Cecchetti Midwest Ballet

Cecchetti Ballet Teaching Tips

Submitted by Karla Harris

Reverence - In my own teaching I feel the need to impart the feeling of reverence for the Cecchetti method of ballet - both to the teachers and students I coach. Cavalier Enrico Cecchetti (1850-1928) formulated a ballet method, "classic in its purity and clear-cut style; it is classic in its strenuous opposition to all extravagance and fussiness of movement; it is classic in its insistence on the importance of line."* We, as teachers of this wonderful method, have the opportunity to create a strong, clean base for our students of ballet. I continually marvel at the improvement in my dancers that have consistently studied the Cecchetti Method.

Etiquette - I also feel the need to teach the students the etiquette of taking a classical ballet class - not just the order of a class - barre, center, etc, but the gentility and civilized manner of ballet. The polite acceptance of all corrections in class as your own, the silence and attentiveness needed to hear and see the corrections, the striving for perfection, the respect for teacher and other students in the classroom, and the mode of dress and manner handed down through the ages. We must never lose the order and mode of a pure classical ballet class. It has so much to teach us about life.

Detail - It is exhausting to be relentless, however I feel this is a necessary tool for a ballet teacher. "...Cecchetti laid down that it is more important to execute an exercise correctly once, than to do it a dozen times carelessly."* We must be diligent and consistent in our corrections. It is so much easier to learn correctly first than to have to undo it later.

* taken from "The Cecchetti Method" written by Cyril W. Beaumont

Copyright 2016 - Midwest Committee Cecchetti Council of America