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 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.


National Chairman: Gail Myburgh
Vice Chair: Yvonne Barker Council Members: Elesia Ceronio, Jennifer Louw, Jose Pretorius
National Secretary: Eileen Phillips

The Cecchetti Head Office is situated at 201 Hilwin, 8th street, Linden, Johannesburg, Gauteng, Republic of South Africa and the National Secretary, Eileen Phillips, fulfils administrative duties.


"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)


"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."

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.



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.

The Manual - The Theory and Practice of Classical Theatrical Dancing by Cyril W. Beaumont and Stanislas Idzikowski (Revised edition 1977)
The Theory and Practice of Allegro in Classical Ballet (Cecchetti Method) by Margaret Craske and Cyril W. Beaumont
The Theory and Practice of Advanced Allegro in Classical Ballet (Cecchetti Method) by Margaret Craske and Derra de Morroda (Revised edition 1979)
A French-English Dictionary of Technical Dance Terms compiled by Cyril W. Beaumont
Ryman's Dictionary of Classical Ballet Terminology (Cecchetti) by Rhonda Ryman



The 2017 Cyril Beaumont Bursary Award Competition was held in December 2017 at Hilton College, Hilton, KwaZulu-Natal, during the week of the National Summer School.

Finalists were Phillipa McCann (KwaZulu-Natal), student of Ms Patricia McIntosh and Mrs Yvonne Barker, Gabriel Ravenscroft (Cape Town), student of Mrs Ethne Daniels (with additional coaching by Ms Denise Schultze) and Isabella Redman (KwaZulu-Natal), student of Mesdames Beverley & Kerry Hall and Miss A Potgieter.

The 2017 Cyril Beaumont Bursary of R60, 000.00 was awarded to Phillipa McCann. She was also presented with a scholarship by Mr David Yow to attend a Summer School at the English National Ballet School.

Adjudicators were the Patron of the Cecchetti Society of Southern Africa, Dr Eduard Greyling, as well as international guest teachers, Ms Diane van Schoor and Mr David Yow.

Preliminary and finalist classes were artistically conceived and conducted by teaching faculty guest, Ms Nicolette Loxton, with superb musical accompaniment by Mr Danie Fourie.

Pippa McCann writes:
"To participate in the prestigious Cyril Beaumont Bursary competition has been a dream of mine ever since my first summer school, which I attended when I was 12. I watched the dancers perform their onstage class and variations in absolute awe. In 2017, with a lot of hard work and dedication, I did my Advanced II ballet exam and was eligible to compete in the competition. It was an incredible experience that I will cherish forever. In just a week, at the Cecchetti Summer School, I grew so much as a dancer and learnt from inspiring teachers accompanied by the most talented of pianists. I love being onstage, and I was so honoured to have been awarded the Cyril Beaumont Bursary, as well as an English National Ballet School scholarship. It was truly a dream come true but none of it would have been possible without the support of my teachers, family and friends who believed in me, even when I didn't believe in myself. I hope, just as pervious competitors have inspired me, I will have encouraged younger generations of ballet dancers to work hard and pursue their love of dance."

Phillipa McCann
2017 Cyril Beaumont Bursary Award Winner
(Photo: Matthew Willman)

2017 Cyril Beaumont finalists & adjudicators
Back: Dr Eduard Greyling, Gabriel Ravenscroft, Ms Diane van Schoor, Mr David Yow
Front: Isabella Redman, Phillipa McCann
(Photo: Celia Reynolds)

2017 Cyril Beaumont Winner with teachers
L-R: Patricia McIntosh, Pippa McCann, Yvonne Barker
(Photo: Celia Reynolds)

2017 Cyril Beaumont finalist with teachers
L-R: Beverley Hall, Isabella Redman, Kerry Hall Scully
(Photo: Celia Reynolds)

Gabriel Ravenscroft



Miss Barbara Lewis was born in England and immigrated with her parents to South Africa in 1963 where her training was with Dorothea McNair and Eileen Keegan. She was also involved with Faith de Villiers for various courses and demonstrations throughout the years.

She gained invaluable professional stage experience with NAPAC and PACOFS Companies, dancing principal roles in Les Sylphides, Nutcracker Suite, Sleeping Beauty, Pas de Quatre and Peter & the Wolf, working with such ballet masters/mistresses as George Golovine, Frank Staff, Mischa Slavinsky and Gwen Ashton. In 1971 she was awarded the Enrico Cecchetti Diploma.

In about 1976, Barbara was invited to examine for the Cecchetti Society.

In 1981, Barbara married Nicky Cencherle, an opera singer, and they settled in Cape Town. They have two sons, Antonio and Carlo.

During her career, Barbara has produced many qualified teachers both in Durban and Cape Town. Her students are thoroughly trained in all aspects of the Cecchetti work as well as in music, anatomy and history of ballet. She has also trained many dancers for the Enrico Cecchetti Diploma, the most recent being Conrad Nusser, principal dancer with Cape Town City Ballet.

Vivienne Keegan
Kathleen Keegan
Ann Geddes
Mervynne Fernie

Eileen Keegan
Louise Lombard
Faith de Villiers
Ruth Inglestone
Diane van Schoor
Anne Geddes
Lynne Fouché
Joy Cooper
José Pretorius
Jennifer Louw
Gail Myburgh
Yvonne Barker
Barbara Lewis

Jenny Schuster - Namibia