A 17-year-old pre-professional ballet dancer (SCBS), Harold Mendez has already won competitions around the world, including a bronze medal at the 2018 USA International Ballet Competition, gold at the 2017 World Ballet Competition and gold at the 2017 International Ballet School competition in Havana, Cuba. This month, Mendez travels to Switzerland as one of only 10 Americans to compete in the 2019 Prix de Lausanne, where he will test his strength, form and skill against 79 other hungry young dancers looking to begin their professional careers. “He’s a very daring dancer,” says SCBS Co-Artistic Director Ariel Serrano, who has coached Mendez since the student’s family defected from Cuba three years ago, and came to the school looking to continue his education. “For him, it’s the thrill of making it as perfect as he can. He wants to conquer.”