Centre for Advanced Training (CAT)

Contemporary & South Asian


Due to safety guidelines as a result of COVID-19 we will be running CAT online for 2020. We are please announce we are now holding auditions for 2020/21 plus join our online CAT open day & male-identifying experience day in July. 



Please read our Coronavirus update: http://www.dancexchange.org.uk/coronavirus-update/

What is The Centre for Advanced Training for South Asian and Contemporary Dance (CAT)? It is an elite training opportunity for young people aged 11-18, who show exceptional talent and potential in Bharatanatyam, Kathak and Contemporary styles. The Contemporary strand, Dance Generation, recruits young people from the West Midlands, and the South Asian strand, Yuva Gati, is a national programme, recruiting students from across the country. The opportunity to study Bharatanatyam and Kathak at this elite level is unique to this CAT within the UK.

The CAT enables students to receive intensive high-quality dance tuition alongside their formal school or college education.

What will I learn? The aim of the CAT programme is to nurture and develop confident, highly skilled, creative and adaptable dance artists, with exceptional dance technique, who are well prepared for the rigours of professional dance training and future careers in dance.

Throughout the year, Dance Generation and Yuva Gati students will train in four core areas:

  • Technical Skills
  • Choreographic Development
  • Performance Enhancement
  • Dance Industry Knowledge, with a focus on professional training options

This will be complemented by supplementary training and students will also have an opportunity to complete their Arts Awards. Each student’s progress is supported and monitored through tailored Individual Training Plans.

Who leads the CAT?: The Centre for Advanced Training for South Asian and Contemporary Dance (CAT) is the West Midlands partner in the national CAT network.  Funded by the Department of Education Music and Dance Scheme, it is led by DanceXchange in partnership with Sampad South Asian Arts and Heritage.

We have an outstanding artistic team, and students have the opportunity to work with artists and companies from the UK and beyond.   The CAT is championed by a broad network of dance tutors, community dance leaders, and teachers from around the country, who play a vital role in signposting their talented students to the programme and supporting their ongoing development.

Where is CAT based?  The Contemporary course operates at DanceXchange on Sundays during term time, with intensives scheduled during school holidays.  The Yuva Gati programme operates at DanceXchange on a residential, intensive basis during school holidays, and is complemented by local teaching provision delivered by each student’s Home Tutor.

Who can join? CAT is designed for young people aged 11-18 years, but you must be under 16 to join the programme.

How do I join? To join CAT, you’ll need to audition first. Audition dates will be posted on our events page.

How much does the training cost? The Department for Education provides a limited number of means-tested grants for students. This is part of their national Music and Dance Scheme. Click here to find out more about funding and costs.

Once you’ve been accepted, you can apply for a grant-assisted place on the programme. Students who are successful at the audition but are too late or ineligible for grants can take up a place. However, this is on the basis that they pay the full fees. Grants can cover all or some of your tuition costs. You can also apply for bursaries towards extra tuition fees to support extra training.

What other people say

It has been an invaluable experience being part of this programme; it gave me the opportunity to learn from various internationally-renowned dancers and choreographers.

Yuva Gati graduate and BBC Young Dancer Finalist

CADT has opened up the world of dance for me, and allowed me to see myself in it!

Dance Generation student

The chance to learn unique ways of moving.

Dance Generation student

I knew I wanted to pursue a career in dance and believed CADT would be the ideal programme to support my future.

Dance Generation graduate and current student at Northern School of Contemporary Dance

Allows you to explore dance in a new and exciting way!

Yuva Gati student