Submitted by 

Kathleen C. Tenniswood, Ph.D., D.F.C.C.A., C.I.C.B.

It is with great pride that the National Executive Board of Directors of the Cecchetti Council of America announces that the Cecchetti Historical Records have been established in the Michigan Dance Archives, housed at the Walter P. Reuther Archival Library, as part of the Wayne State University Library on Friday, December 17, 2021. Present at the donation of a dozen boxes of CCA materials were Dr. Kathleen Tenniswood, President of the CCA; Jennifer Krueger, Archival Committee; Gail Choate Pettit, CCA Business Administrator; Karen Keith, Assistant National Registrar; Nick Krueger, muscle man extraordinaire; Dr. Louis Smith, Head Archivist, and Aimee Ergas, Michigan Dance Archivist at the Walter P. Reuther Archival Library.

For more than 50 years, the possibility of a Cecchetti Archives has been discussed by the National Executive Board of the Cecchetti Council of America. After completing her Ph.D. dissertation, The Historical and Administrative Development of a Dance Organization, Dr. Tenniswood donated all her research materials to the archival project. In 2020, an Archival Committee was appointed comprised of Eleanore Brown, Autumn Koss Yontz, and Jennifer Krueger and chaired by Dr. Kathleen Tenniswood. 

For several decades, Committees and members have been asked to contribute any Cecchetti materials to Dr. Kathleen Tenniswood, Cecchetti Historian. Upon Carolyn Trythall’s death, her husband shipped her extensive Cecchetti materials to the NEBD. Eleanore Brown and Gail Choate Pettit also donated relevant information from their personal collections. In considering where to house this collection, Terry Butkovich shared that an archival dance library was part of the Wayne State University Library. Dr. Tenniswood contacted Dr. Jones at the Walter P. Reuther Archival Library, and she and Jennifer Krueger met with Dr. Jones and Aimee Ergas.

From September through December, 2021, Jennifer Kreuger met with Dr. T. nearly every Friday and welcomed Autumn Koss Yontz’s assistance when available. They searched through countless boxes of papers, recordings, and other materials to determine their relevance to the CCA archives. It truly was a labor of love and provided many trips down memory lane. 

The Cecchetti Historical Records will be open for public research in about two years. It will provide researchers throughout the world a common site for information on the Cecchetti Council of America. Prior to establishing the archives, researchers have had the gargantuan task of contacting and collecting materials from the 19 regional committees as well as the NEBD and Board of Examiners. Now that we have an archive established, we are encouraging members to submit any CCA materials to either Dr. Kathleen Tenniswood or Jennifer Krueger. Do not send materials directly to the library. Our collection is far from complete as Dr. T.’s research only includes from 1934 to 1990. Anything that relates to the CCA, its committees, activities, workshops, competitions, scholarships, exams, etc. is relevant to future researchers. Research requests have been made not only from US dancers/researchers but also from those in England, South Africa, Australia, Italy, China, Canada, Argentina, etc. Clearly, the need for our archives is universal. Please donate. Your donation will be acknowledged in the collection.