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The C.A.T

For young dancers looking to make the transition from having some fun in dance classes during the week to having some fun in dance classes with the added bonus of studious technique training, health monitoring, summer intensives and regular performances then the establishment of the Centre For Advanced Training programme more than 10 years ago in London was a bit of a godsend.

From the initial pilot project at ThePlace in London the CAT programme now runs across England in 9 different locations with the singular aim of preparing young dancers from the age of 10 for a possible run at making a career for themselves in the wide world of dance.

Thirteen year old Alanna and seventeen year old Connor Scott are two such dancers within the Newcastle CAT based at Dance City, one of the UK’s National Dance Agencies. Both of these young dancers came into the wide world of dance through a chance encounter when they were small children, they dipped their toe, so to speak, and kept on coming back for more.

For Alanna it was her father bringing her along to a Hip-Hop class at age 7 and she describes the experience as making her feel very comfortable, like she belonged in the class. She admits to, at first, being a touch scared since she didn’t know anybody there. The teachers and other class members however made the class a “comfortable place to be” for Alanna. The young dancer continued with regular classes for a couple of years as well as spending some time on more advanced training programmes within Dance City before, at the age of 9, auditioning for the CAT programme.

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