Kai-Joseph and Taylor Keenan

How did you discover the CAT scheme?   
We were mid-contract in Disney’s The Lion King Musical in the West End where we had just beginner’s skills in African and Street Dance. No Technical Training thus far. A peer, who also played Young Simba alternately, told us that he was auditioning for the CAT Scheme and that we should too. Instead of an audition, as we couldn’t make it due to performing in the show, we were thrown into a Graham technique class and we remember the CAT team watching from the door. We guess they saw the potential in us, and nearly six years later, here we are… LOVING the CAT Scheme and our CAT family as if it were our second home.
What had been your experience of dance before the CAT scheme?
We had dabbled in African Dance for our performances in the Lion King as well as Community Hip-Hop / Street-Classes (very amateur). If we can remember, I think we took a contemporary class once, at AkomaAsa Arts Summer School whilst we were in the Lion King.
What has the CAT scheme taught you?
The CAT Scheme has taught us to stay humble, be grateful, and enjoy dancing. CAT has encouraged us to feel freedom when we dance and freedom when dancing with peers. CAT has also given us the confidence to dance on stage. The scheme basically taught us every ounce of technique we needed. We were thrown in with no training at all, no ballet, no contemporary and no creative. The scheme has allowed us to realise our potential and use them to our full advantage.
Where has the scheme led you so far?
In our Second Year of CAT, we were scouted to appear in a short film directed by Emma Miranda Moore, called Swarm. Ourselves and a few other CAT dancers were transported to a forest in Slough and we danced together to create a masterpiece. CAT has also led us to build relationships with teachers from companies with the likes of Richard Alston, Rambert, English National Ballet, Avant Garde, Punchdrunk, Folk Dance Remixed etc… CAT has also led us to embark into the beginning of our presenting career… We started presenting shows in the Robin Howard Dance Theatre: Fresh (December 2018) and The Place Youth Dance Platform (March 2019) and this is all thanks to CAT allowing us to create a relationship with the staff at The Place also, Lia Prentaki mainly.
What are any of your future aspirations?
Dance-wise, we hope to become highly-skilled in as many styles as possible and go into work commercially booking jobs such as tours, music videos and films etc…
What advice would you give to a young person who is interested in auditioning?
DO IT! DO IT! You only live once, there is no place like CAT.
What impact has the financial support of a Department for Education Grant had on your dancing?
The Financial Support Team at The Place fully funded our scholarships over the last five years. We are extremely grateful for this as we know for a fact, without this grant and without the yearly bursaries, we would NOT be where we are today. We are eternally thankful.
Finally, is there anything else you would like to add?
Thank you to the CAT team for CHANGING OUR LIVES.

27 May 2020