Caroline Buckheit, Former Dancer with Boston Ballet

The Cecchetti Method of ballet significantly contributed to my development in dance and has had a lasting impact on my everyday life. The structure of the Cecchetti method prepares dancers for a future of real-life situations. The repetition of the practice, the need to understand the method, and the preparation for examination leads to success as both a student and employee.

At the age of 8, I started the Cecchetti Method under the instruction of Leslie Wood at Back Stage Dance. The importance of committing to the practice, understanding the ballet terminology as well as performing under pressure was key to success. My knowledge of steps and strong technical foundation was recognized everywhere I went – including the School of American Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, Indiana University Jacob School of Music, and Boston Ballet.

The exam environment has lasting value. I used to get nervous heading into annual exams, unsure of what the examiners would ask, and hoping I would remember the combinations.

However, I learned to manage these feelings and came to understand that nerves are not a bad thing; those nervous butterflies are the same as the excited butterflies. So, I learned that when walking into a stressful situation and feeling those butterflies, I could redefine them as the excited kind. I developed the ability to train myself to treat nerves as excitement, calm myself down, boost my confidence, and most importantly have fun with the task at hand. This valuable skill not only applied to my Cecchetti exams, but also continues to carry me through academic exams, auditions, and job interviews.

Theresa Siller, FCCA

Cecchetti training develops fortitude, strength, respect, patience, and empathy. The performance skills we learn will continue to have an impact on us for the rest of our lives.

• Fortitude is built into each Cecchetti class. We learn that success is derived with constant repetition. We must bring 100% effort to these difficult and rewarding classes.

• Strength is built both physically and emotionally. We learn to believe in ourselves no matter what happens. We persevere as we learn to control our mind and our bodies.

• Respect for our teachers and their knowledge carries into our future careers. Applying corrections given out of love from our teachers allows us to take constructive criticism from our employers in the workforce.

• Patience is practiced in the Cecchetti classroom as technique is developed slowly over time. We must work through our struggles to achieve perfection.

• Empathy for our students, who also struggle to achieve perfection, is a strong characteristic of Cecchetti teachers who have themselves passed examinations. We do not teach from an ivory tower; instead, we are in the trenches with them.

In this Method, we learn performance skills. We know how to highlight our strengths and minimize our weaknesses. Thus, thanks to our Cecchetii training, we possess a confidence that is used to rock any job interview!

In the Cecchetti Method, we are part of a living a legacy. We admire Enrico Cecchetti, his students, and those who have taught us his brilliant work. We are dedicated to properly passing it down, for the benefit of all teachers and students. Most of all, we are grateful for the privilege of diving into Cecchetti’s work.

It is with much gratitude for my outstanding coaches: the late Alzine Cuppett, Pirkko Lawlor, Jennifer Meyer, Pamela Moore, and Laura McCarthy. With these amazing women, I have studied the Cecchetti method as a student and teacher since 1978.