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Clearwater ballet prodigy Christopher McGowan to compete on global stage

The Straz Center star is one of 80 students at Swiss Prix de Lausanne
Christopher McGowan
Posted at 5:19 AM, Jan 24, 2023

TAMPA, Fla. — One of the best ballet dancers on the planet is about to compete on an intense global stage.

And he's just an 18-year-old kid from Clearwater.

This week Christopher McGowan will travel to Switzerland to compete in the Prix de Lausanne, which gathers the 80 top ballet students from around the world. McGowan is one of just five Americans chosen.

"I feel like it's going to be a mix of emotions for sure," said McGowan. "Definitely nervous, but I'm going to try and enjoy every moment because it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience."

McGowan's selection to compete at the Prix de Lausanne is also a big deal for Next Generation Ballet, his school at the Straz Center in Tampa.

"This competition is the best of the best," said McGowan's ballet teacher Julio Montano. "He's already a winner."

If McGowan is a finalist at the Prix de Lausanne, he'll win a scholarship to a top European ballet academy.