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Swindon Dance Centre for Advanced Training is supported by the Department for Education

SWINDON DANCE CENTRE FOR ADVANCED TRAINING The CAT helps identify and assist young people with exceptional potential regardless of their personal circumstances, to benefit from world-class specialist training. As part of a broad and balanced education. This will enable them, if they choose to proceed towards self-sustaining careers in dance. CAT started in September 2005 with 25 students and at it’s peak has grown to 115. It currently runs three programmes: •

• •

Swindon Contemporary Programme based at Swindon Dance Swindon Urban Programme based at Swindon Dance Exeter Contemporary Programme based at Exeter University

CAT develops the technical, creative and performance skills in dance as well as the knowledge and understanding that will prepare young dancers for higher vocational training and ultimately a career in dance. Training is in styles appropriate to the professional dance world today and more importantly, the future industry demands. CAT is led and coached by national, regional and local dance professional role models from the dance and music industry. CAT provides students with mentoring, guidance and information on current training and career choices and related training matters like ‘The Healthier Dancer Programme’. Each dancer has an Individual Training Plan (ITP) based upon their own goals, training needs and aspirations.

A WORD FROM OUR PATRON “To be supporting the CAT as its patron is really wonderful as this is what started my training as a dancer” Thomasin started dancing at Swindon Dance at 14 years in the Swindon Youth Dance Company and Youth Talent Programme (the forerunner to the CAT). At 16 he started full-time training on the Swindon Dance foundation course, prior to training at Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance. In 2001 he won the Cecchetti Barbara Fewster award for Most Promising Male Dancer. He joined Rambert Dance Company in 2003 and in 2010 Thomasin received the Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Male Dancer (Modern) for his role in Christopher Bruce’s Hush. Thomasin Gülgeç, CAT Patron

Thomasin Gülgeç and Estela Merlos


NATIONAL CENTRES FOR ADVANCED TRAINING in DANCE The Centres for Advanced Training (CATs) are a partnership of national dance organisations that provide 11-17 year olds with exceptional potential in dance, access to the best available teaching at suitable facilities alongside strong links with the dance profession. The CAT scheme is funded through the Department for Education (DfE) Music and Dance Scheme (MDS) through means tested student bursaries. This is a small and highly specialised scheme that represents the “top of the pyramid” for performing arts education and training and is the Government’s main vehicle for funding the training needs of such children. Despite it’s size, the scheme, its beneficiaries, its participating organisations and its patrons have a huge impact on the performing arts world. The CATs have a united driving force to deliver a high standard of dance provision but is autonomous in the strands, organisation and dance style.

There are currently nine non-residential CATs specialising in dance: 

Dance City Academy, Newcastle upon Tyne (contemporary dance);

Dance East Academy, Ipswich, Suffolk (contemporary dance);

Dance4 CAT, Nottingham (contemporary dance);

Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance, London (contemporary dance);

London Contemporary Dance School, The Place, London includes the CAT for the National Centre for Circus Arts (contemporary dance & circus skills);

The Lowry Dance CAT, Manchester (contemporary dance);

DanceXchange CAT includes SAMPAD South Asian arts, Birmingham (contemporary & Asian dance);

Swindon Dance CAT, Swindon & Exeter (contemporary & urban dance);

Yorkshire Young Dancers in partnership with Northern Ballet and Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Leeds (contemporary & classical dance).

WEB: Georges Hann; CAT Alumnus → Rambert School of Ballet & Contemporary Dance graduate→ Staatstheatre Braunschweig


PHILOSOPHY AND EDUCATIONAL AIMS OF THE PROGRAMME The CAT works to develop three principal ‘interlinking’ dance skills:




AIMS • • •

To develop tomorrow’s outstanding professional dancers and unique dance artists; To seek out, nurture and develop exceptional talent for dance; To provide access, supporting participants both geographically and financially through the DfE grant scheme.

