Cecchetti Classical Ballet
Ballet has been described as the root or core of all dance forms and is certainly not just for girls! It promotes great strength, muscularity, flexibility and co-ordination as well as being a wonderful outlet for creativity. Discipline and structure are important but, especially for the younger students, there are always opportunities for personal expression, storytelling and quite often, mime. At MTSD we follow the Cecchetti Method and related syllabus, which is a faculty of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD). The method was founded by Enrico Cecchetti who danced and taught in the late 1800’s/early 1900’s and remains a very highly regarded system of Ballet training both nationally and internationally.
This is a diverse genre with flavours of jazz, contemporary, lyrical and funky styles all mixed in. The ISTD syllabus is followed alongside a generous helping of free work which is choreographed by Selina, influenced by her time working in professional theatre. Exercises which build a safe and solid technique are combined with exciting and energetic routines with the aim of developing contrasting dance qualities and the ability to travel with speed and control. Modern is particularly good for encouraging dynamic performance skills.
Again the ISTD syllabus is followed which has been recently updated and now reflects a relaxed, “cool”, American tap style with emphasis on interesting rhythms. Tap is brilliant for unearthing a child’s ability to listen and respond. Students who don’t have a particularly strong sense of rhythm or musicality initially, are encouraged to find it with time - the results of which can be very satisfying! Older students who have progressed through the grades become capable of beating out impressive and complex rhythms to a variety of musical styles.
Street Dance is a modern phenomenon which has become incredibly popular with young people who have been influenced by dance crews such as “Diversity”. This class is informal, non-syllabus and great fun! Students can wear whatever they wish. For inspiration, Selina makes regular trips to London’s super trendy “Studio 68” where professional commercial dancers go to hone their skills. Cutting edge routines are then filtered through to MTSD students who enjoy grooving to the latest tunes!
For Ballet students who demonstrate an appropriate level of strength and technique as well as having suitable feet, a Pointe Work class is offered at around the age of 13. We provide advice on where and how to purchase well-fitting shoes and take great care to ensure a gradual and safe transition onto pointe by taking the girls through strengthening exercises first. Lots of students really look forward to starting Pointe Work as a rite of passage and as such it is an exciting “add on” to their weekly Ballet class.