11-Year-Old Nigerian Boy Receives Scholarship From New York Dance School After Video Of His Ballet In Rain Went Viral

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.

nigerian-boy-ballet-in-rain-2

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.

Viral video

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.

nigerian-boy-ballet-in-rain

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.

“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.”

nigerian-boy-ballet-dancer-2

Worldwide recognition

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

A post shared by Leap of Dance Academy (@leapofdanceacademy) on

“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.”

4 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Suzanne Russell

Praise God for the people who have this school and for the little boy who is so obviously talented and driven! I’m so glad that he now has this opportunity! God works in mysterious ways! I just pray that God will keep his hand on this boy! Protect him and keep him safe in this life!

Sanmi Falae

God is clearly at work in Nigeria by introducing into our country alternative cultures to ungodly, violent and self-destructive European and American popular cultures. Praise the Lord for inspirations like Ranti and Daniel Owoseni.

Len

Sanji Falae, that’s a pretty racist comment you made. You look at several of the African countries where they are literally butchering eachother, Muslim on Christian, tribe on tribe……not sure how you can take high ground on that one. Skin color does not dictate the person, it’s the individual’s heart and soul which drives the character.

Christy

We DO NOT allow hate speech here. Respect each other. Thanks!

Verse of the Day

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. — Romans 5:3-4 (NIV)

BRIGHTEN YOUR DAY

Subscribe to our newsletter and get good news in your INBOX daily!