An 11-year-old male Japanese ballet dancer won the top prize Sunday for his age group at a major international ballet competition for young dancers seeking to become professionals.

Shinji Mitoma, a sixth grader from Yokohama, triumphed in the category for boys age 9 to 11 in classical ballet at the Youth America Grand Prix, known as the world's largest student ballet scholarship competition.

"I'm very happy to be in first place," Mitoma said after the results of the competition were announced in Florida. "I want to join the Royal Ballet School in Britain in the future."

Other young Japanese talents included 11-year-old Anne Takahashi from Saitama Prefecture, who came second in the classical ballet category for girls age 9 to 11, and Yuzuki Okubo, a 13-year-old from Aichi Prefecture, who was second among girls age 12 to 14.

"I'm happy that I was given second place, but I'll aim for first place next time," Takahashi said. "I would like to go to a ballet school in the future that will make me the world's best ballet dancer."

Kako Nakata, an 11-year-old from Chiba Prefecture, came third in the contemporary division for girls in her age group, while 12-year-old Yusei Sai, who resides in the United States, won second place in both the classical and contemporary dance events for boys in his age division.

The Youth America Grand Prix was established in 1999 by former members of the internationally renowned Russian Bolshoi Ballet. It provides scholarships to promising talents to study at top ballet schools around the world.

Contestants are classified by their ages as of Jan. 1.