French is the language of ballet but starting this weekend, Switzerland will be the focus of the ballet world for aspiring young dancers as it hosts the prestigious Prix de Lausanne competition.
Among the dancers selected to compete is an 18-year-old who studies ballet in Frisco.
On Thursday morning, Sebastian Bondar went straight from ballet class into rehearsal to prepare for the competition.
“For dancers that are invited and accepted to the competition, it’s really their way out into the professional world,” Bondar said. “It’s their way to get significantly more exposure to some of the world’s top ballet companies.”
Bondar was one of 7 male dancers from America chosen to compete in the international competition.
Bondar started ballet when he was 12 years old after watching his sister perform. He fought through a serious injury and COVID restrictions to get where he is today.
“Reach your fingers,” Catherine Lewellen said studying Bondar’s every movement. “Lift! Good. Yes!”
Lewellen is the Founder and Director of Elite Classical Coaching in Frisco, a small ballet studio with a reputation for coaching serious, competitive dancers.
“I want to work with students that have not only the facility and talent and potential but have that drive and determination,” Lewellen said.
Bondar’s goal is to be a principal dancer with one of the top ballet companies in the world.
“I think I do have what it takes,” Bondar said. “If I really focus and push myself to my limit, then I can achieve that, without a doubt.”
The week-long Prix de Lausanne competition begins Jan. 28 in Switzerland.