During the challenging and uncertain times of Covid-19, the Dance4 Centre for Advanced Training team kept young people connected online through their love of dance with CAT Saturdays via Zoom and a collection of digital guest artist workshops. We caught up with some new students who joined the programme during the pandemic to hear about their online CAT experience. Read about Elizabeth’s experience below.
Tell me, how have you found joining the Dance4 CAT programme during the Covid-19 pandemic?
“Joining CAT during Covid-19 was fun, even though most of it was online. Despite the difficulties that come with being online, the lessons have been fun. I really enjoyed working on the creative tasks outside of the lessons and it was fun to record them and send them in to make the Christmas 2020 film. Working online with CAT during Covid has also helped me to adapt as a dancer; making the phrases fit my space and using objects such as chairs that might not be in the studio.”
What are you most looking forward to about returning to the Dance4 CAT studios?
“I am most looking forward to being back in the studios themselves. I have only been in them 3 times, but they give off really good dance vibes and I always feel like I dance my best when I’m in them. I am also looking forward to seeing other people again and being able to make duets, have more space to dance and just to enjoy the vibes that come with dancing with other people.“
In what ways do you think you have developed in your dancing so far from being on the Dance4 CAT programme?
“I feel that I have developed a lot in my dancing since I joined CAT. When I joined, I had only been doing contemporary dance for about 7 or 8 months and I was still new to the way everything flowed and moved together. Coming to CAT has really helped me understand the style a lot more and I feel like I’ve really improved my technique since I joined. CAT has also helped me in my creative ability. Whenever I created my own phrases in the past, they have been repetitive and lacked in technique and creativity. Since joining CAT, I’ve been able to create much better work and every lesson. I feel like I’m adding more creative tools to my toolbox.“
How has it been having the opportunity to work with lots of different choreographers?
“It’s been great being able to work with different choreographers, such as Alleyne Dance and Gary Clarke. It was loads of fun being taught different ways of dancing and when I choreograph, I like to experiment with what I’ve learnt from these workshops, seeing what works together and what doesn’t. It’s also really inspiring to learn from famous dancers and it was informative and helpful being able to hear the guest artists’ own personal stories of where they trained and how they got to where they are today.“
Dance4 Centre for Advanced Training will be recruiting new students for 2021/22. Young people aged 11-17 with an interest in dance and who live in the East Midlands are invited to audition for the programme for a September 2021 intake.
Our next audition will be held on Sunday 4 July 2021. The CAT audition is FREE to attend but an application form must be completed and submitted in order to reserve a place.
For more information please email the CAT team or call 0115 924 2016.
Header image by Josh Hawkins