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Applications now open for 2020/2021 Centre for Advanced Training in dance programme

The Lowry Centre for Advanced Training in Dance (CAT) has opened applications to be considered for its next annual scheme starting September 2020.

This acclaimed regional pre-vocational training scheme is open to young people from the North West aged 11 – 16 (once on the scheme you can stay until 18), with a passion and talent for dance.

The scheme offers young people with exceptional potential, regardless of their personal circumstances, to benefit from world-class specialist training as part of a broad and balanced education.

The training programme has a highly successful track record, with graduates progressing to study dance at major UK conservatories including: Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance, The London School of Contemporary Dance, Central School of Ballet, and the Northern School of Contemporary Dance.

The audition process has been altered in keeping with Government guide lines around the COVID-19 pandemic which means that The Lowry is currently closed until Monday 31 August. But in true showbiz style, the show must go on and so too must the training of the next generation of dancers.

The CAT will be facilitating the application and audition process for the first time with remote classes and dance experience days to ensure all potential candidates and young dancers interested in the scheme have the opportunity to be considered digitally.

This year’s application is twofold: In the first instance, interested parties are invited to take part in and experience FREE practical and informative dance workshops delivered live online via ZOOM on Friday evenings in June, July and August 2020.

In addition to these weekly 75 minute sessions, those wishing to be considered are then encouraged to take part in one of two Digital Experience Day Workshops where more in depth training and a greater insight into the course is offered.

A panel consisting of the CAT Management and artist team will informally observe all weekly classes and the Experience Days to ensure those wanting to be considered are seen.

They will be observing how students engage and respond to tasks set in these online sessions and encourage those wanting to be considered to engage with as many of the sessions as possible to ensure they have opportunity to be seen.

This will replace the standard and more traditional live audition and offers a unique opportunity for those interested, to be observed over a longer period – giving young people the opportunity to demonstrate the breadth of their creativity and facility whilst being support by the CAT staff, within what is a challenging setting and unusual circumstances.

The Lowry CAT Scheme has been running for 11 years and is now seeing it’s alumni enter into the industry working with companies such as Matthew Bournes New Adventures, Cilla The Musical, Motionhouse, Southpaw Dance Company, Jasmin Vardimon 2, Disneyland Paris and Opera De Lyon as well as many more.

Jade Aitchison, The Lowry Centre for Advanced Training manager, said: “ We understand that this process is new to participants and to us and so we hope that by offering free weekly dance classes and online experience days, we are making it as accessible as possible for as many interested candidates to be able to try out for our scheme.

“We are looking for passion, commitment and creative potential in dance and we feel that by observing students via our online Zoom classes over a number of weeks rather than in just one single audition, we will be able to really get a sense of who has these key ingredients to pursue a career in dance.

“We are aware that there will be a reasonable level of challenge due to differing home environments, environmental distractions and WiFi connectivity issues. But with the unique recruitment process designed to run over a long period of engagement, we are confident this will allow for a process that is as fair and equal as possible, giving young people the opportunity to demonstrate the breadth of their ability and potential.”

All interested candidates can apply for the Weekly Workshops and Digital Experience Days via Google.

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