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CAT Scheme - What do I need to know?


Pointe-less
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Hello all, I know there are other threads here and there with info on about the schemes but I'm posting to ask for as much info as possible on anything and everything to do with these schemes as I don't know anything about them at all really, an before googling I wanted to seek advice from people who may have first hand experience! I just want to know everything really, especially for the contemporary at the Birmingham centre, what hours are involved, are the classes held in the same place each week, do all the different age groups train together, what exactly do they do? What are the performance opportunities like, costs involved, is everyone funded or do you audition for funding as with vocational schools, do you have to reaudition every year? Just basically anything you wish you had known before starting. I know there's a lot to take in there lol but thank you for any advice offered :)

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Funding - I believe everyone who is offered a place on any CAT scheme pays fees according to a means-tested scale. You don’t have to audition separately for a bursary. If you are offered a place you just have to fill in some extra paperwork to access the funding. The amount you pay varies between nil and about £3800 per year depending on your income. There may be significant uniform and travel expenses to consider on top of this!

 

My dd is on a CAT programme but not Birmingham. She is 14 and does about 15-16 hours per week, mainly with other dancers around her age and level, in groups of about 10-15. Younger dancers do fewer hours (For example, I think a 12 year old would typically do about 11-12 hours per week). She does mainly ballet, some contemporary, pilates, and some classroom based work (nutrition, physiology, audition preparation etc…). They do not have to re-audition as such, but they are formally assessed within class twice a year and could be ‘assessed out’ at the end of the year if their progress is not deemed to be satisfactory. 

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I looked st Swindon CAT a year ago for my DD (they do a contemporary scheme and an urban one) and they said once a dancer joins the scheme then they stay on until they either leave for a vocational school/conservatoire or are too old. So although assessments happen they gave the impression they worked with dancers rather than said no thank you. But as their contemporary scheme is for 11-18 but only 11 year boys seem to get a place, girls are told they're too young(!) I don't know much more.

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Thank you for the replies everyone, and pictures I had noticed on the DanceXchange website that it said the scheme was on Sunday's, and that is what made me wonder about hours, I can't see them getting in 15/16 hours like BlueLous dc does if they only attend one day a week?!

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My dd did Birmingham CAT a few years ago - it was all day Sundays , inc a ballet class which was often taken by artists from BRB. The cost was covered by MDS and there were several performance opportunities.

What sort of performance opportunities did your dd get to take part in lildancer96 if you don't mind me asking and how did your daughter get on there? Did she enjoy the classes? Thanks :)

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