How old do I have to be to apply?
At Northern School of Contemporary Dance we recruit young people aged 13– 17 years.

Does it matter if I haven’t had a lot of experience in Dance?
No formal dance experience is required; we are looking for enthusiastic and motivated young people with exceptional potential and an interest in pursuing dance as a career.

How often will I attend classes?
As a Centre for Advanced Training student you’ll attend two classes in the evening mid-week and three on a Saturday this is a total of 5 classes a week. Each class is one and half hours long and are designed to ensure you gain a strong grounding in contemporary dance.
In addition we also offer Easter and Summer Intensives.

How will I fit this in with my schoolwork?
All classes as part of the Centre for Advanced Training happen out of school hours. Classes during the week are restricted to two evenings and you should still have time to do your homework. The course leaders can help you plan your time so that you fit in both your schoolwork and your dance lessons.

What about my current dance classes/school?
The Centre for Advanced Training is a course in contemporary dance and you may want to continue your lessons in other forms of dance at your dance school. You will need to be able to attend all the classes on this course and we advise you to be realistic about how much you can take on at once. The number of dance classes you want to do each week is a decision you need to make with your parents/guardians and in conversation with the Centre for Advanced Training course leaders.

What if I can’t make it three times a week?
The Centre for Advanced Training is for young dancers who can attend three times a week. However, as we are looking for talented youngsters from across the whole of Yorkshire we understand travelling three times a week to Leeds may not be possible for some students. Arrangements can be made for you to become a satellite student if you live a long distance from Leeds. This would mean you may only attend one evening per week and every Saturday, plus Intensive weekends, Easter Courses and Summer Schools.

What if I don’t know if a career in dance is for me?
The scheme will give you information and training so that you can decide if a career in dance is for you. Places are offered on a yearly basis and if you chose to leave at the end of a year you will receive documentation to say you have participated in the course.

What do I wear for the audition?
Ideally a leotard and dance tights (footless) would be worn, but jogging bottoms and a t-shirt are acceptable. We work in bare feet unless otherwise stated.We need to see your body moving in the audition; so large baggy clothes are not advised. Extra layers and all jewellery should be removed. Long hair must be tied back and be off the face.

What will I have to do at the open day and audition?
Open Days and Auditions are held at NSCD and involve participation in a contemporary dance technique class, a creative workshop and at audition only a presentation of a pre-prepared one minute solo. Auditions usually take place in May/June for entry onto the scheme in September. We know auditions can be daunting so have designed the process from to be simple and supportive, including pre audition workshops for those who need advice on solos.

What happens if I don’t get through the audition, can I try again?
We welcome applications from young people who have been unsuccessful in the past and can apply to audition again as many times as you like.

What happens if I don’t succeed in the first year?
Places on the scheme are offered on a yearly basis, subject to assessments. You may choose not to come back for a second year or we may not offer you a place for a second year. In either situation we will give you documentation to say you have participated on the scheme.

What is covered by the cost of the course?
The cost of the course includes provision at the Centre for Advanced Training, mid-week and Saturday training according to the Individual Training Plan, uniform, theatre trips, medical support, performance opportunities and costumes. In addition students receive ongoing advice and career guidance, and may be offered the opportunity to take part in projects with the National Dance CATs.


Does the course only last for a year?
Students are assessed continually throughout their time on the course and are supported right through to the time that they go on to further vocational training at age 16 – 18 years. If the Centre for Advanced Training team feels that the course is no longer right for a student, they are positively supported off the course and encouraged to continue with other dance activities.

Who teaches for you?
The teaching team is made up of teachers and accompanying musicians of the highest calibre as the quality of teaching is paramount to the success of the scheme. In addition to regular workshops, guest teachers will deliver extra sessions, making the training delivered relevant to today’s dance profession.

What if I need help to fill in the forms?
Learning and Participation at NSCD is available to help you as much as you require with any questions regarding the scheme and are happy to help you fill out the application form. If you need further information or advice, or are unsure about any aspects of the Centre for Advanced Training, please contact Learning & Participation on 0113 219 3005 or email