Cecchetti Classical Ballet

Ballet Pro 2 Dancers
Photo by Kensie M Photography

At Italia Performing Arts we specialize in teaching classical ballet using the Cecchetti Method, as originated by Enrico Cecchetti in the late 19th century and further developed to meet the needs of 21st century students. Miss Lorenza is a qualified teacher of this method. She focuses on developing her students’ dance technique and artistry, from which she builds performance skills.

Italia Performing Arts offers Pre-Primary and Primary ballet classes and Ballet Basics classes for boys and girls age 3 to 10, both beginners and those with some dance experience.

Ballet Pro 4 Dancers
Photo by Kensie M Photography

For students age 10+, we offer two streams of classes: Ballet Pro for students wanting to take ballet seriously with a view to performance, competition or a career; and Ballet Essentials for students taking ballet only as a recreation. For the Ballet Pro stream students are normally required to enroll in at least two classes per week. Students may enroll in this stream only if recommended by Italia Performing Arts staff. Beginners age 11+, including teens, are initially accepted only for Ballet Essentials.

Only girls in the Ballet Pro stream will be trained to dance en pointe (on the tips of their toes). This training starts around age 11 for students with a minimum of three years of ballet training, and requires extra weekly classes, at least four classes per week.

The History of Ballet

Ballet traces its history from the Italian Renaissance spectacles which combined music, singing, poetry, dancing and decoration – an amalgamation of all of the arts. From Italy it moved to France and found its popularity in the French courts, especially under Louis XIV. Then it entered the professional theatre. By the Romantic era ballet had arrived in much the form we now know. Later, it flowered in Russia and was then revitalized in the West. By the middle of the 20th century, what had initially been a diversion for the nobility had become a popular art form worldwide.

Enrico Cecchetti teaching Anna Pavlova (1907)

The disciplinary training of Classical Ballet provides the student with improved posture and a control of mind and body beneficial to health, physique and artistic appreciation. With regular classes children will develop their natural co-ordination of movement and musicality and will gain confidence in their own abilities which will be beneficial in everyday life.

Enrico Cecchetti was born in Italy in 1850, the son of two dancers. He migrated to St. Petersburg where he joined the Imperial Russian Ballet and taught many famous dancers including Pavlova and Nijinsky. In 1909 he joined Diaghilev’s “Ballets Russes” as a teacher and mime artist. He was recognized as the greatest teacher of his day. Cecchetti’s work was recorded and published in 1922 by his friend Cyril Beaumont and his student Stanislas Idzikowski.

One of Idzikowski’s students, Joan Weston, opened a dance school in Chelmsford, England in 1939. Her student Elisabeth Swan took over the school in 1988. Miss Swan, also past Chairman of the Cecchetti Society Classical Ballet Faculty committee in the UK, trained Miss Lorenza to teach the Cecchetti method.