Centres for Advanced Training (CATs) in Dance identify children with exceptional potential in dance and develop their talent through pioneering programmes, creating and inspiring future generations of world class dancers and choreographers.

Through the national provision of highly specialised training for young people, artists are cultivated at a critical stage in their development in order to prepare them for entry into the world’s leading vocational dance schools and on to successful and rewarding careers in the arts.

CATs are supported through the Department for Education’s Music and Dance Scheme, and operate from host organizations recognised for their excellence and commitment to the arts and vocational training. Successful applicants are able to access highly specialist dance training in their locality, whilst continuing to live at home and benefiting from a broad and balanced education.

Centres for Advanced Training in Dance deliver non-residential, training programmes for young people aged 10–18 years. Centres are pioneers in prevocational training and research, promoting best practice and providing exceptional and innovative tuition to young people, regardless of their personal circumstances. The Centres maintain close links with influential dance companies and artists, creating opportunities for children to work with and build relations with future employers, and to gain an inspiring yet realistic insight into the profession.

The Department for Education’s Music and Dance Scheme currently enables around 2,000 exceptionally talented children to have access to the best specialist music and dance training available alongside a good academic education. The scheme provides funding for children to attend residential schools in music and dance, choir schools or Centres for Advanced Training. The residential dance schools participating in the Music and Dance Scheme are The Royal Ballet School, Tring Park, Elmhurst School for Dance and the Hammond School.


Dance4 CAT (Nottingham)
Dance City CAT (Newcastle)
DanceEast CAT (Ipswich)
DanceXchange CAT for South Asian and Contemporary Dance (Birmingham)
Swindon Dance – Youth Dance Academy (Swindon)
The Lowry CAT (Salford, Manchester)
The Place CAT – London Contemporary Dance School (London): including London Youth Circus
Trinity Laban CAT (Greenwich, London)
Yorkshire Young Dancers – Northern Ballet & Northern School of Contemporary Dance (Leeds)

This network allows students to work together on national projects and initiatives, meeting peers from across the country. It also provides a support system for CAT staff and management teams, and is a forum for shared policy initiatives and best practice.