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London dance student breaks records at Genee ballet contest

Harris Beattie, 18, won the gold medal, the Margot Fonteyn Audience Choice Award and the choreography award at the Genee International Ballet Competition. Photo: Bruno Simao
Harris Beattie, 18, won the gold medal, the Margot Fonteyn Audience Choice Award and the choreography award at the Genee International Ballet Competition. Photo: Bruno Simao
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A student from the Central School of Ballet in London has won all three top awards at the Genee International Ballet Competition, becoming the first dancer ever to do so.

Harris Beattie, 18, who has previously starred in the West End production of Billy Elliot, won the gold medal, the Margot Fonteyn Audience Choice Award and the choreography award at the annual competition.

He is the first dancer in the Genee's 86-year history to take home all three top accolades.

Beattie is in the final year of a three-year degree in professional dance and performance at the Central School of Ballet, and was one of 52 young dancers from 14 countries competing at the event.

The 10-day competition culminated in a final that was judged by former Royal Ballet director Monica Mason, former Royal Academy of Dance artistic director Lynn Wallis and Christopher Hampson, artistic director and chief executive of Scottish Ballet.

The Genee is run by the Royal Academy of Dance and is held in a different country each year. It was this year held in Lisbon and last took place in the UK in 2015.

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