The Cecchetti Vocational Awards



Fewster Cecchetti Scholarship

Winner: Jade Wallace - Elmhurst Ballet School
Runner Up: Micaela Infante - Tring Park School for the Performing Arts
Male Award : Thomas Hockey - Tring Park School for the Performing Arts
Female Award: Olivia Foskett - Tring Park School for the Performing Arts
Commendation: Annabella Sanders - Tring Park School for the Performing Arts         

Barbara Geoghegan Award

Winner: Hamish Scott - Elmhurst Ballet School
Runner Up: Saho Nozaki - Elmhurst Ballet School
Commendation: Natalia Watt - Tring Park School for the Performing Arts
Commendation: Shoko Ito - Tring Park School for the Performing Arts
Promising Young Dancer: Barnaby Packham - Tring Park School for the Performing Arts
Musicality Award: Lydia Holt - Elmhurst Ballet School


Photos of the 2016 Mabel Ryan Awards taken by Elaine Mayson are available to view and purchase at Elaine's website


The Vocational Awards incorporate the Fewster Cecchetti Scholarship and the Barbara Geoghegan Award.  It is heartening to see so many students, from our prestigious vocational schools, are competing each year.  2016 saw 35 girls and 15 boys on stage, divided into 3 classes. 

Lorien Slaughter presented a well thought out and clearly taught class, allowing the dancers to demonstrate extension, line, elevation, ballon and musicality.  With David Smith sensitive piano accompaniment, there was no excuse not to shine!  We were off to a great start with the Cecchetti first set of port de bras. We feel sure our fellow teachers in the audience will agree that, one of the main differences between the Senior dancers and the vocational students, was eyeline – every one of the vocational dancers was performing for their audience.

In the afternoon the students presented their solos.  One must not forget that these solos are normally performed by the principals in ballet companies and it was lovely to see the future of British ballet is in safe hands with so many talented youngsters emerging from the vocational schools.

Our esteemed adjudicators, Ursula Hageli and Jonathan Cope, had some extremely helpful advice.  Miss Hageli felt that overall the students’ weight was too far back, which inhibited their plié.  They needed to ‘use the floor more and thus stay over their feet’.

Mr Cope added that they needed to isolate their legs from their arms, encouraging more dynamic in the legs and more fluidity in the upper body.  He also mentioned that it was great to see the Cecchetti method being used as it is still so relevant for today’s dancers, but pirouettes needed to be more musical!  Finally both adjudicators agreed that ballet is an art form and inevitably opinions would differ when the results of the competition were announced.

After more than a decade of organising the Cecchetti Awards, it was announced that Judith Wilson was standing down and it had been an honour and a privilege.  The smooth running of the weekend and the happy atmosphere was only possibly with the help of the huge team of volunteer teachers.  Our very best wishes and thanks go to Judith for all she has done for the Society – she is going to be a very hard act to follow!

Jane Scholl & Holly Unnuk


The Cecchetti Classical Ballet Vocational Awards are a high profile public annual event that offers students in vocational training the opportunity to perform on a professional stage in an atmosphere of friendly competition.  The Awards take place annually in November at the Lillian Baylis Theatre, Sadler’s Wells and are open to male and female vocational students in the UK and Europe. 

These Awards include the Fewster Cecchetti Scholarship and the Barbara Geoghegan Award and a number of additional awards to support vocational students training in the Cecchetti method.

The Fewster Cecchetti Scholarship was founded by Barbara Fewster OBE, a former Principal of the Royal Ballet Lower School, White Lodge.  Miss Fewster was a great proponent of the Cecchetti method. The winner is awarded £2000 and the runner-up is awarded £600.  In addition special awards are made to a promising male and female student.  Applicants are required to participate in a classical ballet class at the Cecchetti Classical Ballet Awards which is watched by two Adjudicators. 

The Barbara Geghegan Award was created in 1998 to honour Barbara Geoghegan in recognition of her devotion to the promotion of the Cecchetti Method over many years. The award is a bronze figure of a ballet dancer which is held by the winner for one year and prize money up to £2000. The runner-up is awarded £700.  Applicants are required to participate in a classical ballet class at the Cecchetti Classical Ballet Awards and perform a classical solo which is watched by two Adjudicators.  

In addition to the prize money listed in the rules above, an Award of £600 each is presented for Musicality and a Promising Young Dancer and can be given to competitors participating in either the Fewster Cecchetti Scholarship or Barbara Geoghegan Award.

Entry & Contact Details

Further information about the Awards including entry criteria and competition rules click the links below

Fewster Cecchetti Scholarship

Barbara Geoghegan Award

For general enquiries about the Vocational Awards contact:-

Organiser, Judith Wilson
Tel: 01732 356388