Name of CAT: Swindon Dance 

Student Name: Holly Francis  


Holly Francis joined the Centre for Advanced Training programme at Swindon Dance in 2012when she was 11. During her time on CAT she worked with artists such as Anna Watkins, Russell Maliphant and James Wilton. 


How did you discover the CAT scheme?  

I was a part of the Primary Steps programme then the Steps2 programme at Swindon Dance and my teacher told me to audition for the CAT scheme as it was a natural progression from the Steps 2 programme. 


What had been your experience of dance before the CAT scheme?  

I was a disco freestyle dancer before and then was on the Primary Steps programme and Steps2. 


What has the CAT scheme taught you?  

I gained high quality technique in both ballet and contemporary and versatile knowledge in composition and choreography. It taught me how to work with different people, to work hard and efficiently. 


Where has the scheme led you so far?  

After CAT I went onto gaining a first-class BA (Hons) degree in dance at London Contemporary Dance School (LCDS). After graduation, I gained a place with Jasmin Vardimon 2 Company (JV2) and I am about to complete the equivalent of a Masters degree. 


What are any of your future aspirations?   

In the future I am planning on expanding my teaching vocabulary. I also plan on trying to continue performing, finding the style and companies I enjoy working with. 


What advice would you give to a young person who is interested in auditioning 

I would say to keep going and put in that extra work. The CAT scheme is able to give so much and so many amazing resources and connections, really soak it up. When auditioning for the CAT just be open and adaptable to whatever the audition brings. Just try to be like a sponge. 


If you were in receipt of a grant during your CAT training, please comment about the impact it had on reaching your dance goals. 

I received a grant which helped me to continue dancing, I would not have been able to develop to a point of reaching full time vocational training without that. The CAT scheme is such a fruitful resource, I would not have been able to have access to that much privately without the help of the grant. 


Photo Credit: Bill Knight

3 May 2023

Town Hall Studios,
Regent Circus,
Swindon SN1 1QF

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