OUTCOMES • The development of autonomous learners; • The development of artistically and physically dynamic dancers. UNDERPINNING PRINCIPLES AND ETHOS Guiding principles for the programme include: • • • • • •

• • •

A holistic approach to the training and development of young dancers; Fostering of artistry and creativity in the developmental process; Creating a safe environment where learners can grow and take risks; Programmes of study tailored to individual needs; Working on learners cooperating rather than competing with peers; Encouraging learners to appreciate each other’s work and to recognise the benefit of working with peers who are also talented and dedicated; Staff who will be mentors actively involved in the whole development of the dancer, rather than simply teaching a dance discipline; Staff who will be professional role models for the learners, setting an example to which they can aspire; Potential will be fully developed and not limited by preconceived goals or targets that are externally imposed; Learners will be aware of the opportunities available to enable them to achieve excellence. Frankie J: CAT Alumnus → London Contemporary Dance School graduate →Plague


MANAGEMENT OF INDIVIDUAL NEEDS In order to ensure that individual needs are met the following strategies will be adopted: •

The programme will include workshops and taught sessions where a variety of generic skills will be developed which are important to every developing artist. These include creativity, imaginative and interpretive skills, appreciation and evaluative thinking;

While there will be a programme of dance training essential to the safe development of technical skills required for all dance performers, individual specialisms will be fostered where a dancer exhibits a very particular gift in a specific genre;

Each learner will have an Individual Training Plan (ITP), which will be drawn up and agreed by the student, parents/carers and the CAT team. The ITP will set out the programme of training, study, work and related activities that each participant will undertake. These will be reviewed and evaluated in order to help the participants achieve their best. The ITP will provide a detailed record of achievement;

Each learner will be supported and guided through the application and auditioning process of entry into a vocational college/dance conservatoire/full time training, if they so choose to follow this career path. Auditions for these establishments occur each year from September to April/May. Due to the timescale required to FULLY prepare a dancer for these auditions any new students joining the CAT will be required to complete at least 1 year of training before auditioning i.e. a dancer joining the CAT in September 2020 will not be able to audition for a dance conservatoire / vocational college until autumn 2021;

Each learner will be assessed on their class work and development throughout the year. These assessments form the learners ‘benchmarks of progression’ with which to measure their skills based progression throughout the year;

Each learner is expected to attend other classes outside of the CAT to further enhance the work of the weekend training programme. The CAT will support them in these classes;

Each learner is encouraged to attend performances by professional companies and take part in workshops as recommended by the CAT. The CAT will support them in these endeavours;

All dancers will have a physiotherapy screening with one of the CAT physiotherapists, who have extensive knowledge of the dance world and the pressures and demands of a professional dance career on the body. Kit King; CAT Alumnus → Northern School of Contemporary Dance graduate → Wim Vandekeybus|Ultima Vez


WEEKEND TRAINING Swindon Contemporary Programme (SCP) The CAT Swindon Contemporary Programme is based at Swindon Dance and runs on Saturday afternoons between 12:00 to 5:30pm and follows a 6 term format each of 5 weeks, with intensive courses during the academic breaks. Students study; ballet, contemporary and jazz dance techniques, improvisation, choreography and performance skills, healthier dancer and dance contextual studies. This programme has 45-55 grant places. Exeter Contemporary Programme (ECP) The CAT Exeter Contemporary Programme runs fortnightly on Sundays from 11:00am to 5:00pm in Exeter and will be supplemented with intensive courses during the academic breaks. Students study; ballet, contemporary and jazz dance techniques, improvisation, choreography and performance skills, healthier dancer and dance contextual studies. This programme has 25-30 grant places. Swindon Urban Programme (SUP) The CAT Urban programme is based at Swindon Dance and runs on Sundays from 11:30am to 5:00pm and follows a 6 term format each of 5 weeks, with intensive courses during the academic breaks. Students study; popping, breaking, house, hip hop, freestyle, choreography, performance skills and contextual studies. This programme has 25-30 grant places.

INTENSIVES In addition to the regular programme delivery, there will be intensives during the October, January (auditioning students only), February and Easter academic breaks. Specific times and dates for each intensive are confirmed throughout the year. These intensive sessions aim to: • • • •

Promote the further development of skills required for the professional dance world; Give the opportunity to work with professional practitioners; working at the highest levels of the dance profession; Offer further opportunities to be involved in performance related projects; Increase understanding, through practical experience, of the requirements of a career in the professional dance world.

SPECIAL EVENTS As opportunities arise during the year students will be invited to participate as appropriate. For example; workshops and curtain raiser performances with visiting professional dance companies. COMMITMENT The CAT is a national coaching programme supported by National Government and requires 90% attendance. Term dates for entry in September 2020 tbc.


Charley Logan: CAT Alumnus → London Contemporary Dance School graduate → Black Box Dance Company

TERMLY AIMS FOR ALL CAT PROGRAMMES Autumn Term Aims • Promote cooperation and team building • Awaken artistic intelligence and understanding; • Begin the process of performance profiling and goal setting; • Develop basic dance skills; • Set standards of behaviour and etiquette; • Develop awareness of safe dance practice.

