Skip to content

We’re celebrating 10 Years of our Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) programme.

For a decade the scheme has been identifying and developing exceptional young dance talent from across the East Midlands. As part of our celebrations we will be shining a light on 10 Dance4 CAT student stories from students past and present.

Cat Story Jamaica Jamacia’s Centre for Advanced Training Story

Jamaica joined the Centre for Advanced Training programme in 2018. She will be entering her final year of training starting September 2020 and is about to enter her final year of training.

How did you discover the CAT programme?I first heard about the CAT scheme from my school dance teacher. She suggested it would be a great opportunity to improve my contemporary technique and choreographic ideas.

What was your previous experience of dance before the CAT programme?I trained at a musical theatre school from the age of 3, training in several different dance styles such as classical ballet, tap, commercial, jazz, etc. I hadn’t practiced or performed much contemporary before coming to CAT so it was pretty much a new style for me to learn and explore.

What do you like about the CAT programme?I love the variety in a CAT day. Either ballet or pilates in the morning, a creative class (exploring choreography and improvisation), and a technique class in the afternoon. I think the variation really helps me as a dancer as I get to experience so much. I also love seeing see the people I dance with every week and taking classes with them as you not only get to see each other improve but also help each other improve along the way.

What other dance (if any) do you do outside of the CAT programme?I have a ballet class every Monday evening with CAT at iC4C and a ballet class every Tuesday at Midlands Academy of Dance and Drama which involves both flat and pointe work. I also attend the Next-Door Youth Dance company class on a Thursday which focuses on contemporary technique.

What do you want to do and how has/is the CAT programme helping you to achieve this?My future aspirations would be joining a dance conservatoire after 6th form. This would create thousands more opportunities for my future career in dance for example joining and touring with a dance company and teaching dancers in my spare time, basically anything to do with dance! CAT is developing my skills as a dancer, allowing me to find my own style and improve my confidence not only in dance but as a person.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to join the CAT programme?My advice to anyone wanting to join the CAT programme would be to have an open mind and to try to jump into something new and not something you’re comfortable with. In my opinion, versatility is the best feature a dancer could offer, be optimistic and open-minded about an opportunity and try and stand out, don’t be afraid to be different!