Shale Wagman, who has been studying at the Princess Grace Dance Academy in Monaco over the last four years, won first place in the 46th Prix de Lausanne in Switzerland on February 3. He is the first Canadian to ever win gold.
Not only did Shale, who is just shy of 18, take first place but he was also awarded the Artistry Prize from the Rudolph Nureyev Foundation, a tremendous honour and international recognition.
The 5-day competition was steamed live on various social media as 74 candidates representing 10 nations were judged on their classes, performances, technique and artistry. Twenty-one finalists were then selected by a jury of 9 internationally renowned dance professionals, presided over by Ted Brandsen, Artistic Director of the HET National Ballet. The panel finally selected the eight most promising talents.
Shale Wagman has been dancing since he was six, when he started training up to 30 hours a week with Vlad Novitski in Toronto. At age 11, he was he was a finalist and “Judges’ Favourite” on Canada’s Got Talent, when Martin Short compared him to the “likes of Nijinsky or Nureyev” and referred to him as a “National Treasure”.
Two years later, he began to train with Tatiana Stepanova and turned his focus to ballet. He then won the Youth American Grand Prix in Denver, Colorado, before performing at the Lincoln Centre in New York where he was brought into the international ballet scene and offered several scholarships to train at some of the best ballet schools in the world.
In June 2018, Shale will graduate from the Princess Grace Dance Academy. After receiving several offers to dance with some of the most prestigious ballet companies, the young Canadian has decided to join the English National Ballet in the UK for the 2018/19 season.
Photos courtesy of Heather Wagman. Article first published February 12, 2018.