The golden path from the Prix to the McDonalds to the Royal Ballet School

After winning this year’s top prize in the international ballet competition for young dancers, the Prix de Lausanne, 16 year old Harrison Lee went on to become the outright winner of the Sydney Eisteddfod McDonald’s Ballet Scholarship last weekend.

As far as I can remember, the last time an Australian dancer won the double was in 1999 when Kate Cornish first won the McDonalds and then a Prix de Lausanne scholarship.

Cornish, now a dance teacher in Sydney, continued her training on a full scholarship at the Royal Ballet School in London and Lee will become a first year student at the RBS next month, also on a full scholarship.

The RBS is often the destination for Australian finalists at the Prix, among them Natasha Kusen and Alexander Campbell. Kusen is now a soloist at the Australian Ballet while Campbell is a soloist at the Royal Ballet.

Katherine Sonnekus, 17, is a New Zealander who studied at the Mt Eden Ballet Academy, Auckland, before moving to Sydney this year to train at the Tanya Pearson Classical Coaching Academy.

I’ve not been able to find a video of Katherine dancing but there’s sure to be many in the future.

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Katherine Sonnekus, photo © WinkiPoP Media

Harrison Lee, © WinkiPoP Media