I am currently in my final year on CAT and studying my A Levels – Chemistry, Biology and Economics and have applied to study Physiotherapy at University. Alongside my CAT training, I have a dancer with Shift Youth Dance Company for 2 years which is a resident at The Place. I started dancing when I was 2 years old taking classes in RAD Ballet and ISTD Tap at The Dance Studio. I also trained in modern and jazz before joining 3 Counties Youth Ballet. Training with the company was on Mondays and we performed in Hertfordshire – whilst I was still studying and training at my local dance studio.
I then joined Step into Dance in 2013 where I was introduced to Street Dance, Hip Hop, Yoga and Contemporary dance. I had some wonderful performance opportunities, at the Royal Albert Hall, Indigo O2, and Royal Festival Hall. Step Into Dance developed my love for contemporary dance hence why I auditioned for CAT.
My experience before joining CAT was doing ballet and tap for 14yrs of ballet and tap I had virtually no contemporary training but a burning desire to learn more. Whilst with CAT I did Summer Intensives with Ben Duke, Frantic Assembly, Richard Alston Dance Company plus other workshop and performances with Yolanda Yorke. At CAT we sometimes do Off timetable days, where we get other opportunities like partnering workshops, talks on self-esteem and confidence building and rep workshops with companies like James Cousins and EDge. We also go on termly theatre trips to see a wide variety of dance, circus and contemporary ballet companies. Also another amazing experience is making a whole load of life-long friends who I now consider family.
At CAT a typical day is:
Ballet, Contemporary and creative technique in afternoon all taught by fabulous professionals who often still create and perform
Creative classes are aimed at developing our own personal movement styles and discovering the choreography side of the dance world. They give you opportunities to explore movement in ways technique does not necessarily facilitates.
Some of us also do Midweek classes in Ballet and Contemporary technique.
The Pre vocational training at CAT prepares us for a day in the life of a dancer which is especially true for a student studying Dance at university. I have to say that the Intensives are the highlight of the year becausee get to work with professionals for a week to create works with us. We then get to perform these pieces in an end of Year Summer Show at the Robin Howard Theatre at The Place. It’s a real chance for us to showcase our work, passion and potential to all those interested in the future of dance.
CAT has contributed to making me realise the potential in myself. It has created a support system for me as a CAT student and I feel as though that won’t disappear even after I graduate. I have also learnt communication skills, openness and networking opportunities.
CAT are looking for people who they can see potential in. It isn’t about who has the best technique or who can kick their legs the highest. Having a smile on your face and the willingness and eagerness to work hard and achieve your best is most likely to get you a place on CAT.