Content • Basic technical skills in various dance genres appropriate to each CAT programme; • Basic choreographic and creative skills; • Mentoring and tutorials in preparation for assessment; • Input from the Healthier Dancer programme; • At the end of the Autumn sessions there will be an open day.

Spring Term Aims • Continue to develop basic technical skills; • Build on previous creative work to encourage effective group interactions; • Begin to facilitate a process of analytical and evaluative thinking; • Create an environment which enables freedom of expression of ideas and artistic risk taking.

Content • Further technical training; • Further choreographic and creative dance skills training; • Taster sessions with guest professional dancers/teachers in a variety of genres; • Mentoring and tutorials; in preparation for assessment; • At the end of the Spring sessions there will be an open day.

Summer Term Aims • Practical use of acquired skills in a performance project; • Develop performance related skills; • Gain experience of areas which relate to the production of a dance performance including sound, lighting and other technologies; • Encourage autonomy and responsibility for own contribution during the process of creating and performing.

Content • Further technical, creative and performance training; • Choreographic/performance and individual projects; • Preparation and rehearsal; • At the end of the summer sessions there will be a summer showcase performance.


FEES & DfE CRITERIA for GRANT AID 2019/2020 The current cost per year per student for the CAT (all programmes) is £3,798 and grants are available for students who do not have the financial means to access the best available training. This fee will be either a full DfE grant with no parental contribution OR a combined DfE grant and parental contribution OR full parental contribution with no DfE grant. Grant/fee amounts are subject to change for 2020/2021. ELIGIBILITY FOR A NATIONAL GRANT: In order to qualify for a DfE grant, students should: • • • • • • • •

Be normally resident in the British Isles; Have been a resident in the British Isles for a minimum of three years; Be at least 11 years of age and not more than 16 years of age as of 1st September during the year of entry onto the CAT; Not be more than 20 years old as of 1st September in the final year on the CAT; Be a full-time registered pupil at a mainstream or independent school in the UK or be educated at home by parents/carers; Be successful at audition; Have an appropriate and agreed Individual Training Plan.

Subject to means testing, individual grants range from £382 to £3,798 per year. Parents will not have to make a contribution if the total family income before tax is 31,139 or less (after deducting £2,114 for any dependant children including the grant holder) in the tax year ending 5th April 2019. Subject to change for 2020/2021. Total family income

Amount of DfE grant

Amount of parental contribution

Up to £31,139



£31,140 to £35,292



£35,293 to £39,444



£39,445 to £43,596



£43,597 to £47,748



£47,749 to £51,899



£51,900 to £56,053



£56,053 to £60,205



£60,206 to £64,357



£64,358 to £68,506





£68,507 or more 8

TOTAL FAMILY INCOME Declarations of income refer to the preceding financial year e.g. for entry onto the CAT in September 2020 the relevant financial year is 6th April 2019 to 5th April 2020.

As a general rule, definitions of income follow as closely as possible those used by HM Inspector of Taxes for income tax purposes and parents must declare gross income before tax from ALL sources. Social Security Benefits on which tax is not payable do not form part of the income. MAINTENANCE PAYMENTS AND CHILD SUPPORT MAINTENANCE These will only be taken into account where parents are making or receiving maintenance payments in compliance with a Court Order, a separation agreement or under arrangements made by the Child Support Agency. Where a parent makes or receives voluntary payments, these will not be taken into account. Documentary evidence will be required for all income received. RELEVANT INCOME The total relevant income is arrived at by adding the amounts for the income of both parents and dependant children, with any other adjustments required and by making the following deductions: •

• •

An allowance of £2,114 for school year 2019/20 in respect of each child or other relative living in the household, including the CAT participant and who is wholly or mainly financially dependant upon the parents; The amount of any covenant taken out prior to 15th March 1988, paid by a parent to a dependant child; The gross amount of any maintenance payment.

N.B. • • •

Foster children do not count as dependants; A spouse does not count as a dependant; Children in higher or further education may normally be regarded as dependants in this context.

