The 17-year-old Canadian Shale Wagman has been awarded first prize at the ‘Prix de Lausanne’ International Ballet Competition and also took home the artistic prize.
The young man from Toronto has been studying ballet for just four years, having begun with tap dance instruction from the age of six.
Wagman said after the competition that he has long dreamed of competing in Lausanne and that he is "very happy" with his win.
The Canadian is one of eight dancers who all receive a scholarship to one of the 72 ballet schools that are partnered with the event. He currently studies at Monaco's Princess Grace Academy.
The seven other winners range in age from 15 to 18 and come from South Korea (two dancers), China (two), Brazil, Paraguay and the United States. For the first time since 2005, there was no Japanese dancer among the winners.
The jury, made up of personalities from the world of dance, was headed by Ted Brandsen, artistic director of the HET National Ballet of the Netherlands.
Some 74 candidates competed in this 46th edition of the competition. The jury followed their performance over five days of classes, rehearsals and performances, both classical and contemporary.
The competition was held at the Beaulieu Theatre in Lausanne, on the shores of Geneva, and was also livestreamed onlineexternal link.