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.”
The previous and first South African winner of the scholarship was Ann Wixley, who was awarded a scholarship in 1988.
Leroy Mokgatle had received the “audience favourite” award at the finals held in Lausanne on Saturday and most importantly, won himself a scholarship to further his studies at one of the 66 prestigious Prix de Lausanne partner schools or other dance companies around the globe.
Ballet dancer Leroy Mokgatle performed a classical and a contemporary dance at the event. According to Art of Motion where he trained as a ballet dancer, Mokgatle moved to Johannesburg from Pretoria in 2013 to train with the company and it seems his efforts paid off.
Art of Motion expressed profound gratitude to the organizers of the Prix de Lausanne, saying it was an “extraordinary experience, one that will stay with us forever”.
Leroy Mokgatle also won a gold medal at the prestigious Genée International Ballet Competition last September.
“It’s a very… big honour for me to get a gold medal,” he told eNCA, adding that he was only hoping to just get to the finals.
“And I did get that, and I got more,” he said modestly He was only 15 years at the time and he ended up on top out of 76 contestants from around the world at the finals hosted by the Royal Academy of Dance in London.
Leroy’s granny expressed her joy at her grandson’s victory and said “We expected it to happen, that boy used to like dancing from age 5”
When Asked what she will do if she sees him again, she exclaimed “Woooo hooo. We are hugging that boy. It’s wonderful, amazing”
South African youths should really follow Leroy’s footsteps by finding their God-given talents and harnessing it for their own good and to the benefit of others. This will help our economy grow to the next level.