Not long ago we received a glowing review from a parent praising our CAT programme and the effect it had on her daughter's life. Of course we believe that dance has the power to change your life but hearing about this success story made us so happy, we had to share it with you:
"It is so difficult to choose what my daughter loves the most about CAT because although she only attends once a week it is such a huge part of her life. The incredible standard of training and the incomparable opportunities we would never have been able to achieve without the programme. The theatre trips are fantastic and my daughter is always bubbling over trying to tell me about it all. There are intensives over a week or weekend where they work with different choreographers which is such an enriching experience, challenging them in different ways as dancers and giving them new and exciting creative ideas and ambitions. Because we are not local we are not able to take up all the outside suggested opportunities, however, the upshot of this for us is that she is able to stay at a Youth Hostel with other CAT dancers during the week-long intensives which is all organised and provided by the CAT programme. Not only is this a huge experience as a young person growing up, helping with independence and resilience but also she gets the chance to truly eat, sleep and play DANCE for a whole week with her friends! We also watch with amazement at the additional achievements other students gain due to CAT training varying from circus training, national competition winners to foreign exchange programmes!
Throughout her time at CAT she has made huge progresses in her dance and her confidence as a dancer and person. Her physical confidence is incredibly high for a 16 year old which I am so pleased about. There is no physical expectation whatsoever at CAT (beside the uniform inside the studios) so the young people are diverse and confident with their own bodies and style. Because this is just the way it is at CAT you don't really think about it but in other settings you sometimes see young people dressing and speaking the same way to fit in with each other. It is clear that CAT celebrates and promotes uniqueness without needing to shout about it, which we all absolutely love!
I think the biggest love that we both have for CAT is the people. My daughter now has friends from all different backgrounds and at CAT, regardless of their postcode or parents income, they are all just themselves, together, having the best fun. Her scope has been extended beyond the town we live in to see that there really is a big world full of opportunity and the most wonderful people!
The team at CAT from day one knows every single young person and makes sure that they feel that they are supported as much as they need. As a parent I have also felt very included. I have met all my daughter's teachers at the parents meetings and watching days and I know each member of the extremely approachable team if I ever have any concerns or questions. You really can feel how much the whole team care about the young people and how that is their absolute main priority.
Before she started at CAT I was worried about my daughter. She wasn't happy at school and at 13 years old, it was affecting her deeply. As a single parent, I was very conscious and concerned that my support alone wasn't enough and she needed a fuller life outside of school. At 16, after three years of CAT, she is healthy, strong, confident and happy with lots of wonderful friends, a bright exciting future and two more happy years of CAT yet to come!
CAT is absolutely unique and it is impossible to choose one thing that makes it so very special but we absolutely love it and I couldn't be more grateful that my daughter is part of it."