11-year-old Nigerian boy Anthony Mmesoma Madu has been offered several scholarships, including one to one of the most elite and distinguished ballet schools in America, after a video of him dancing in the rain went viral.
“A friend who lives in the UK sent me the video,” Cynthia Harvey, the artistic director of the ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School of Dance in New York told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “Within a day, I was trying to find him.”
After tracking Madu down, Harvey was able to extend an offer for a full scholarship to the amazingly talented young man so that he could attend the ABT virtual Young Dancer Summer Workshop, a three-week intensive program, according to the outlet.
“Anthony is a very committed student,” commented Daniel Ajala Owoseni, Madu’s dance teacher at the Leap of Dance Academy to the BBC. “Right from day one, he has always been very time conscious. We are trying to change stereotypes around ballet dance. Boys can actually do ballet. Male ballet dancing is here to stay and it is not only supposed to be for females.”
Madu is one of 12 students who attend the dance school in Lagos for free.
So, what did the young talented rising star say when he learned that his video had gone viral? Well, Madu told the BBC that he was, “…very, very happy,” also adding, “When people see ballet they think it is only for girls. How I want them to see me is when I am dancing, they know that there is a male ballet dancer. The feeling that comes over me is as if I am dreaming.”
This is unquestionably just the beginning for Madu and the Leap of Dance Academy. We cannot wait to see what the future holds for this amazing dancer and we know that he is going to make an impact on the world of ballet and beyond.