National Chairperson: Anne Butler


Italian-born Enrico Cecchetti (1850-1928) had an illustrious career as a dancer at La Scala in Milan and the Mariinsky Theatre in Russia, and an equally eminent teaching career. Among his pupils were Anna Pavlova and Vaslav Nijinsky. In the early 1920s he created his own method of teaching with professional dancers of that era.

His method was codified in 1922 and it is the foundation of the method taught by Cecchetti organisations throughout the world today. The Cecchetti Society was established in Australia in 1934 with the arrival of Madam Lucie Saronova, an ex-student of Cecchetti. Now known as Cecchetti Ballet Australia, we became a founder member of Cecchetti International - Classical Ballet in 1997.


Classical Ballet


Two streams to meet the different needs of recreational and professional dancers.

Recreational: Pre-Primary-Grade 6, Dance Spectrum 1 & 2.

Professional: Intermediate, Advanced 1 and Advanced 2, and Enrico Cecchetti Diploma.


We offer Cecchetti teaching qualifications at Associate Diploma, Licentiate, Licentiate Diploma and Fellowship levels.

We are in partnership with Ausdance VIC Inc. RTO 20949 who offer the nationally recognised qualifications of CUA40320 Certificate IV in Dance Teaching and Management and the CUASS00071 Dance Teaching Skill Set.


Triennial CICB competition held in one of the CICB countries, host by the U.S.A. in 2024.

Biennial $10,000 Valrene Tweedie Scholarship is awarded to assist worthy young dancers in pursuing their dreams.

Each State holds Enrico Cecchetti Medal Awards, culminating in the prestigious National Lucie Saronova Memorial Awards where representatives from each State compete for medals and cash prizes.

Scholarships are awarded in each State for excellence in examinations.

Anne Butler

Chair, Cecchetti Ballet Australia Senior Examiner.

What drew you to this syllabus/organisation?

It was through my mother, who had done much research when I was very young, to find a qualified teacher and school to send me to. Fortunately, she chose the late Mr. Athol Willoughby OAM, who had his school in Essendon. He studied with Madam Lucie Saronova, a pupil of the great Maestro Enrico Cecchetti. Saronova held one of his rare certificates to teach his method. Willoughby also studied with many other Cecchetti exponents, including Idzikovksy, who co-wrote the 1922 Cecchetti Manual. So, the lineage of teaching has been very pure. The fact that Cecchetti’s method was about “Classical Theatrical Dancing” is so important. This certainly was passed onto me through Mr. Willoughby. While there was an anatomical and scientific-based structure, including exactitude of technical requirements, theatricality's essence had and has a strong draw card for me. The beautiful use of port de bras, epaulement, use of the whole body and its relationship to the stage, and musicality have inspired many worldwide lovers and exponents of the Cecchetti method. One has to open one's soul to dance the work correctly. It is a conversation with one’s audience.

What do you enjoy about your job?

So many aspects of my position as a Senior Examiner give me enjoyment and an opportunity to connect with an extensive range of people from all ages, walks of life, cultures, and backgrounds. All have one common goal - a love of dance and learning. To observe examination candidates expressing their passion and showing preparedness, which has taken time and commitment, while attending with attention to their presentation, including attire, gives me joy. Displaying those points is an outstanding achievement in life generally. Hence, the examination experience reflects what the candidate has put time and effort into.

What response do you receive from the children in exams?

I allow every candidate to do their best in an examination by letting them feel as comfortable as possible. As an experienced examiner, I sense when candidates are nervous and need time to settle. I make sure that I offer positives as they enter the room, for example, thus allowing them to feel good about themselves.

Preparedness is the essence for me. The key is for candidates to know the syllabus and try to perform within their framework correctly. I have always had positive feedback from where I exam as to how the students felt during the examination. Please make sure that students know the material that they need to present. This has layers of complications that an examiner on the day can not rectify. Parents need to ensure that their children attend all lessons for examination training; teachers should only put in prepared students. The examiner wants to help make candidates feel comfortable but can not teach the material on the day. It is a great feeling to see candidates leave the examination room with joy on their faces. 

comments powered by Disqus