CAT scheme at the DanceXchange, Birmingham. Photo by Stephen Wright

The Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) for South Asian and Contemporary styles is pleased to announce the opening of online auditions for the September intake.  The programme is open to young people aged 11-16 years with a passion for dance.  Previous dance experience is not necessary, and applications are welcomed from young people with the enthusiasm, potential and commitment to training as Contemporary dancers (open to West Midlands students only) and Bharatanatyam or Kathak dancers (open to students across the UK).

The prestigious CAT programme offers high quality training and is the West Midlands partner in the national CAT network.  Funded by the Department of Education Music and Dance Scheme (DfE), it is led by DanceXchange, the Birmingham-based dance agency, in partnership with Sampad South Asian Arts and Heritage.   Places on the scheme are by audition only and the DfE offer means-tested grants enabling students to join the programme regardless of personal circumstance.

Centre for Advanced Training for South Asian and Contemporary Dance led by DanceXchange in partnership with Sampad South Asian Arts and Heritage. Photo Richard Battye, River Studio
Centre for Advanced Training for South Asian and Contemporary Dance led by DanceXchange in partnership with Sampad South Asian Arts and Heritage. Photo Richard Battye, River Studio

“We are looking to recruit talented and committed individuals who can train with us to reach their maximum potential,” explains Alexandra Henwood, Head of Learning and Participation at DanceXchange.  “We have an outstanding artistic team, and students have the opportunity to work with industry professionals and award-winning choreographers.”  

The auditions are for two programmes; the Contemporary strand, Dance Generation, recruits young people from the West Midlands, and the South Asian strand, Yuva Gati, is a national programme, recruiting students from across the country. The opportunity to study Bharatanatyam and Kathak at this elite level is unique to this CAT within the UK.

CAT scheme at the DanceXchange, Birmingham. Photo by Stephen Wright
CAT scheme at the DanceXchange, BirminghamCAT scheme at the DanceXchange

“The Yuva Gati CAT programme delivers outstanding training, mentorship and opportunities to young people who show extraordinary talent in dance. This programme is crucial in shining a light on the next generation of British South Asian Dancers, who will continue to forge the future of the sector,” says Director of Sampad, Piali Ray OBE.

Potential students for both Contemporary and South Asian styles can sample a flavour of the programme at an online Open Day on 25 July which will offer a workshop, taster sessions and a Question and Answer opportunity with tutors.    

Booking for the Open Day and full details of the online audition process are available at https://www.dancexchange.org.uk/cat-auditions/    The auditions deadline is 14 August.