About Us


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The Cecchetti Society of Southern Africa, founded in 1928, is affiliated to the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, London and is constituted as a society, not for gain.

The Cecchetti Society of Southern Africa is a Founding Corporate Member of Cecchetti International Classical Ballet and is committed to upholding CICB’s mission statement of improving the professional profile of Cecchetti and the Cecchetti method of training.

Cecchetti Society teachers have produced several fine dancers, many of whom have performed internationally. Many of its teachers travel the world propagating the Maestro’s work.

Generations of teachers, dancers and choreographers such as Audrey Grose, Pearl Adler, Agnes Bergen, Nancy Hooper, Maud Lloyd, Dulcie Howes, Dorothea McNair, Eileen Keegan, Madge Mann, Faith de Villiers, David Poole, John Cranko, Pamela Chrimes, Mary-Jane Duckworth, Richard Glasstone, Johaar Mosarval, Cecily Robinson, Dudley Tomlinson, Nadia Nerina, Monica Mason, Veronica Paeper, Frank Staff, Vyvyan Lorrayne, Denise Schultze, Lynne Fouché, Diane van Schoor and many others have created a high professional profile richly contributing to the history of British ballet and the development of classical ballet world-wide and particularly in Southern Africa.

The business of the Society is managed by the Council of Management comprising five elected members, headed by the National Chairman, all of whom, according to the Articles of the Association, hold Fellowship status in the Cecchetti Society.


“Is to carry a torch which has been burning for over a century. A tradition of lyrical beauty, classical line, musicality, finesse, attention to detail, warmth of spirit and the flame of dance – all the attributes necessary to make a good dancer. Add to this, intelligence and individuality, the qualities that make Maestro Cecchetti’s exercises come alive and one has the makings of fireworks with which to spellbind the audience.

“And what is a professional dancer’s task, but to carry the audience into a world of fantasy and magic.”

ANN WIXLEY (Former Principal – CAPAB Ballet, Cape Town, State Theatre Ballet, Pretoria and Winner of the Prix de Lausanne, Switzerland)

To Dance

“Dance training, whether for the purpose of preparing the professional or for the sheer joy of organised movement, has an unprecedented place in our society.

“Stimulated by music, dance is a language whose words are movements of the body in time and space. The traditional Classical Ballet evolved from the Romantic Movement with Maestro Cecchetti at the centre of its pedagogical development. The Cecchetti style, in its school of bravura, virtuosity and strength, offers a musicality which is so important in the dynamics of Ballet Technique.

“With all the dedicated teachers around the country, I can only foresee a bright future for the Cecchetti Society of Southern Africa.”

Eduard Greyling

DR EDUARD GREYLING (Patron of the Cecchetti Society of Southern Africa

Danseur Noble, Choreographer, Musician, Choreologist and Dance Critic.

Eduard Greyling’s illustrious career as an artist of the Theatre was born in a Cecchetti Ballet Studio. He rose to become a foremost performer on South African stages and will long be remembered for his charisma and contribution to South African Ballet – most notably in the CAPAB Ballet Company in Cape Town.

What is the Cecchetti method of training?

The Cecchetti Method is a system of training in Classical Ballet designed strictly upon the laws of anatomy and stresses two essential ingredients – technical and artistic development in a dancer and a sensitive, musical response to all movements.

Cecchetti devised a balanced programme of study which ensures that every movement and step of repertoire required by the Dancer, is covered. It is an exact and meticulous system drawn up with careful regard for the laws of anatomy and is designed to furnish the body with all those qualities essential to the dancer.

These and other timeless Cecchetti Principles of Classical Dance are contained in The Method which imbues the Dancer with Simplicity of Style, Purity of Line, Balance, Poise, Strength, Elevation, Elasticity, Ballon and a notable Musicality and Theatricality.

An essential part of the system is the set exercises according to each day of the week. This ensures that different types of steps are always practised in a planned order, stretching and contracting each set of muscles to a carefully calculated degree. Each exercise is carried out to the left as well as the right, beginning one side one week and the other side the next.

Another important feature of the Cecchetti Method is that the student is taught to think of the movement of the foot, leg, arm and head, not as something apart but in its relation to the whole body, which develops a definite feeling for line. Again, Cecchetti laid down that it is more important to execute an exercise correctly once, than to do it a dozen times carelessly. Quality rather than quantity is the guiding rule.



Long Service Certificates


Vivienne Keegan


Ann Geddes

Kathleen Keegan

Kathleen Keegan

Mervynne Fernie

Mervynne Fernie

 Dedication Awards


Eileen Keegan

Ruth Inglestone copy

Ruth Inglestone

Louise Lombard2

Louise Lombard

Diane van Schoo

Diane van Schoor

Jose Pretorius

José Pretorius


Yvonne Barker


Barbara Lewis

Robyn van Beek

Robyn van Beek


Faith de Villiers


Ann Geddes

Lynne-Fouché-2005 copy

Lynne Fouché

Joy-Cooper copy

Joy Cooper

Jennifer-Louw-2009 copy

Jennifer Louw


Gail Myburgh


Diana Ward-Hull

Special Service Awards

Jenny Schuster

Jenny Schuster

Jenny award copy

Marlene Rubidge

Special Service award 2021

ISTD Imperial Gold Award



Ms. Diane van Schoor, Principal of the Royal Ballet School, White Lodge, and past Artistic Director of the Cecchetti Society of Southern Africa, was presented with the prestigious Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, Gold Medal, by the Chairman of the Cecchetti Society Classical Ballet Faculty ISTD, Ms. Elisabeth Swan. The presentation was made to Ms. van Schoor during the finals and gala performance of the Cecchetti International Classical Ballet Competition, held at the Lowry Theatre, Manchester, United Kingdom, on Saturday 30 July 2011.

Ms. Swan’s citation asserted:

“Ms. van Schoor’s contribution to, and promotion of, the Cecchetti work is unquestioned and, in appreciation of her many years of dedication to the Method, the Cecchetti Society is delighted to award her the ISTD Gold Medal”.

The Council of Management, Examining Board, Members and Office Administration of the Cecchetti Society of Southern Africa sincerely congratulate Ms. van Schoor on this lifetime achievement award in acknowledgement of her devoted contribution to the art of Classical Ballet.

Gail Myburgh
National Chairman
The Cecchetti Society of Southern Africa
August 2011

Diane van Schoor 6
Diane van Schoor 5
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