During these unprecedented times and in lieu of being able to hold Open Days we wanted to provide some resource and further information about the Programme. Hopefully what we have provided will give some insight into the training programme and the format of the course.

We have included:   

  • A message from Swindon Contemporary Programme Co-Coordinator, Anna Watkins      
  • Programme Information
  • Dates at a glance  
  • Footage of Ballet class   
  • Footage of two pieces created and performed by students    
  • Building Information   
  • Audition Information

Please get in touch with us via email if you have any questions at this stage. We are aware this is a lot of information to digest via email, so do not worry about asking any question big or small. At present we have suspended the Centre for Advanced Training Programme for the safety and welfare of students and families. Currently, we are hopeful that auditions will run as normal. If not, we will update those that have expressed an interest nearer the time.

Stay safe & Best wishes, 
The Centre for Advanced Training Team

A message from Swindon Contemporary Programme Co-Ordinator, Anna Watkins

      "CAT (Centre for Advanced Training) invites all who have a passion for dance to train with us. We have students of all levels, some who have just started and some who have been training for much longer. Students have the opportunity to work with choreographers and artists from the dance industry during our intensives, creating pieces which are then performed in our Summer Show. This a rare opportunity to gain training and some performance opportunities at the highest standard.  

We look for students who are passionate, willing to learn, enjoy working as a team with other students and show enthusiasm to dance. We aim to always to support each individual student to take them to their next steps and support their career paths.  

We have students who have gone on to train, teach and perform with some of the most established dance organisations in the UK and internationally."

"Suppressed" created by guest choreographer Bartek Woszczynski and performed by the Swindon Contemporary Programme dancers

Programme Information

The Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) is a National scheme which identifies and assists 11-17 year old's with exceptional potential, regardless of their circumstances, to benefit from world-class specialist training. This programme will enable them if they choose to proceed towards a self-sustaining career in dance. Visit the National CAT website by clicking here

The programme runs alongside the academic year, starting in September and finishing in August. During term time the programme meets at Swindon Dance every Saturday at 12-5.30pm, and during holidays / half terms students meet for a few days for â€˜intensives.   

In term time students will work with a group of core tutors developing technical, creative and performance skills. During intensives students get the opportunity to work with guest choreographers, these are professionals that are creating and performing works with renowned experience.   

It is important to stress this is a training programme and not a performance opportunity. Although at the end of the term there is a Summer Showcase where families and friends will be able to see works created by students over the year. Occasionally there are opportunities to take part in performances but these are not guaranteed every year. 

  • Dates at a glance 2020-21 - these are the expected dates for the programme starting in September but please note they subject to change.
  • Information Pack - you can read more about course aims, areas of practice and course content. 


The CAT is supported by the Department for Education, this means that depending on the household income you may be eligible for a grant (monies that are not repaid). Further information about this can be found on page 8 of the information packs. Some circumstances effect grant eligibility, therefore if you have any questions or concerns regarding fees please do get in touch.

All students on the programme (regardless of grant eligibility) will have access to some financial support for uniform, classes dancers currently attend, travel and tickets to performances.

About the Building

Swindon Dance Centre for Advanced Training takes place in the Swindon Dance studios. In the building, we have three studios, one smaller studio on the ground floor and two larger on the first floor, one of which transforms into a theatre with raked seating. The building is accessible and has a lift and accessible changing room. 

During weekend training students will be split into a couple of groups and will use all studios allowing them to work in smaller groups and experience a better level of training. The landing area and meeting room is a place where students can rest on breaks and consume food.

A short clip from a ballet class in the studio at Swindon Dance. Ballet is part of the training programme however, the majority of the training focuses on contemporary technique.

Audition Information

You can sign up to audition now if you are interested in the programme, please click here.   

Audition Dates: Saturday 30th May 2020, 12:00-2:30 pm, Wednesday 24th June 2020, 4:15-7:00 pm   

The audition will include an hour-long class, similar to one that could be expected on the course. The panel would also like to see a minutes solo, which will be performed to the panel. The team want to reassure any dancers that this is not something to be worried about, we want dancers to know that the solo doesn't have to be exactly a minute, it can be something that has been worked on in school / at a club / or choreographed by themselves. It presents a chance to see how prospective students prefer to move.   We are hopeful we will be able to hold some auditions. At this stage we are thinking about other options if this is not possible. Please express your interest by submitting an audition form and we will update you closer to the time if there are any changes.  

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