Miss Tanya Bayona was awarded the the Enrico Cecchetti Gold Medal at the Royal Ballet School in Covent Garden, London on the occasion of the annual Cecchetti Day celebrations held on Sunday, 26 July.

This special Gold Medal is awarded to members of the Cecchetti Society Classical Ballet Faculty in recognition of their outstanding dedication and work for the Cecchetti Society.

Past recipients of the Gold Medal Award include founders of the method, examiners and outstanding dance teachers

Laura Wilson, Carol Hill, Patricia Hardy, Rita Emmerson, Moya Kennedy, Kathleen Yates, Barbara Geoghegan, Ena Child, Faith de Villiers (South Africa), Elieen Keegan, Dulcie Howes, and Madame Lucie Saranova (Australia)

The day’s activities opened with an introduction to Spanish Dance techniques by Mandev Sokhi with excerpts performed by selected junior students from various English Ballet Schools. This was followed by a coaching class given by Diane van Schoor, the ballet principal of the Royal Ballet School, with students Laura Day and Melissa Parsons from White Lodge, Royal Ballet School dancing selections from Giselle. The day’s programme also included various conferences and other performances. A buffet lunch gave the guests from various countries a chance to exchange views and to get to know each other in a convivial manner.

The Awards were given in the afternoon by the Chairman and Senior Examiner of the Cecchetti Society, Ms. Elizabeth Swan. In her award citation, Ms. Swan spoke about Ms Bayona’s longstanding activity in the art of dance in Malta and abroad and commended her dedication and success in spreading the Enrico Cechetti Method in Classical Ballet which Ms Bayona founded in Malta in 1965. Ms Swan mentioned that that there are now some twelve Cecchetti Ballet schools in Malta and also referred to Ms. Bayona‘s recent decoration M.Q.R, in Malta’s Order of Merit by the President of the Republic of Malta in recognition of her lifelong dedication and contribution to dance and the arts in Malta

Ms. Bayona thanked the committee for this prestigious honour and also thanked the many teachers and examiners past and present who have taught and guided her along her dance experience through out the years.

Ms. Bayona was accompanied by Ms. Sarah Jane Attard, one of her former students in Malta who is now performing professionally in London. Ms Attard was one of the dancers selected for the ballet in La Traviata staged recently at Covent Garden with tenor Joseph Calleja’s magnificent performance as Rodolfo