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The Academy of Northern Ballet is the only Centre for Advanced Training (or CAT as we like to call it) that specialises in classical ballet in the UK.

Based in the heart of Leeds, we want to make sure our students have a balanced life between academic life and dance training.

Previous alumni of Northern Ballet’s CAT programme have gone on to train at Royal Ballet UpperSchool, English National Ballet, The School of the Hamburg Ballet and many more.  

Read on to hear from students and parents about their experiences of training with us here on the CAT programme.

"I love the hard-working atmosphere which has given me an insight into being a professional ballerina" 
Level 3 student
CAT Students, HRH Visit, Photo Justin Slee
"The training the CAT program offers has helped me become a much better dancer it has also opened a lot of doors for me for the future"
Level 4-6 student
"I love the fact that the programme’s training takes place in the same building as Northern Ballet’s company it is so inspiring"
F4 Student
CAT Students, 2019 Showcase, Photo Emily Nuttall
“As a family, we were wowed by Northern Ballet right from the Open Day visit. The building, training facilities and teaching staff are just on another level! Aged 9, my son joined a boys' taster class with former Company principal Chris Hinton-Lewis which was just the most thrilling experience for him. He was quickly signposted to the CAT programme and was delighted to take up a place in Level 1 when he was 10. A year later, he rejected the offer of a full-time residential place at the Royal Ballet School because he just didn't feel ready to move away from home - or to leave Miss Cara! For our family, the CAT programme has been the perfect alternative to residential ballet school; our son has been able to live at home and is happy at regular school with his local friends, making the short journey into Leeds several times a week where he receives first-class training that he loves. The CAT programme is without a doubt a suitable pathway towards a career in classical ballet, and we look forward to seeing what his next steps will be.

It is quite a commitment to be a CAT parent but it's one that we're all happy to make because the programme is so rewarding and the benefits are enormous. My son thoroughly enjoys all aspects of the programme and has such high respect for the teaching staff and for the professional Company; he is 100% committed to his training, he's very motivated and disciplined - and this is a mindset that transfers into his home life and school life.”
CAT Parent
"Northern Ballet’s CAT programme is second to none! The extraordinary teaches and dedicated staff have nurtured our daughter to maximise her potential."
CAT parent
Northern Ballet CAT students
“I am so grateful for the opportunity offered to my son by the Northern Ballet Centre of Advanced Training Program. It has enabled him to train in classical ballet in a nurturing and professional environment alongside his full time schooling. Under the exceptional tuition provided and nurturing pastoral care, his confidence has grown, not only with his dancing but in all aspects of his life. At Northern Ballet he is surrounded by inspiring role models and feels prepared to continue his training towards a career as a professional dancer.”
CAT parent
"Parents of future young dancers can be assured that your child will receive the very highest quality training, learning, guidance, and support in world class facilities"Former CAT parent
Former CAT parent
Nicola Gervasi with CAT Student, photo Emily Nuttall

Photo Emily Nuttall