How old do I have to be to apply?
The age range varies from scheme to scheme, please see guideline table on What Are Dance CATS page.

Does it matter if I haven’t had a lot of experience in Dance?
No formal dance experience is required; we are looking for enthusiastic and motivated young people with exceptional potential and an interest in pursuing dance as a career.

How often will I attend classes?
This will vary from across Dance CAT schemes, please look at your nearest Dance CAT page for further information.

How will I fit this in with my schoolwork?
All classes as part of the Dance CAT schemes happen out of school hours. If your local Dance CAT offers classes during the week these are restricted to the evenings and you should still have time to do your homework, other provision occurs at weekends. The course leaders and /or mentors can help you plan your time using your Individual Training Plan (ITP) so that you fit in both your schoolwork and your dance lessons.

A dancer is in a studio with a grey floor, ballet barres and mirrors. They are in a press up position with one arm and both legs off the floor, there is a blur of their legs which shows the movement.

What about my current dance classes/school?
The Centre for Advanced Training is a prevocational training course which does need a high level of commitment. You will need to be able to attend all the classes on this course and we advise you to be realistic about how much you can take on at once. The number of dance classes you want to do each week is a decision you need to make with your parents/guardians and in conversation with the Centre for Advanced Training course leaders.

What if I can’t make all my sessions during the week?
The Centre for Advanced Training is for young dancers who can fully commit and attend all sessions. Most Dance CATs deliver their main programme at weekends and weekday provision varies across each centre. You should look at your Nearest Dance Cat page to find out what is provided.

What if I don’t know if a career in dance is for me?
The scheme will give you the dance training and information to help you decide if a career in dance is for you. Places are offered on a yearly basis and if you choose to leave at the end of a year you will receive documentation to say you have participated in the course.

What do I wear for the audition?
Each centre may have a different specification for example:
Ballet: Ballet uniform or a tight fitting PE kit if you do not have leotard/tights/ballet shoes.
Kathak and Bharatanatyam: You can either wear salwar Kurta, chudidar kurta or black leggings with long tops.
Contemporary: Ideally a leotard and dance tights (footless) would be worn, or tight fitting cycling shorts, jogging bottoms and a t-shirt are acceptable.
We need to see your body moving in the audition; so large baggy clothes are not advised. Extra layers and all jewellery should be removed. Long hair must be tied back and be off the face.

A performer hangs from a trapeze from the back of their knees, wearing long black leggings and a long-sleeved purple t-shirt. They are swinging forwards with their arms raised overhead.

What will I have to do at the open day and audition?
Open Days and Auditions are different depending on which Dance CAT Scheme you are applying for, please look at your nearest Dance CAT page for more information.

What happens if I don’t get through the audition, can I try again?
We welcome applications from young people who have been unsuccessful in the past and you can apply to audition again as many times as you like.

What is covered by the cost of the course?
The cost of the course includes provision at the Centre for Advanced Training, mid-week and weekend training according to the Individual Training Plan, theatre trips, some medical support, performance opportunities and costumes. In addition students receive ongoing advice and career guidance, and may be offered the opportunity to take part in projects with the National Dance CATs.

Some centres have extra bursaries to support travel or uniform costs, please contact the centres directly to find out if this is available in your area.

Does the course only last for a year?
Most students stay on the programme for a number of years. Attendance, commitment and progress are monitored across your time on CAT to ensure you are supported and encouraged to do well. Some decide the Dance CAT is not for them and may leave after one or more years, receiving documentation to say they attended a Dance CAT.

A black and white image of a break dancer, they are balanced on their hands with their legs bent up off the floor. They are wearing a beanie hat.

Who teaches for you?
The teaching team is made up of teachers and accompanying musicians of the highest calibre as the quality of teaching is paramount to the success of the scheme. In addition to regular workshops, guest teachers will deliver extra sessions, making the training delivered relevant to today’s dance profession.

What if I need help to fill in the forms?
Help is available from your nearest Dance CAT, please contact us directly with any questions regarding the scheme and we are happy to help you fill out the application form.