Cecchetti method of ballet

Enrico Cecchetti

Photo from Wikipedia Commons

Maybe you’ve heard of cecchetti. If so, then you’ve probably learned the patterns, studied the theory, and waited anxiously for your exam results in the mail.

Or, maybe you have no idea what on earth cecchetti is or how it could possibly relate to dance. No worries! This post will give you a taste of what the cecchetti method is all about.

Cecchetti is a method of ballet created by Enrico Cecchetti, who lived from 1850 to 1928. Cecchetti was an Italian Ballet dancer who lived in Rome and worked to develop a ballet technique that focused on students learning proper placement and poise.

Ballet students studying the cecchetti method start in Grade I, where they learn the basics of ballet. Cecchetti classes consists of barre work, center work, and patterns across the floor. The patterns are laid out in a syllabus for each grade. Because of the structured class material, students can learn the patterns quickly and then focus on breaking down each step and movement in every pattern. Students take exams administered by the Cecchetti Council of America, which includes doing each of the patterns for that grade level and knowing the related theory, which includes the French names for each step as well as their English translations. With each grade, the number of patterns at the barre and in the center increases, the amount of theory knowledge builds, and the technique must show improvement.

All exams and classes are done in ballet shoes. Grade V is the first exam level to include a section in pointe shoes, by which time dancers should have the strength, placement, and proper technique to use correctly.

Cecchetti is an excellent way for young dancers to learn the discipline and structure that go into learning the art of dance. The lessons learned in cecchetti classes will carry over to every other dance genre and result in a stronger, better dancer.

So the next time someone brings up cecchetti in your everyday dance life, you can join in the conversation!

“Dance is an hourly and daily discipline, but it is also a lifelong happiness.” -Unknown

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