Extraordinary People

Boy, 11, ballet dances in the rain as stunning video goes viral and lands him scholarship

Stunning performance has captured the public's heart.

They say dreams come true if you believe in them hard enough. Or if a video is shared enough times online!

And that’s exactly what happened to one talented ballet dancer.

Thanks to a beautiful performance while dancing in the rain, Anthony Mmesoma Madu, 11, went viral after his video captured the imagination of people across the globe.

Now, the Nigerian boy has been offered a scholarship at prestigious American Ballet Theatre Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School of Dance in Manhattan, New York City.

Speaking about his love of ballet, Nigerian native Anthony said when he dances a feeling comes over him as if he is “dreaming”.

He told the BBC: “Where I live, there are no male ballet dancers like me. When people see ballet, they think it is only for girls, they don’t know that it is not only for girls.

“When I am dancing… the feeling that comes over me is as if I am dreaming.”

[Credit: Leap Of Dance Academy]

The artistic director at the US ballet school, Cynthia Harvey, said she was amazed when she saw the video which had been shared by Oscar-winning Viola Davis on Twitter.

Alongside the video, Viola tweeted: “Reminds me of the beauty of my people.

“We create, soar, can imagine, have unleashed passion, and love… despite the brutal obstacles that have been put in front of us! Our people can fly!!!”

Cynthia later said that a child who shows this much dedication, just needs an olive branch to be given the right opportunities to help them flourish.

[Credit: Leap Of Dance Academy]

Talking to local paper Cincinnati Enquirer, she added: “If there is anything the world has taught us, it’s that we have to inspire all sorts of people and that we all have a lot to learn from one another. Providing opportunities for Anthony is the right thing to do.”

And it looks like Anthony won’t have to take his leap of faith alone as his teacher, Daniel Ajala Owoseni, is now on the US school’s National Training Curriculum for instructors.

Daniel, 29, taught himself to dance aged 13 with the movie Save The Last Dance, and later he learned all the fundamental principles of ballet through YouTube tutorials.

Together with Anthony, the pair now hope to not only smash stereotypes for males in ballet, but also educate young indigenous artists on the power of dance.


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