Dance City Call Out!

Dance City Call Out!

Dance City’s CAT Programme – CALL OUT for young people interested in fulfilling dance potential

Dance City’s Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) is part of the Department for Education’s Music and Dance Scheme offering Contemporary and Street Dance training to young people across the North East of England.

The mission of the CAT programme is to inspire and empower gifted and talented young people to fulfil their dance and creative potential – The CAT Contemporary programme is based at Dance City in Newcastle and the CAT Street Dance programme is based at The Fire Station in Sunderland.

FREE open auditions for the next CAT intake will be held on: 

Contemporary Programme at Dance City, Newcastle

Saturday 20 May ‘23           1.00pm – 3.00pm    or       3.30pm – 5.30pm 

Sunday 21 May ‘23            10.30am – 12.30pm   or     1.00pm – 3.00pm

Street Dance Programme at The Fire Station, Sunderland

Sunday 28 May ’23            1.00pm – 3.00pm

Applicants need to be aged 10 – 16 (in their first year on CAT) to apply for one of the programmes and once registered as a student, can continue training up to age 18.  

Graduates from the CAT programme go on to study at some of the leading dance conservatoires and universities. One of the huge success stories of Dance City’s CAT programme is that of Alex Thirkle. Born and raised in Sunderland, Alex began dancing with house dance and vogueing as a teenager. 

After competing internationally, Alex signed up for CAT at Dance City and began exploring ballet and contemporary dance where he found his true passion and interest lay, and he graduated from the programme in 2019.  

Since then, Alex went on to train at Rambert School of Ballet & Contemporary Dance, with Humanhood Dance Company as an apprentice, and as a guest dancer with Tanzmainz and LEV Dance Company.

Alex is now a company dancer with the national and internationally award-winning Russell Maliphant Dance Company.

Says Alex:  

“The CAT scheme at Dance City made me realise that people, like me, from working class backgrounds can have an integral role in the arts scene in the UK. The CAT programme provided a nurturing, yet disciplined environment for me to push myself creatively, and to develop technically.”

“The experience shaped the start of my journey as a professional dancer. Before joining the CAT scheme, I had no knowledge or understanding of ballet or contemporary dance; so even if you think you don’t have enough experience it’s worth applying for if you’re interested in dance.

The programme also employs the highest quality of teaching professionals to work with the young potentials.  One such mentor is internationally acclaimed choreographer and dancer, Anthony Lo Giudice.  Says Anthony:

“I’m a local lad who discovered dance in his teens. The rigour, the escapism and the sense of community and friendship that dance brought to me when I was growing up was a completely transformative experience. It’s wonderful to see that same journey continuing with the young people I work with on the CAT at Dance City. “

“The CAT offers the chance for talented young dancers to experience what being a professional could be like, and it’s led by a team of brilliant regional dance artists who are some of the best teachers in the country.”

“The bond that the students forge with each other, and their tutors is beautiful. CAT is very special, and we are lucky to have it in the North East.”

CAT Programme Manager Hannah Moreno says: 

“We encourage as many young people as possible who are passionate about dance to apply for the FREE audition.  There is also financial support available from the Department of Eduction to cover all or part of the yearly cost of CAT training, along with other financial assistance – please contact us to find out more!”

For more information or to download an application form for the CAT programme please go to:

Dance City is part of a national network of 11 organisations delivering a breadth of dance education across the UK. More information about the National CAT’s programme can be found at

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