Please keep in mind that these notes are a summary and intended for guidance purposes only. Final assessment will follow once a student has been accepted onto the CAT. Full guidance notes are available on the website: https://

Tomislav English: CAT Alumnus → London Contemporary Dance School graduate → Wim Vandekeybus|Ultima Vez


JOINING THE CAT Each year the CAT embarks on a recruitment process to seek out talented dancers to join one of the 3 programmes in September. Follow the steps below to become a part of the centre: 1.) Attend an Open Day · Find out more about the CAT training; · See a demonstration by current students; · Meet the CAT team; · Get an application form; · Parents/guardians are welcome to attend. 2.) Apply & Audition · Complete an application form (available online January 2020) · Attend a 2.5 hour audition in which applicants will: · Take part in a practical session in contemporary and/or jazz plus a creative task (Contemporary Programmes) OR breaking/popping and/or hip-hop (Urban Programme); · Perform a 1 minute solo in the style of your own choice; · Have an informal interview. 3.) Join the CAT If successful at audition, you will be invited to join the CAT. You will now have access to all the expertise the CAT has to offer and this will be available to you for subsequent years. You will not need to re-audition once you have joined. N.B. Auditions for entry into a Dance Conservatoire/Vocational College occur each year from September to April/ May. Due to the timescale required to FULLY prepare a dancer for these auditions any new students joining the CAT will be required to complete at least 1 year of training before auditioning i.e. a dancer joining the CAT in September 2020 will not be able to audition for a Dance Conservatoire/Vocational College until autumn 2021.

CRITERIA At the audition there will be a panel made up of local and national dance artistes, plus staff of Swindon Dance and the CAT. The panel will assess applicants on the following criteria: Physicality Physical commitment to movement material and confidence moving through space

Expressiveness Sense of style, intention, quality of expression and projecting with confidence

Creativity Ability to apply imagination & creative ideas to movement material, showing individual response to the choreographic task

Approach Commitment, focus to the dance work and physical determination. Response to the teachers guidance

Musicality Physical response to music; interpreting rhythm, mood, phrasing & dynamic versatility

Presence Engaged, in the moment and demonstrating awareness and ownership of the space


OPEN DAYS Exeter Contemporary Programme Date: Sunday 26th April 2020, 3:00-5:00 pm Venue: Exeter University, Alexander Building, Thornlea, New North Road, Exeter. EX4 4LA

Swindon Contemporary Programme Date: Saturday 21st March 2020, 4:30-6:00 pm Venue: Swindon Dance, Regent Circus, Swindon. SN1 1QF Swindon Urban Programme (The Open Day will take place as part of the Street Platform) Date: Sunday 8th March 2020 Venues: Swindon Dance, Regent Circus, Swindon. SN1 1QF & MECA Swindon, MECA House, Regent Circus, Swindon. SN1 1PR Workshops: 1-3:30pm Performance: 7pm

AUDITIONS Exeter Contemporary Programme Dates: Sunday 7th June 2020, 11:30-2:00 pm, Sunday 21st June 2020, 11:30-2:00 pm Venue: Exeter University, Alexander Building, Thornlea, New North Road, Exeter. EX4 4LA

Swindon Contemporary Programme Dates: Saturday 30th May 2020, 12:00-2:30 pm, Wednesday 24th June 2020, 4:15-7:00 pm, Venue: Swindon Dance, Regent Circus, Swindon. SN1 1QF Swindon Urban Programme Dates: Sunday 31st May 2020, 11:30-2:00 pm, Thursday 25th June 2020, 5:30-8:00 pm Venue: Swindon Dance, Regent Circus, Swindon. SN1 1QF The CAT will endeavour to see all dancers wishing to join the programme. If you are unable to attend an open day/ audition date please contact the CAT Administrator.


E-MAIL: TEL: WEB: POST: 01793 601702 Centre for Advanced Training, Swindon Dance, Regent Circus, Swindon, SN1 1QF 11

STUDENT SUCCESSES Past students have progressed to full-time training at Europe’s top vocational colleges and dance conservatoires, including: • • • • • • • • • • •

ArtsEd; Bird College; Britt School; Central School of Ballet; Institute of Arts, Barcelona; Laines Theatre Arts; London Contemporary Dance School; London Studio Centre; Millennium Performing Arts; National Centre for Circus Arts; Northern Ballet;

• • • • • • • • •

Northern School of Contemporary Dance; Performance Preparation Academy; Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance; Roehampton University; Royal Ballet (upper school); Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance; SPL Performing Arts College; Trinity Laban Conservatoire for Music and Dance; Urdang Academy.

