Reece Calver joined the DanceEast Centre for Advanced Training in 2009 when he was 13. During his time on the CAT he worked with artists such as Mark Bruce, Joss Arnott, Matthew Bourne, Rachael Mossom. Reece graduated from the CAT in 2015.
How did you discover the CAT?
My auntie lives in Ipswich and used to be a bit of a dancer herself. When she noticed my interest in dance she told my mum about the CAT.
What had been your experience of dance before the CAT scheme?
I had never actually been to any dance classes in my life. The only experience I had was watching YouTube videos of Michael Jackson’s concert routines and copying them as best as I could in my bedroom. I think on a Haven holiday with my family my mum entered me into a dance competition when I was about 10, I was quite angry with her at the time but it ended up being pretty fun.
What has the CAT taught you?
Obviously the training at any CAT scheme is brilliant. But what I look back at now is how well I was nurtured in my time with DanceEast. I started with zero experience and left a completely different person. I was very lucky to have been introduced to such an amazing programme that taught me everything I needed to know to take Dance seriously and eventually it be a job that I also love.
Where has the scheme led you so far?
I am currently touring as a dancer with Gary Clarke Company in a show called “Wasteland” and have previously danced with Scottish Dance Theatre.
What advice would you give to a young person who is interested in auditioning?
I would say make lots of friends and be as open minded as you can be. Don’t be scared because it will soon feel like home and a safe place for learning and having fun.
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 a full bursary to cover all fees for most of my time on the CAT. I would not have been able to attend the CAT if this support was not in place. The CAT got me out of my hometown, in got me into London, it gave me the network and allowed me to experience my full potential. I have no idea what I would be doing now if I didn’t recieve this support, especially as I am from a small town where opportunities like this do not come around hardly ever.