Southern Area Awards

Sunday 19th March 2017

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 2016

Review: Wendy Tucknott

The Cecchetti Southern Area Awards was once again held at the charming, Barn Theatre, Southwick, Sussex.  Mechele Lefkaridi welcomed and introduced the Adjudicators for the day, Faculty Chair Catherine Hutchon and Sandra Powell. Sandra was co-organiser of the Southern Area Awards since its inception, until 2007 and continues to provide enormous support. Liz Hewson was welcomed at the piano. Liz always plays beautiful, tireless and inspiring music and we were once again thrilled to have her with us for the day.

The Cecchetti Southern Area Awards was introduced many years ago by Molly Caulder. Her vision, to give pupils who only attend one ballet class a week an opportunity to appreciate 'the joy of dance', and compete in a competition dancing on stage. I believe this foresight by Molly Caulder created a unique learning tool for the many students who enter each year.

The Junior Award competitors started the day with their dance which had been arranged by Susan Dingle. Each dancer had the opportunity to show their talent for mime as well as dance ability during their short solo.  Before giving the results, Sandra Powell said she really enjoyed their dancing and would like to see them all dance again. She reminded them to stretch their feet and listen to the music, also the importance of using mime by thinking about the story and really believing it.

In the Lower, Upper Middle and Senior sections the class work was presented on stage by Mechele Lefkaridi and Hayley Cheneler. The work was performed in small groups and then each entrant performed a short solo enchainment arranged by Penny Kay.  In the Upper Middle section, Catherine Hutchon adjudicated for the Molly Caulder Shield, Enjoyment of Dance Award. She asked the dancers to work to show their enjoyment through both class and solos.  Sandra Powell who adjudicated the main award commented about posture, explaining that good posture helps to keep the arms in the right place.

After lunch the Lower Middle section commenced. Catherine Hutchon who adjudicated the Vacani Award for the Joy of Dance, thought they all enjoyed their dancing but commented that whilst it was lovely to see performers smile, faces must also relax to show enjoyment. Sandra Powell asked all the entrants to show their best pointed toes and asked them to give a little more effort to ensure a good stretch. What a lovely photograph that would have made!  In the Senior section Sandra Powell commented on how difficult it is for dancers with long legs to maintain control. She wanted the port de bras placement maintained during movement and the quality of music brought out in the dance.

With Liz Hewson at the piano every dancer was given a wonderful opportunity to shine. In the Junior section it is often the first time a young dancer has the stage to themselves and Liz was ready to tailor the music to each child. A comment overheard in the audience said it all, "Everyone on that stage is marvellous, I would not be able to do that".  

Mechele Lefkaridi thanked Catherine Hutchon and Sandra Powell for their careful adjudication, and also thanked Liz Hewson for her fresh music.  Parents and teachers were congratulated on the neat appearance of the competitors. Seeing the rainbow of coloured leotards and neat, tidy hair during adjudication, always makes me smile. The day went so smoothly and the genuine applause from the audience showed appreciation to all who worked towards making the event such a success.  

Many thanks to the organisers Mechele Lefkaridi and Penelope Walker who spent many months preparing for an exceptionally well run and much loved event. Also thanks were given to their team of helpers on the day. Without their help back stage and behind the scenes the event would be impossible.  I came away feeling inspired for the new term ahead and look forward to the next Southern Area Awards.

Results 2016

Junior Section

Winner Charlotte Pelling Wendy Gandolfi
Runner Up Herbert Mandeville Jacky Wood
Runner Up Matilda Heywood Vanessa Gardner

Lower Middle Section

Winner Rachel Simmons Glynis Hall
Runner Up Phoebe Hughes Miranda Labuschange
Vacani Award Rhianna McDuffus Wendy Gandolfi

Upper Middle Section

Winner Elena Lee Glynis Hall
Runner Up Lily Mae Tidey Amy Heather/Mechele Lefkaridi
Molly Caulder Shield Lois Regan Jane Worsley 

Senior Section

Winner Tanieth Kerr Amy Heather/Mechele Lefkaridi
Runner Up Elizabeth Jackson Wendy Gandolfi
Barbara Geoghegan Cup Serena Coyle Anita Gunn