Free Taster Workshops at DanceEast


DanceEast Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) is inviting promising young dancers and their families to take part in their Taster Workshops across the region in Ipswich, Colchester, Cambridge and Norwich from Friday 19 February – Saturday 19 March.

The Taster Workshops will include a contemporary and creative dance workshop for the prospective students, meet and greet with staff and a detailed presentation by Elsa Urmston (DanceEast CAT Manager) for the parents/guardians, as well as the chance to chat with existing students and parents.

The DanceEast CAT has students from across the East of England and a 100% success rate of graduates continuing to full-time training at conservatoire or university level to study for degrees, diplomas and professional qualifications in dance. Students have gone on to study dance at Arts Educational School, Bird College, Central School of Ballet, London Contemporary Dance School, London Studio Centre, Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, Northern Contemporary Dance School, Rambert School of Ballet, Royal Ballet School and Trinity Laban Conservatoire, to name just a few.

If the young people and families enjoy the Taster Workshop they will be invited to demonstrate their dance talent and potential at auditions at the Jerwood DanceHouse in Ipswich, from Saturday 21 May – Friday 3 June, to earn a place on the scheme.

The DanceEast CAT team are looking for children and young people ages 10 – 18 who have what it takes to become a world-class dancer. DanceEast is looking for individuals who want a career in dance, who stand out, who show drive and determination, who are hard-working and creative, and above all are committed and passionate.

To apply for an audition participants must fill in an application form online at DANCEEAST.CO.UK or fill out a paper form which can be found at the back of a CAT prospectus. Everyone that applies will be invited to a Stage 1 Audition which involves fun, creative, contemporary and ballet workshops. If you are successful at Stage 1 you will be invited to a Stage 2 audition and interview.

Elsa Urmston, DanceEast CAT Manager says:

“The key thing to the CAT auditions at DanceEast, compared to TV talent shows for example, is that we don’t set out to judge young people who apply. We provide a friendly environment and we seek to get as many people involved as possible at whatever level. We are not necessarily looking for a perfect, ready-made dancer, but instead someone who has the potential to excel and succeed.”

The National CAT scheme were set up as an alternative to residential dance schools, like the Royal Ballet School, to offer children and young people, regardless of their personal circumstances, pre-professional specialist dance training whilst living at home and staying in school. The DanceEast CAT is one of nine national centres that offers this type of training.

The DfE Music and Dance Scheme says:

“The aim of the scheme is to help identify and assist children with exceptional potential, regardless of their personal circumstances, to benefit from world class specialist training as part of a broad and balanced education.”

Supported by the Department for Education Music & Dance Scheme, means-tested grants are available and can cover up to 100% of dancewear and training costs. The scheme currently enables around 2,000 exceptionally talented children to have access to the best specialist music and dance training available alongside a good academic education.

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