CAT ALUMNI CAT alumni are performing and working professionally in the dance world in companies such as: • • • • • • •

Carys Staton, dancer; Michael KeeganDolan; Edd Arnold, dancer; Russell Maliphant; Frankie J, dancer; Plague; Georges Hann, dancer; Staatstheatre Braunschweig; Jacob O’Connell, dancer; Company Wayne McGregor; Jonah Cook, principal dancer; Bavarian State Ballet; Kieran Warner & Chris Thomas dancers; Simple Cypher;

• • • • • • •

Kit King, dancer; Wim Vandekeybus|Ulitma Vez; Paris Crossley, dancer; Plague; Aggie Nonsizi, dancer; Bring Me The Horizon Robert Bridger, dancer; Emanuel Gat Dance Sarah Fletcher, dancer; Swerve Dance Theatre Company; Sharol McKenzie, dancer; New Adventures; Victoria Winter, dancer; Ieva Kuniskis.

Tanya Dimbelolo: CAT Alumnus →Rambert School of Ballet & Contemporary Dance graduate → Sweetshop Revolution

Carys Staton: CAT Alumnus → Rambert School of Ballet & Contemporary Dance graduate → Micheal Keegan-Dolan


CAT FOR DANCERS “The CAT has changed my life in so many ways. It gave me the funding to go to a professional studio and get trained by professional teachers from all around the UK. It has given me presence, understanding, motivation, star quality, confidence, technique, passion and more. Any dancer I know who wants to get into the professional dance industry I would recommend CAT as it gives you the tools to follow your dream. I know this because CAT helped me follow mine” Jahrel Thomas dancer in The Lion King, West End

“The CAT opened my eyes to new levels of performance and technique. This raised my aspirations, motivating me to higher levels of discipline and performance technique. I have been privileged enough to work with inspirational teachers such as Kenneth Tharp OBE, Jo Turnbull and Leesa Phillips. Their passion for dance had fuelled my own passion and my desire is now greater than ever. I always dreamed of attending the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance but I never thought this was possible—the CAT helped me to realise that dream and since graduating from the degree course I have toured with the Rambert Company, danced with Beyoncé and toured with Russell Maliphant Company” Carys Staton dancer in Neon Dance & Michael Keegan-Dolan “I joined the CAT in 2005 but had to withdraw for personal reasons. The CAT team kept in touch with me and invited me back to join the newly formed Urban Programme in 2008. I was determined to follow my dream this time, and have since been spotted by the professional dance world for my talent in popping, hip hop and creative dance. I’ve worked with Steady from Flawless (a crew in the final of Britain’s Got Talent) and Brooke (lead dancer in Street Dance 3D and two times world champion at Hip Hop International). I graduated from the London Contemporary Dance School in 2013” Frankie Johnson dancer in Plague

Edd Arnold: CAT Alumnus → Rambert School of Ballet & Contemporary Dance graduate →Russell Maliphant

Photo credits: Mark Pepperall & Jim Rowbotham


CAT FOR PARENTS For parents, their child’s choice to become a professional dancer can be a daunting one. The team at the CAT value the opportunity to involve parents fully in their child’s development as a dancer, which will enable the right choices to be made for each students individual pathway. “ a lone parent I could never have afforded the level of training that my daughter receives at Swindon. It has been wonderful to see her dancing talent blossom. Not only have the staff looked after her dance training but have also given great consideration to her whole well-being; devising an Individual Training Plan, arranging an appointment with a physiotherapist and teaching her about health” “I would like to say how important the Music and Dance Scheme grant has been for our son, who would probably have been unable to enrol at the Centre for Advanced Training without it. He is finally beginning to see himself as a professional dancer as a result of the high quality training he is receiving”

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY STREET PLATFORM 8th March 2020 - An exciting platform, showcasing a diverse mix of work from regional urban dance performers. Presented by Swindon Dance and the Centre for Advanced Training. WEST COUNTRY CLASH 14th April 2020 - "Jam!" & Team M.S.B in partnership with Swindon Dance, bring you one of the biggest dance events in the south west. A day full of dance including battles and workshops.

ENQUIRIES CAT Administrator Swindon Dance, Regent Circus, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN1 1QF 01793 601702 option 3 @swindondancecat

Jonah Cook: CAT Alumnus → Royal Ballet School graduate → Principal, Bavarian State Ballet


Profile for Swindon Dance Centre for Advanced Training

Information Pack 2020  

Interested in joining the Swindon Dance Centre for Advanced Training? Find out more about the pre-vocational programes we offer, the grants...

Information Pack 2020  

Interested in joining the Swindon Dance Centre for Advanced Training? Find out more about the pre-vocational programes we offer, the grants...