18 February 2016
— Nickyz World (@SeithatiSegoatl) February 13, 2016
Leroy Mokgatle, who is just 16, won fourth prize in the prestigious Prix de Lausanne international ballet competition in Switzerland on 6 February. He is the first South African in 28 years to be recognised by this elite competition.
He also earned a full scholarship to any one of the 66 Lausanne facilities around the world. His performance in the competition also proved popular with the crowds, as he also won the audience choice award.
Leroy‚ who trains with Angelique and Sayward Harris at the non-profit dance and sports training centre Art of Motion in Johannesburg‚ gained the attention of the international dance community when he won the gold medal at the London Genee International ballet competition in September 2015. Leroy’s unique interpretation of dance combines Western styles of ballet and contemporary jazz, with distinctive African elements.
— Julian Jansen (@JulianJansen) February 6, 2016
On behalf of Leroy, Art of Motion thanked South Africans for their support during his rapid rise in international dance competition, adding thanks also to “the world audience for voting (a) SA candidate as their audience choice”. The recognition, the organisation said, was a reward for the continued commitment “to quest for excellence” by Leroy and the hundreds of other young aspiring South African dancers.