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Frequently Asked Questions about CAT

We actively recruit students aged 11 – 18 years.

Not necessarily. We are looking for potential, so it’s not necessary to have had lots of experience already. However, we do want to see if you can demonstrate the creativity, dedication and enthusiasm to pursue a career in dance.

CAT is designed to fit around your schoolwork. In the first year you will only need to attend sessions on Saturdays from 10.30am – 4.30pm and intensive sessions that take place during school holidays and some weekends. This means you will still have plenty of time to do your homework.

CAT is a course in contemporary dance and you may want to continue with a range of other activities, including other dance styles. You will need to be able to attend all the classes and additional activities on the scheme so you may need to consider how you manage your time.

We do monitor the number of hours of physical activity our students do per week as part of their Individual Training Plan. However, the number of dance classes you want to do each week is a decision you need to make with your parents/guardians and your CAT mentor.

The scheme will give you information and training so that you can decide if a career in dance is for you.  If you don’t think you could commit the time and effort it takes to be a CAT student this is probably not the right course for you – but don’t stop dancing. This is one of many pathways into a career in dance, and we will happily help you to find other opportunities to get involved in other youth dance projects.

The cost of the course includes all activities on the CAT programme, such as regular classes intensive weekends and holiday courses, theatre trips, performance opportunities and medical support. More information can be found on the Grants and Fees page or on the Music and Dance Scheme website.

If you qualify for some or no funding and have to pay fees for the scheme, these can be either paid upfront or spread out throughout the year in 3 termly instalments or 10 monthly payments.

CAT is a National scheme under the Department of Education.

This means that places can be fully or partially funded depending on household income.

The audition will consist of practical dance sessions containing a creative workshop and a contemporary technique class. The sessions are observed by a small panel of professionals. Some people may be asked to stay for an interview following the practical sessions.

You can apply to audition again the following year.  In certain circumstances, we may decide that you have potential but are not yet ready for the course.  If this is the case we will advise you on a one-to-one basis.

You will be assessed continually throughout your time on the course and we hope to be able to support you right through to the point that you go on to further vocational training.

However, if you and/or the course leaders decide that the programme is no longer right for you, you will be positively supported off the course and directed to other progression routes.

Places are offered on a yearly basis and if you chose to leave at the end of a year you will receive documentation to say you have participated in the course.

Most of the Contemporary East Midlands activity take place at iC4C, which is located not far from Nottingham city centre and most of the Contemporary West Midlands activity takes place at Level 5, Birmingham Hippodrome.

We have students travelling from all across the East and West Midlands, either on public transport or via car –  many of them share lifts with other students coming from their area. Travel bursaries are available to help with the cost of your travel to CAT activities.

The CAT Team is available to help you as much as possible with any questions regarding the scheme and are happy to help you fill out the application form.

Please call us on 0115 924 2016 or email

At the start of the academic year there will be an induction session, that includes an information session for parents/carers to attend.

On CAT training days, students work in groups and take technique classes in a variety of styles and work with visiting artists to explore creative practices. There are regular breaks and also time for tutorials to support individual training plans and our holistic approach.

My advice for those at the start of their training would be ;be open to new experiences and ways of working! Stay true to your originality as an artist and try not to be too critical of yourself, diversity is what makes our profession so great.

Ruben Brown Dance4 CAT Alumni

I love the variety at CAT. I think the variation really helps me as a dancer as I get to experience so much. I also love seeing the people I dance with every week and taking classes with them as you get to see each other improve and help each other improve along the way.

CAT Student, Jamaica

I would just say, do it! Even if you’re unsure if dancing is what you want to do, CAT is a good place to help discover that within yourself because you have so many brand-new experiences, opportunities and meet so many people, that by the end of it all, you’re equipped with enough knowledge (and people to talk to) to confidently make your decision, whatever it may be.

CAT Alumni Charlotte Hoyle