inspirations from Tang Soo Do, mind-body teachings of yoga, gymnastics and cultural dance forms, the company produces authentic work that is visually daring, extraordinarily physical and alive.

The students will be working with Artists: Laura Vanhulle and Oliver Russell.

If working with world-class professional dance artists sounds like something you’d like to experience, applications are open to join the CAT in September 2023. If you’d like to find out more about training on the CAT programme, visit our webpage here.