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What does it involve?

Training Days

Core curriculum classes are held on Saturdays during term time. Students receive regular Contemporary, Ballet and Pilates classes where they develop their technique, body awareness, approach to dance and safe practice. They have the opportunity to explore these and other techniques alongside creative exploration.

All classes are taught by experienced tutors and artists, and many are accompanied by live musicians. In addition, the students work with visiting artists and dance companies to develop a range of skills including collaboration, performing, and adaptability.

Intensives and Mid-week Training

During school holidays students attend intensive projects to further enhance their training experience. These include working with dance artists and other performance practitioners in order to widen their exposure to current practices and artistic thinking.

Students are expected to commit to at least 1 other mid-week training session. Many students choose to access one of the associated youth companies across the region, so their mid-week activity is nearer to home.

Performance Opportunities

Students are given opportunities to perform both within the region and further afield as well as visit professional venues to see some of the leading professional performance companies touring the UK.

Individual Training Plans

Each participant has an Individual Training Plan devised in consultation with parents/ guardian and local dance teacher to support the student’s learning, and ensure a balance is maintained between the demands of school work and dance studies. This also allows dancers to reach their potential throughout their time on the programme.

Selection Process

Entry on to the Centre for Advanced Training programme is via audition only. Auditions are held annually, usually in the summer for entry onto the programme the following September.

The audition is your opportunity to demonstrate your potential by taking part in a practical dance session and creative workshop in front of a selection panel. Unfortunately, we are not able to offer places outside this process.

How to Apply

Programme Costs

Means-tested grants are available from the Department for Education. We help successful students to access the financial support available to them.

Find out more here

If you have any questions please contact

Where does training take place?

Training takes place in our state-of-the-art dance studios, at Birmingham Hippodrome

Find us here:

Level 5 Birmingham Hippodrome,

Thorp Street

B5 4TB

Meet The Team


Hayley Arthur

Senior Producer - Learning & Skills


Freya Coles

Assistant Producer - Learning

Sandrine Monin Headshot Photo Sam Vaherlehto

Sandrine Monin

Interim Artistic Associate, Contemporary

Jade Barnes Headshot

Jade Barnes

Centre for Advanced Training Teaching Assistant


Imogen Wilmot

Centre for Advanced Training Teaching Assistant

CAT is an amazing programme that pushes you to improve as a dancer as a whole; creativity, technique, performance. It has given me access to many opportunities to work with a range of artists within the training day as well as outside. For example, working with artists such as Kerry Nicholls and Wayne Parsons; two very different artists that gave us tools to use now and in the future. The programme has also lead me to opportunities to work with 2Faced Dance artistic director Tamsin Fitzgerald on Cubes for IDFB and BBC Young Dancer, which were two big moments for me in my CAT experience. Over the 4 years, I have met both staff and peers who I hope will be lifelong friends. I have been fully prepared for full time training next year through the intensity of the days and range of contemporary styles within contemporary. CAT has also prepared me for auditions with one to one sessions as well as generally improving on picking up choreography. One of my favourite things about CAT is the summer intensive.


I had one year of dance prior to CAT, so my experience was limited. I went into the CAT audition for a free dance lesson with no expectations of a place. But to my surprise CAT saw potential I hadn’t seen in myself and over my years at CAT, they’ve helped me realise that potential opening an abundance of pathways for me. The choreographers, the shows, the people who have become lifelong friends are all I owe it to. I’d like to say thank you to all of them. And I look forward to the years of CAT to come.


I have done 2 years of CAT and I have loved every minute of it so far. It has given me so many unique experiences like working with professional dancers and companies including Ballet Black, Wayne Parsons and Kerry Nicholls and to create challenging and high-level pieces and improve on my technique. CAT has also made me a much more versatile dancer as it provides such a range of opportunities and teachers which has made me very rounded as a dancer.


Being in CAT has been an amazing experience for the past year. It has pushed me in all areas and given me the confidence I thought I never had. I started the year having not done ballet before and now I feel like I could perform ballet on stage! The staff are the loveliest and you can tell they really care about your growth as a dancer. The opportunities are amazing and broad, they have pushed me both as a dancer and person. Overall, I can’t wait for the next year in CAT!