CAT - What we do

Centre for Advanced Training, affectionately called CAT, are a part-time pre-vocational dance training programme, specialising in contemporary dance, ballet and creative studies. We deliver world-class training which is designed to prepare young people for full time dance education at conservatoire or university level.

Centres for Advanced Training in dance are part of a National programme which launched in 2004 and has grown to eleven dance centres around the country. Each CAT centre offers the highest quality of pre-vocational dance training opportunities to hundreds of young people around the country.

At The Place, young people aged 11-18 years are taught by professional dance artists. Our training is focused mainly on contemporary dance, offering an insight into different genres, dance artists and companies. Students get to work alongside like-minded young people from a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences which makes CAT at The Place such a rich and colourful hub of activity.

CAT is non-residential and is generously funded by the Music and Dance Scheme (MDS), Department for Education. This means that the training can be fully or partially funded through grants that are awarded based on household income. This enables us to support any young person with the skills and confidence to be the next generation of future leaders in the field of dance and beyond.

We deliver core curriculum classes at The Place every Saturday afternoon during term time in:

  • Contemporary Dance
  • Ballet Technique
  • Creative Studies

We also deliver mid-week classes on Tuesday and Wednesday in:

  • Ballet
  • Contemporary

The classes are supported by Teaching Assistants from London Contemporary Dance School and accompanied by professional live musicians.

In addition CAT offers students extra projects throughout the year to develop performance skills and creative studies:

  • Physical Health support; screenings and body conditioning classes

    Osteopathic screening - each student is screened at the start of the year and monitored for injury prevention, rehabilitation and technical training needs. Students may have follow-up appointments or will be referred to our CAT Injury Clinic

    Physical development including body conditioning sessions in cardio-vascular, strength, flexibility and Pilates training

  • Audition toolkit
  • Performance projects at The Place and theatres across London
  • Collaborative projects with other CAT centres or youth dance projects
  • Organised theatre trips - each term we arrange a theatre trip to broaden our students’ awareness of current dance companies and styles.  Theatre trips are often complimented by a workshop given by dancers from the performing company.
  • Holiday Intensives


  • Two-day intensives held during October half-term 
  • Four-day intensives during the Easter
  • Six-day intensives held Summer holidays.

Individual Training Plans:

Each student receives an Individual Training Plan catering for their personal needs to enable them to develop their technical and creative expertise. The CAT programme’s success relies on the support of each student’s family and, when appropriate, their local dance providers/teachers, without whose support and encouragement the scheme would not be possible.

Students unable to attend the midweek technique sessions at The Place will be required to attend dance classes in their locality to maintain their training and develop their skills. Students may also be encouraged to join a youth dance company or similar performance group. These classes will be agreed by the CAT management team, student and student’s family.