SAM BAXTER

The CAT taught me so much. Not only about dance and professional practice but how to develop and grow as a young artist and developing teenager. I was adopted into a lovely CAT family. We experienced a variety of processes with the CAT scheme that including regular technique classes, creative R&Ds and performance opportunities. All these experiences allowed me to attend conservatoire auditions with a maturity that made me stand out from others. The regular classes and intensives also prepared me for the extensive commitment and drive that dance training requires.

The only advice I could give to anyone wanting to pursue a career in dance is that training through a CAT scheme is almost essential! But with all things, you won’t get it perfect every time, so if you aren’t successful in auditioning the first time, never give up. A career in dance takes a lot of drive and effort. Sometimes you will have to audition for schools/jobs/companies multiple times!

Background:

I was initially introduced to dance through a relative, she encouraged me to attend the dance school she attended. I started with lessons in tap and modern and later ballet. Before that I was always active and enjoyed climbing, parkour and gymnastics.

My GCSE Drama and Dance teacher told me about the CAT auditions. Several dance students from my school had previously attended the CAT scheme so she was keen for me to audition too. I was actually too nervous to audition the first year. My teacher didn’t take no for an answer and helped me audition the year after!

Progression:

After graduating from CAT training I attended NSCD for the foundation and degree course. After graduating I’ve worked for companies such as James Wilton Dance, South Paw, Company Nil, Hannah Perry, Breaking Convention and Tom Dale Dance Company. I’ve had a variety of commercial experiences, including music videos (Snow Patrol), advertisements (Redland London), and some film work on Mary Queen of Scots (Wayne McGregor) and the feature film remake of the musical Cats (Wayne McGregor, Andy Blankenbuehler).

I still have a passion for performance so I would like to continue that for as long as possible. A goal for the future is to work for a company that works more with the combination of theatre and dance, such as Peeping Tom, Ultima Vez and Punchdrunk. As well as performing I would love to start articulating my experience through teaching. I would also like to continue my research with the Ferrus Animi/ Terra Nova movement research group.