Dancers praise Nottingham scheme for career start

Steve Orme

Two alumni of a Nottingham dance programme have expressed their thanks for being given a “great” start to their creative careers in contemporary dance.

Heather Birley from Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire started on the Dance4 Centre Advanced Training (CAT) programme in 2011 at the age of 15. She then studied at London Contemporary Dance School and has secured an MA apprenticeship working with the Swedish dance company Cullbergbaletten in Stockholm.

She said, “I experienced many pivotal moments while on the CAT scheme and continue to be influenced by my time on the programme. CAT gave me many opportunities to perform, which I feel was of great vitality as it allowed my confidence, skill and presence to grow with fluidity and joy.”

Ruben Brown from Kettering, Northamptonshire joined the Dance4 CAT programme from the age of 13 and also graduated from London Contemporary Dance School. He has accepted a contract with Thierry Smits's Company Thor in Brussels.

He said, “I was lucky enough to work with such a variety of different artists while I was on the scheme at Dance4 that I’m open to a lot of different work. I think the most important thing that the CAT scheme taught me was to embrace all experiences and opportunities.”