Japan’s Tanaka wins 2nd prize at Lausanne ballet competition

Jiji Press
Japanese dancer Tsukino Tanaka, right, stands with her teacher in Montreux, Switzerland, on Saturday.

MONTREUX, Switzerland (Jiji Press) — Japanese dancer Tsukino Tanaka won the second prize at this year’s Prix de Lausanne, a prestigious international competition for young ballet dancers, in Montreux, Switzerland, on Saturday.

“It’s unbelievable. It’s like a dream,” Tanaka, a 17-year-old from Higashiosaka, Osaka Prefecture, said while wiping away tears. “It was not perfect, but dancing at this dream stage gave me a lot of fun.”

Tanaka started dancing ballet at age 4 and has been studying at a school in Zurich since August 2020.

She has been forced to practice at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “It was difficult because I couldn’t move as I wanted, but I did all kinds of things such as using sound-proof sheets,” she said of her practice.

Japanese dancer Sachiya Takata, an 18-year-old from Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, and one of the finalists who failed to win prizes, said, “Becoming a finalist gave me confidence.”

Hiyou Shimizu, an 18-year-old with Japanese and Australian dual citizenship who became a finalist but failed to win a prize, said: “I did my best. I’m satisfied with the outcome.”