About Us

Cecchetti Society Classical Ballet Faculty

As one of twelve dance genre faculties of the ISTD, Cecchetti Classical Ballet is part of a nationally and internationally recognised and validated society of teachers of dance.  The Cecchetti Society Classical Ballet Faculty offers a range of examinations for children, vocational students and teachers and has a wide network of qualified teachers able to offer a range high quality training. 

The Faculty has a Committee which is elected by the teacher members and is the formal link between them and the ISTD. To be elected to the Committee, members must hold the Licentiate Qualification of the ISTD – membership of the current Cecchetti Classical Ballet Faculty Committee is available on the ISTD website. The Committee under the leadership of the Chair of the Faculty, works to represent the views of members, to oversee the development of Examinations and the training of examiners and to organise associated activities to promote the Cecchetti method.

Cecchetti Classical Ballet has a rich heritage and history.   Enrico Cecchetti was one of the most important influences on the foundations of modern Classical Ballet training.  He evolved a method of training in the 19th Century that is as relevant today as it was when he first created it.  His influence on British Ballet has been far reaching and resulted in the creation of The Cecchetti Society.  The Cecchetti principles of training continue to produce outstanding artistic and technically accomplished dancers, able to work with today’s directors across a spectrum of ballet and contemporary companies.

Cecchetti FACULTY Committee

The ISTD requires each of their twelve Dance Faculties to have a Committee elected by membership of the Faculty.  Each Committee is responsible to their members for the development of the technique concerned and deals with the regulation and conduct of examinations, the development of syllabi, the provision of courses and lectures for teachers, the arrangement of competitions, scholarship awards, summer schoolsand other activities which further the progress of their genre.  Faculty Committees are elected by a ballot of their members every three years.  The next Cecchetti Society Classical Ballet Faculty Committee election will take place in 2017 and members are notified of the nominating and voting process by the ISTD.  The Committee members elect the Chair and Vice Chair of the Faculty, but the role of Faculty Coordinator is an ISTD appointment.   The current committee is:

Catherine Hutchon: Chair
Kate Simmons: Vice Chair
Cara Drower
Linda Isaacs
Sandra Powell
Gillian Toogood
Sarah Wells

Sharon Orme: Faculty Coordinator

The Committee meets formally four times a year, but has sub committees and informal meetings at regular intervals. The AGM, to which all Cecchetti members are invited to attend, usually takes place on the annual Cecchetti Society Day. The Committee welcomes the views of members and if any member would like to raise an issue for discussion they are asked to contact the Chair or the Faculty Coordinator. 

Committee History

The Cecchetti Society was founded in 1922 with Maestro and Madame Cecchetti as President and Vice President and various pupils of Maestro Cecchetti formed the founding Committee.  In 1923 when the Cecchettis moved back to Italy, Cyril Beaumont was elected Chairman of the Cecchetti Society, a post he held until his death in 1976.  In 1924 the Cecchetti Society became affiliated to the ISTD and later became a Faculty.   Following Cyril Beaumont, the position of Chair has been held by: -

Diana Barker: 1976 -1990
Mary Jane Duckworth: 1990 – 1999
Linda Pilkington: 1999 – 2005
Elisabeth Swan 2005 - 2014
Catherine Hutchon 2014 - to date

The Chairs along with their Vice Chairs, Committee members, Secretaries and Coordinators have made an outstanding contribution leading the Faculty - promoting the work of the Society and protecting the Cecchetti heritage, whilst responding to the changing face of dance.  Many members of the Cecchetti Society have served on the Faculty Committees over the years, offering their time on a voluntary basis and giving invaluable support to the Society through their experience and expertise.

The Cecchetti Group

The Cecchetti Group was established in 1931, under the Chairmanship of Cyril Beaumont, as a liaison body between the general membership of the Cecchetti Society Faculty and the Committee. The Group flourished and developed over the years and continued to grow in strength under the Chairmanship of Barbara Geoghegan (1966 - 1994), Susan Handy (1994 – 2004), Judith Wilson (2004 - 2013),  Elizabeth James (2013 to date).  The Cecchetti Group is an informal body of unelected teachers who generously offer their time and expertise to organise a number of key events in the Cecchetti calendar, including the Choreographic Competition and the Cecchetti Classical Ballet Awards. Members of the Group also raise funds for Cecchetti events.  The Group meets three times a year and membership to the Group is by invitation.  Cecchetti Teachers are welcome to contact the Chair if they have a question or would like any issues to be raised at a meeting.

Elizabeth James - Chair
Tel: 01752 872671
Email: elizabethjames377@btinternet.com