A viral video of an 11-year old Nigerian ballet dancer dancing gracefully in the rain has led to his whole life being turned upside down.
Anthony Mmesoma Madu wears a white turtleneck and black leggings and captivates hearts with his smooth ballet performances. His parents in Lagos, Nigeria, wanted him to become a priest, but little did they know their son was cut out for greatness. “When I am dancing, I feel as if I am on top of the world,” he said.
A video completely changed his life when he was captured dancing barefoot in the rain on the concrete outside the studio where he trains, the Leap of Dance Academy.
It was seen More than 15 million people have watched his joyful leaps and pirouettes, undeterred by the rain and coarse surface. The video was seen by the American Ballet Theatre, which gave him a scholarship and arranged Internet access for virtual training this summer. Next year, he will be travelling to train in the United States on a scholarship from Ballet Beyond Borders.
What is dedication? Ballet, barefoot on concrete while raining… incredible! (Via: LeapOfDanceAcademy/IG) pic.twitter.com/seoKahOxre
— Black With No Chaser (@BlackNoChaser) June 24, 2020
“When my friends see me dancing, they feel like, ‘what is this boy doing, is he doing a foreign dance?’ ” he said. “Now I have won a grand prize to go to the U.S. … I will be in the plane and this is what I am waiting for, and ballet has done it for me.”
The video has caused donations to pour into the academy, where the teachers teach for free. Founder Daniel Ajala Owoseni said he will use the money, and fame, to promote ballet in Nigeria, a country where it is not yet widely practiced.
View this post on Instagram
As a dance school in Africa, and Nigeria to be precise our academy stands to educate our audience that ballet is here to stay; “It’s for both boys and girls” said Anthony Mmmesoma Madu. (When ballet was created 400 years ago, it was created for men. Men were the first dancers. a @collagedance ) Special shoutout to all parents who have have allowed their boys to dance. Speaking from the Nigerian perspective most children are enrolled in school to have a white collar job but never to become a dancer. We hope supportive and inspirational mom like Anthony’s mom has given us a reason for early child talent discovery. We are the Nigerian ballet school. A heartfelt thank you to our partners @blacksinballet @ingridsilva @jmentzos @fabiocmariano @m.s.t_dance_center @ruangaldino @travelingtutusinc @fernandomontan0 @thalemawilliamsstudiosusvi @grishkoworld @nikolayworld @bbcnews @graceekpu @balletnoire @abtschool @hurkmanslinda @katwildish #boys #blackboydancetoo #boyswillbeboys ##boyscan #blackboysrock #blackdancers #goboy #dancer #blacklivesmatter #qualityaboveall #nigerianballetschool #nigeria #leapofdanceacademy #vocationaltraining #boys #dancingintherain #viralvideo #vocationalballetschool #goon #bbc #bbcafrica #bbcnews #2020
“I saw the need to bring a form of art that shows discipline, dedication and commitment,” he said. “Students who are able to learn all of these can … transfer (them) into other spheres of their lives.”