Amy McMaster, a School of Dance student in the Ballet program, has been invited to represent the USA in the Cecchetti International Classical Ballet Competition. As a freshman at the U, McMaster is both a ballet major and pre-occupational therapy student, and belongs to the Honors College. She has been selected to represent Cecchetti USA at the upcoming Cecchetti Competition this summer in Florence, Italy. Cecchetti USA is a society in a larger worldwide organization that includes members from Australia, Canada, South Africa, UK, Japan, and Italy.
The Cecchetti Competition takes place every three years. The latest editions were held in 2014 in Richmond, Virginia, where McMaster first represented the U.S. The Cecchetti International aims to preserve, promote, and spread the Cecchetti Method, keeping its essence and historical tradition alive. The Cecchetti Method of ballet training is a progressive system of training dancers from a pre-ballet beginning level to a professional level. The Cecchetti Method was designed with careful regard to the laws of anatomy to prepare a dancer’s body to bear the physical demands of public performance. The Method embodies qualities that are essential to the dancer; balance, poise, strength, elevation, elasticity, musicality and artistry. The progressive approach of the Cecchetti method has produced a long list of very well-known and accomplished ballet dancers. Famous personalities and guests will be invited to take part in the jury process of the competition. Dancers, choreographers, and directors of prestigious vocational schools, along with directors of companies will offer important scholarships and contracts of employment to competitors.
This will be McMaster’s second experience as a competitor for Cecchetti USA, and she has been using the last three years to prepare.
“When I competed in 2014, I knew I would still be young enough to qualify for the 2017 competition, so I viewed it more as a learning experience than anything else; I wanted to know the caliber of the dancers from the other countries so I would be prepared for the next one. For the last three years, my goal has been to become the best dancer I could be so that this time I can be as good as or better than the dancers from professional schools such as English National Ballet School, National Ballet of Canada, etc.”
The dancers are judged on two solos and a classical ballet class. The 15-20 dancers with the top scores will be invited to the finals. At the end of the Finals Gala performance, the jury awards scholarships and awards to the finalist dancers.