Southern Area Awards

Sunday 25th March 2018

The Barn Theatre, Southwick,
Sussex, BN42 4TE

The Southern Area Awards are held annually in the South East of England in the spring term. The specific aim of these Awards is encouraging children who are only able to attend one ballet class per week, known as the "once a week" child.

There are four sections.  Junior competitors show a set dance.  The Lower Middle and Upper Middle sections, and the Seniors show the award set classwork and a longer "solo" enchaînement.  The Vacani Award in the Lower Middle section, the Molly Caulder Award in the Upper Middle section, both for the Joy of Dance, and the Barbara Geoghegan Cup in the Senior section, for Musicality, are adjudicated separately within the competition.

Entry Criteria

The competitor must have been studying Cecchetti for a minimum of one year prior to the competition, with a teacher who regularly enters pupils for Cecchetti examinations.

  • Junior - age 7 and under 9, guide level Standard 1
  • Lower Middle - age 9 and under 11, guide level Standard 2 (no Grade 4 or higher)
  • Upper Middle - age 11 and under 14, guide level Standards 3 & 4 (no Grade 6 or higher)
  • Senior - age 14 and under 17, guide level Standards 5 & 6 (no Inter Foundation or higher)

All Scholars, Cecchetti and Royal Ballet Associates, those taking part in the London Cecchetti Children's and Mabel Ryan Awards and children attending vocational schools are not eligible to enter this competition, suited to the 'once weekly class' pupil.


For further information about these Awards please contact: -

Contact: Penelope Walker
Tel: 07583 143895

Contact: Mechele Lefkaridi
Tel: 07738 831616

Southern Area Awards
review & Results 2017

Review: Yolande Parkin

Cecchetti Southern Area Awards

On Sunday 19th March, in this, the 35th year of the Southern Area Awards, the Barn Theatre, Southwick filled with chatter and excitement as parents entered to the sound of Liz Hewson warming up at the piano. The dusky purple curtains across the stage seemed to quiver in anticipation too. It’s a lovely venue with comfortable seating and a good view of the stage for all, which isn’t a daunting size for the children.  Molly Caulder, Founder of the Awards, who established them  to encourage and give stage experience to the once-a-week pupil, would have been delighted in its constant growth as well as the current venue.  14 teachers in all entered pupils this year.

The Junior Award is for 7 and 8 year olds and the Adjudicator was Anita Gunn.  The children performed a bright, fun-filled dance with a hoop. Liz kept up a brisk tempo with occasional sympathetic easing to encourage the young soloist. The dance was very much enjoyed by my own entrants who delighted in rehearsing at home with their very own hoop. They also enjoyed choosing their own leotard colour and the opportunity to wear a skirt not normally allowed! The efficient pace of the organisation back stage, meant Liz could perform the music thirty-one times in under thirty minutes!  Anita Gunn clearly had a difficult task as there were eight recalls to help her decide on the winners.  All the children were beautifully presented and among them was a strong contingent of boys. If the number of boys grows further, a separate prize might be needed just for them!

The Lower Middle (age 9 & 10), Upper Middle (age 11 – 13) and Senior Awards (age 14 – 16) were  Adjudicated by Mary Stassinopoulos and the  Molly Caulder Award for Joy of Dance by Anita Gunn.

Liz played throughout these Awards with her constant skill and empathy.  The Lower and Upper sections were well attended with twenty-eight and twenty-one entrants apiece. The Senior Award, however, only had one set of seven. Do encourage your pupils of this age group to enter next year. The set work is nicely choreographed and the dance charming. With the Upper Middle, there was a great variation on the interpretation of the dance notes but the children, however, got on with it all with aplomb and danced well, qualifying the good work the teachers put in.

There were many recalls too, so things were very close, though it was clear who might be winning the Joy of Dance in each section. Mary also awarded the cherished Barbara Geoghegan Cup for Musicality in the Senior section.  Again, a number of boys entered the Lower and Senior sections. All dances were choreographed by Jessica Clarke of The Royal Ballet School.  Both adjudicators gave encouragement as well as things to think about, including soft hands with separated fingers, and presentation.

Huge thanks must go to Penny Walker and Mechele Lefkaridi who organised the whole occasion from start to finish with many late nights on top of teaching and running their own schools. Hayley Cheneler and Sandra Powell presented the work and many thanks must go to Debbie Moy who stepped in at the very last minute to present for Mechele.  It was a treat to meet my fellow teachers who I don’t see often enough, and I hope to enter next year a greater number than the eight children I did this year, possibly even a boy among them!

Results 2017

Junior Section

Winner Ellen Purcell, Diana Cremona
Runner Up Jessica Baker, Glynis Hall

Lower Middle Section

Winner Rosie Torode, Jacky Wood
Runner Up Emily Licis, Jane Worsley                                                      

Vacani Award Lily Bull, Jacky Wood

Upper Middle Section

Summer Avedissian, Sandra Powell/Hayley Cheneler
Rachel Simmons, Glynis Hall

Runner Up Jessica Easton, Mechele Lefkaridi
Molly Caulder Shield Poppy Amber Jones, Sandra Powell & Hayley Cheneler

Senior Section

Winner Lily Tidey, Mechele Lefkaridi

Runner Up Susannah Neave, Sandra Powell & Hayley Cheneler

Barbara Geoghegan Cup Lily Tidey, Mechele Lefkaridi