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What is Cecchetti?

Cecchetti is a method of Ballet founded by Enrico Cecchetti, an Italian Ballet dancer from the mid 19th century. It is 1 of 6 recognized methods of Ballet and the form of Ballet that we choose to focus on here at Clarion Center for the Arts.

The Cecchetti method is a curriculum that Enrico designed for students in his own Ballet school. Through the Cecchetti Council of America, the curriculum is now taught by certified instructors… one of whom is our very own Ms. Janet! (NOTE: Ms. Janet is the only certified instructor in Clarion County!) Students studying the Cecchetti method must pass an exam on each level in order to continue on to the next. These exams are demonstrative, which means students will simply perform all Ballet exercises they learn throughout the year for an outside examiner who will determine whether or not they are ready for the next level. Students take these demonstrative exams with their classmates.

What does Cecchetti look like at Clarion Center for the Arts?

We offer Cecchetti as a weekly hour-long class that students attend in addition to a 2-week intensive held in the summer before their Cecchetti exams, usually the 2nd and 3rd full weeks of June. Students must be simultaneously enrolled in a core level Ballet class. Cecchetti is not a substitute for our core level Ballet classes. It is an additional program.

Our 2-week intensive is held right before our exams and our exam date is given to us by the Cecchetti Council of America. Although we don't have complete control over these dates, they are typically the 2nd and 3rd week of June. We recommend all Cecchetti students reserving the month of June for our intensive and exams.

Will my child take an exam every year?

Most students will not take an exam every year, particularly young students in Cecchetti Level I. Some bodies simply need more than one year of training and conditioning to be ready for exams. Or sometimes bodies just need a little more time to mature in order to achieve the quality of dance that examiners look for. Some exams even require students to be a certain age. You can contact the Office if you have any questions about your child's examining status for this year.

Spending multiple years at the same level before taking your exam increases the likelihood of getting better results! Even if your child repeats a level, the time they've already spent at that level is well worth it.

What is the dress code for Cecchetti?

Cecchetti is a ballet class. Students should follow the dress attire requirements for a Principal level ballet class. Preferably, female students should wear a black leotard, pink tights and pink split-sole ballet shoes since this is what they must wear for the exam. Hair should be pulled up in a tight, neat bun. For more information about our dress attire requirements, visit the blog post below!

Why should my child take Cecchetti?

First and foremost, our students' safety is a top priority for us. As students progress through our dance levels, this second Ballet class becomes crucial for helping them develop and maintain the strength and technique they need to dance safely. Dancers can develop injuries if they start attempting steps and skills without having proper strength and technique. For this reason, students MUST take this second Ballet class in order to dance in our Junior and Senior levels.

Secondly, students who wish to reach the culmination of their Ballet education by earning their Pointe shoes must successfully complete 2 levels of Cecchetti. Once students pass the first 2 levels of Cecchetti, they are eligible to start taking Pointe… but they must continue to take a core level Ballet class and Cecchetti for the sake of their strength and technique, and thus, safety.

Finally, Cecchetti offers a uniquely tangible goal for young dancers. The approval of an outside examiner affirms our students’ abilities and helps keep us accountable as teachers. Students who take Cecchetti along with their core level classes show incredible growth in their strength and technique and soon start to stand out among their peers. Once students reach our Junior level, Cecchetti is a necessity for students who wish to keep up with their peers in their dance training.

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