Johannesburg – A 16-year-old South African ballet dancer, Leroy Mokgatle, has won a scholarship at the Prix de Lausanne international ballet competition in Switzerland.
“The first for SA in 28 years and the second in SA history,” Art of Motion, his dance school in Randburg, Johannesburg, said in a Facebook post. “Thank you to the world audience for voting our SA candidate as their audience choice.”
Mokgatle was given the “audience favourite” award following the finals held in Lausanne on Saturday and won a scholarship to further his studies at one of the 66 prestigious Prix de Lausanne partner schools or dance companies around the world.
The previous South African winner was Ann Wixley, who received a scholarship in 1988.
Mokgatle performed a classical and a contemporary dance at the event. According to Art of Motion, Mokgatle moved from to Johannesburg from Pretoria in 2013 to train with the company.
Last September, Mokgatle won a gold medal at the prestigious Genée International Ballet Competition.
Art of Motion expressed gratitude to the organisers of the Prix de Lausanne, saying it was an "extraordinary experience, one that will remain with us forever”.