The National Scheme

The Place's Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) is part of a national intensive dance programme for 11-18 year olds who display exceptional potential and passion for dance.

Centres for Advanced Training is a government initiative funded by the Department for Education and managed by the Music and Dance Scheme (MDS). The scheme was initially set up in 2004.

"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, which will enable them, if they choose, to proceed towards self-sustaining careers in music and dance." - MDS Advisory Group

CAT nurtures young dancers to enable them to maximise their potential, creating world-class dancers who have the capacity to engage and compete with their international peers around the globe.

Centres for Advanced Training provide a vital link in this process by identifying children as young as 11 and ensuring that they benefit from the highest quality prevocational training. CAT’s prime objective is to help and encourage young British dancers to access institutions and conservatoires of excellence. Unlike other specialist training programmes, the Centres for Advanced Training are non-residential and allow students to remain in the mainstream education system and live at home with their families.

The programme at The Place is open to all children between 11-16 years regardless of previous dance training. We accept children who have limited dance experience alongside those who have had considerable prior training. With the generous support of the MDS we are able to select children purely for their potential regardless of family and financial circumstances. Each family is means tested so families only pay fees according to their means. The MDS issues numerous full grants on an annual basis to students who could not otherwise afford to join the programme.

Follow the National Centres for Advanced Training @DanceCATs_news