Freya Brown joined the DanceEast Centre for Advanced Training in 2012 when she was 13. During her time on the CAT she worked with artists such as Arthur Pita, New Adventures, Anthony Missen, Antonia Francesci, Tamzin Fitzgerald, Anna Williams, Hanna Gilgren, Paul Bayes Kitcher, Barwen Tavaziva and UNIT Dance Company.
How did you discover the CAT scheme?
I was given a leaflet by my high school dance teacher as she thought it would be a great idea for me to look into auditioning. I went along to the taster workshop in Colchester, fully enjoyed my day and decided to apply.
What had been your experience of dance before the CAT scheme?
I attended a local dance school in my home village called Jaqueline Player theatre school from a young age doing techniques such as Ballet, Jazz, Tap and Modern. I also was very active with whatever dance opportunities came about in my primary school. I also participated in English Youth Ballets production of Giselle in 2008 at Cliffs Pavilion, Southend, in which I played the role of a Scullery Maid.
What has the CAT scheme taught you?
Before I joined I had no knowledge of Contemporary technique and quite a basic knowledge of Ballet. Being exposed to a variety of well experienced and established teachers was amazing and really enabled me to open my eyes to new possibilities within dance. I learnt so much more information about the industry and many skills that could prepare me for embarking on new adventures after I had completed my time at CAT. I was able to delve deeper into the world of dance through experiencing so many great opportunities that were supplied by and through CAT. I performed with UNIT Dance Company as a main role in the small CAT cohort within the production and was featured prominently in a Dance film in the production called ‘Youth’ that was then toured around several film festivals. I was a Young Creative in the Young Creatives Scheme in 2016 with my choreography entitled ‘The Crossing’. I participated in the Young Rural Retreat in 2016. Without CAT, I would have been able to achieve and grow to become the dancer I am today.
Where has the scheme led you so far?
I am currently in my second year at Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance. Later on this year I will be performing with New Adventures in Romeo and Juliet as part of the Young Cast at Norwich Theatre Royal.
What are any of your future aspirations?
I would love to work professionally as a Dancer. Dance theatre is something that really interests me, as well as physical theatre. I would also love to keep working on my own choreography and develop my own company and style in years to come!
What advice would you give to a young person who is interested in auditioning?
Go for it ! If a taster day is available to you definitely go so you can gage what an exemplary CAT day would be like and if not then go along to the audition and just have a fun time exploring new and exciting styles of dance !
If you received a bursary to cover all/or part of your fees when attending the CAT. What impact has the financial support of a Department for Education Grant had on your dancing?
I received full funding for any travel costs, uniform and the fees of the scheme. I live over an hour away from Ipswich so the fact my travel costs were taken care of really helped me with being able to attend. Coming from a low income family, all of the costs being covered meant I could do the thing that I loved without my Mum having to worry about affordability.
Photo by Rachel Cherry