Jillian DuHadway has been teaching ballet for 25 years at DDD. Since 1994, she has been preparing students in the Cecchetti Method and sending students to be formally tested. Cecchetti training is a rigorous method which pays careful attention to the laws of anatomy. It develops all of the qualities essential to the dancer: balance, poise, strength, elevation, elasticity, “ballon”, etc. It is classic in its purity and clear-cut style. (www.cecchetti.org)
In 1993, Miss Jillian passed the Grade I Teacher exam. For the next three years, she trained and tested to obtain her Grade IV Teacher certification. Then, in 2002, after her daughter turned 2, Miss Jillian took her Grade V Teacher exam.
In 2012, Miss Jillian decided to add a second ballet class for elite team dancers in order to improve their training. With the increased training in ballet, the numbers of students committing to train during the summer in Cecchetti also increased. This year 30 students trained in Grades I-V and 3 teachers in Grades I and III, with all passing their exams from Pass Plus to Highly Commended.
When asked why she continues to devote so much of her time and energy to such a rigorous program, Miss Jillian’s response was: “The rewards are the growth of my students. Seeing their dedication to the pursuit of classical ballet and carrying on the pure methods of Enrico Cecchetti makes us a part of history. Every summer we ALL put in countless hours, but it is worth it when the dancers have the tools to go anywhere they like in the field of dancing. Training teachers is also a special treat. I love seeing their transformation from student to teacher and their increased understanding of all aspects of ballet. My biggest reward so far is the joy of the teachers I have trained as they prepare their students for exams and feel the same pride that I have for many years.”
Miss JoElla recently passed the Cecchetti Method Grade I Teacher exam as highly commended. This was her first summer training to teach Grade I and helping in Grade II, while continuing her own training.
“I love teaching children the discipline of dance, but also the joy that comes with it, and teaching the Cecchetti Method does just that! The students truly become better dancers upon learning and mastering the Cecchetti Method, whether they’re taking Grade I or Grade V. Dance wise, they are technically challenged to master the exercises of Enrico Cecchetti, while also needing to be confident in order to communicate basic theory questions both in English and French. The Cecchetti Method creates dancers who are powerhouses of the dance floor, while also teaching students communication and etiquette skills that they will use for the rest of their lives. It’s such an amazing feeling to see the students growing and advancing as dancers, and as people, and knowing that you could be a part of their journey! I love teaching students the Cecchetti Method, and I will definitely be continuing my training in the Method because I truly enjoy it,” says JoElla.
When asked to explain how it felt to earn her Grade V Professional Certificate, JoElla says, “Passing Grade V was such a rewarding feeling because I worked so hard at it. I took Grade V in one year [usually completed after two years of study], which was intimidating in and of itself, but it was SO good for me because I worked harder than I ever had before. I was in the studio practicing for hours at a time and I would study every chance I got. It was actually after I passed Grade V that I knew I wanted to continue my journey with the Cecchetti Method, and teach others not only the training that I had developed, but the work ethic as well!”