Young Dancers Aim HighJanet Burrows
A group of Year 9 students took part in a two-hour long workshop with dance professionals from the Centre for Advanced Training at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance. The Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) is part of a national intensive dance programme aimed at preparing young dancers to study for a dance qualification at university or specialist conservatoire. Past students on the course have gone on to study dance in venues such as the Urdang Academy and Rambert School. Specialising in contemporary dance technique, CAT works with young people aged 13-17, offering them a year-long programme of contemporary and ballet dance classes. Since its launch in 2004, the Centre has offered young people the opportunity to access high-quality dance training whilst staying in full-time education and living at home.
Entry to the course, which runs for one academic year, is through successful audition and interview. This year the School was given the opportunity to host an Outreach Workshop, from which students would be selected to audition for the programme next year.
This was a fantastic opportunity that allowed 14 of our students to not only gain some invaluable experience in contemporary dance technique and choreography but also show off their abilities to a professional dancer. Amazingly all 14 students were asked to audition next year for the advanced training programme.
Caroline, the workshop leader said, “It’s really unusual to invite the whole group to audition – usually I would ask between two and five students but I have been so impressed with the talent and work ethic of all of the participants that I had to invite them all!”
Jon Lee, Drama Teacher, is incredibly proud of all the students involved. He added, “This is a great achievement for the students and the School’s Creative and Performance Faculty. Dance was introduced just two years ago as an extra-curricular opportunity and for the first time this year we have been able to offer it as a discrete subject at GCSE.
The workshop is one of a number that have been offered to our dancers this year.