South Africa spent most of the apartheid era isolated from world ballet. Very few of the great dancers visited, and South African dancers were not welcome as competitors at International Competitions. It is only recently (2008) that Dirk Badenhorst has established an International Ballet Competition on South African soil (Cape Town).
However, in recent years South Africa has been sending dancers to international competitions to compete and they are doing very well indeed. Jessica Overton and James Fraser entered the Arabesque 2014 Ballet Competition in Perm, Russia where they won the Galina Ulanova Prize for Inspiration and the Press Jury Prize is amazing. Angela Maree Revie’s Contemporary Choreography received a Bronze Prize. Thoriso Magongwa, experienced at international level, was their coach.
This young couple are now fundraising to enter more competitions. http://www.gofundme.com/8dr8d4 . Jessica Overton and James Fraser have been invited to Seoul, South Korea in May 2014 to compete in the Korea International Ballet Competition. They have also been accepted into the Varna International Ballet Competition (Bulgaria), which is considered the Dance Olympics as well as the most prestigious ballet competition in the world and is taking place this July 2014.
Both dancers are members of Joburg Ballet Senior Corps de Ballet and while they receive a great deal of support from Joburg Ballet, there is, obviously given the financial restrictions of the Joburg Ballet, no spare money to assist Jessica Overton and James Fraser with attending these competitions which bring honour to South Africa.