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CAT schemes and ballet


Ballet12
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My dd is going to audition for the Manchester CAT s but it seems to be primarily a contempary scheme. However she is more ballet- orientated and I believe they tailor each child's programme to them.

The Leeds CAT is more ballet than contemp but it's too far for us to go several days a week.

Does anyone have experience of the Manchester CAT ?

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From what I understood from the CAT open day at The Place, the CATs which are Contemporary focussed do include a compulsory ballet class, but depending on what level your dd is at in ballet, the class may be easier than her current level.

 

Conversely, there are children on CAT schemes who are asked to do more ballet classes as part of their personalised training scheme. We have a pupil at dd's local scheme who is a gifted contemporary dancer but who wasn't taking any ballet classes, so has to take one ballet class a week locally.

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If you are on a contemporary CAT then the focus is on contemporary dance not ballet. It is included as a complimentary style but my DD's experience is that it is definately easier than her current syllabus work that she continues with locally and the ballet taught is to enhance their contemporary work not to train them as classical dancers. Whilst they do have individual training plans this is balancing their local training with the CAT scheme and also their school commitments.

Good luck to your DD, it is a fantastic scheme.

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My dd in similar sitaution and audtioning with a CAt scheme; the advice I had from the scheme open day was that although this particular scheme does ballet and contemporary; if ballet is her primary interest then dd is advised to continue with her usual ballet classes (esp. if wants to continue to with exam syllabus) as well as the CAT scheme. The creative and dance community opportunities in the CAt schemes look excellent and we're looking forward to finding out more at the first stage auditions.

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If it is the CAT scheme at the Lowry then there is also an open day you attend prior to the audition so you will be able to go and ask lots of questions.

There should be no problems with her continuing with ballet lessons alongside the CAT. :)

As Tulte says the opportunities they get to perform and work with the best choreographers around make the the scheme exciting to be a part of.

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I think this varies between the schemes. My daughter is at NSCD and the second auditions there consisted of a contemporary class, then a creative class(similar to the open day just longer) but they had also been asked to prepare a minute solo to introduce and perform.

The interview was very straight forward and I went in with her. They just asked about her dance experience to date, why she was interested in the scheme, what other hobbies did she have etc. Tell her not to worry, it was very informal with just one of the tutors and felt more like a chat than an interview.

Good luck everyone!

 

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Generally they are also looking to see how much the dancer wants it as opposed to the parent - pushy parent syndrome! The competition is so fierce they try to take the dancers with potential and the 'want' in themselves to undertake the training. However having other things going on and enjoying is also good!!

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My Daughter, really enjoyed her Auditions, She was only 10 at the time of Auditioning! The final Audition was made up of an interview and a solo dance. My daughter worked on hers by herself, they are not to worried about what you do more how you do it and i don't mean just the tech side of things. Try and really perform and show them what you are made of!! My Daughter was sucessful and offered a place and we had a teacher mention how she impressed them!! DD loves the classes, i would say that she does 50/50 ballet and contemporary plus they run an extra Ballet class in the week which is all Classical Ballet. DD also continues with all the dance classes she did before hand. She loves it and is not bothered about being in a class which includes girls and boys of sixteen, the teachers actually adapt some of the work for younger ones really personalising classes for each student where needed. They are amazing!!!

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We are interested in the CAT scheme at the Lowry but looking on the website it states that it is 6-8 hours a week, which on top of school and normal dance classes seems an awful lot! Do the students drop their normal dance classes and just go to the CAT scheme as I think it would be a real struggle to fit it all in.

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No the chn are expected to put that many hours in as it is supposed to be an alternative to vocational school - chn still staying at home but receiving professional tuition and a lot of dancing. My dd does 8 hours at cat and is expected to do about the same at local school and gcses x

 

Edited to say / just checked cat handbook and at 16, they are expected to do 8-9 hours in addition to cat training. Lil

Edited by Lildancer96
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Thanks for the info Lildancer96. We are going to the open day in Manchester in June which DD is looking forward to. I think it may be a little too much for my DD as she is going into year 11 in September but we'll see how we feel after the open day :)

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My DD also started the CAT as she went into year 10 and has continued with her ballet classes locally.

As Lil says it has been hard work and she has had to become much more organised with her time.

The other thing to factor in is the travelling to and from the scheme which for us is a 2 and a half hour round trip.

Whilst the CAT do expect commitment to the scheme and 100% attendance if possible, I have found them to understand the academic (and personal) pressures that young people face and be supportive if they do need to take a night off to complete coursework or revise for exams.

I know I keep banging on about it, but it is entirely worth it :)

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This might be really silly question, but do you actually have to have done a lot of contempory in order to audition for CAT contempory scheme? I do a lot of ballet and take jazz classes as well but don't actually take regular contempory class but I'm interested in auditioning for Exeter contempory CAT in June - would it be ridiculous for me to audition having not done a huge amount of contempory? :)

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The Manchester CAT is an excellent scheme, well organised, good communications, professional teaching and support, high standards, nice kids and thoughtful streaming with excellent extra curriculum courses and professional dance company experiences and intensive weekend tuition and holiday courses. Well worth it if you can make the commitment and do the hours. It is mostly contemporary with a hours ballet and conditioning to compliment.

 

Last year selection took place over a number of stages:

1. An open workshop of 2 hours which led to an invite for those selected to a final audition

2. An all day audition workshop, cumulating a choreography exercise with a panel observing throughout the day

3. Children were advised at the end of the day if they had got through to final interview stage and then had an interview with parents & 2 of the panel to evaluate their availability and suitability.

4. We received a formal letter within a week advising us of a place

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I have been looking at the Exeter cat scheme for my DD but as far as I can tell although it is only 1 Sunday per month the cost/ contribution would still be the same as the Swindon cat which is 4 Sunday's a month, this does not seem right? Also I thought I read somewhere that travel cost and costs for other lessons could possibly be covered by the funding. I can't find where I read this though can anybody shed any light on this?

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The MDS you are awarded does also cover transport costs and equipment. Again the amount covered depends on the size of your grant, mine covers 42% of those costs. At my DDs CAT they source satellite classes once a week for those students who live a long way from the centre and these are paid for by the MDS.

I agree that it does seem strange the differnece in hours between the 2 CAT's you mentioned. My DD does 8 hours per week over 3 days at hers, I think the ballet CAT students do a lot more hours.

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