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Nigerian Boy Wins Scholarship After Dancing In The Rain Video Goes Viral

3 min read

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Nigerian Boy Wins Scholarship After Dancing In The Rain Video Goes Viral
Source: Instagram/Leap of Dance Academy

The 11-year-old Nigerian ballet dancer whose barefoot dance in the rain went viral and captivated millions earlier this summer has been granted a scholarship to the American Ballet Theater in New York City.

11-Y.O. Nigerian Boy Earns Scholarship to Prestigious New York Dance School

Anthony Mmesoma Madu, an 11-year-old boy from Nigeria, has won the hearts of millions and the opportunity of a lifetime thanks to his undying passion for dance. The talented youth went viral on social media after a video of him dancing barefoot on concrete in the pouring rain captivated audiences worldwide. Since being uploaded to Instagram in June, the video was been watched over 345k times and shared across social media platforms. Since the video went viral, Anthony’s dance studio in Lagos, Leap of Dance Academy, has received support and donations from all around the world, and Anthony himself has been offered a scholarship to the ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School of Dance in New York City, by artistic director Cynthia Harvey.

The 11-year-old has been learning to dance at the Leap of Dance Academy in his hometown of Badagry on the Nigerian coast, and the boy clearly has talent.
After his ballet video went viral, Anthony was offered a full scholarship to a prestigious dance school in Manhattan. The 11-year-old has been learning to dance at the Leap of Dance Academy in his hometown of Badagry on the Nigerian coast, and the boy clearly has talent. Source: Instagram/Leap of Dance Academy

The outpouring from viewers of the viral video has been effusive

From all over the globe, people have cheered on the gifted 11-year-old Nigerian boy. In Russian and Mandarin, in Portuguese and Tamil and English, they have praised his dedication and passion. Some have even offered to send money or ballet supplies.

“A friend who lives in the UK sent me the video,” Cynthia Harvey told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “Within a day, I was trying to find him.”

Harvey is a former principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre. Today, she is the artistic director of the ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School of Dance, one of America’s most distinguished ballet schools.

Within two days, Harvey managed to contact the boy and his teacher. Soon after, she had arranged for full scholarships so Anthony could attend the ABT virtual Young Dancer Summer Workshop, a three-week intensive program that begins Monday, 3 Aug. At the same time, ABT has included Anthony’s teacher, Daniel Ajala, in its National Training Curriculum, a two-week course intended to help teachers polish their skills.

Source; CincinnatiEnquirer

The video caught the eye of the elite American Ballet Theatre, which gave him a scholarship and arranged internet access for virtual training this summer. Next year, he will train in the United States on a scholarship from Ballet Beyond Borders.
“When I am dancing, I feel as if I am on top of the world,” Anthony told Reuters. The video caught the eye of the elite American Ballet Theatre, which gave him a scholarship and arranged internet access for virtual training this summer. Next year, he will train in the United States on a scholarship from Ballet Beyond Borders. Source: Instagram/Leap of Dance Academy
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 practised.
The video also sparked a flood of donations to the academy, which teaches its students 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 practised. Source: Instagram/Leap of Dance Academy
Anthony Mmesoma Madu, an 11-year-old ballet dancer, poses during a rehearsal with other students at the Leap of Dance Academy in Lagos, Nigeria, 27 July 2020. Source: Reuters
Anthony’s parents in Lagos, Nigeria’s teeming lagoon city, had wanted him to become a priest. However, they fully support his choice to dance as they can see he clearly has a gift for it.
Dancing a different path. Anthony’s parents in Lagos, Nigeria’s teeming lagoon city, had wanted him to become a priest. However, they fully support his choice to dance as they can see he clearly has a gift for it. Source: Instagram/leapofdanceacademy
Viral video shared and re-uploaded across social media platforms FACTS ABOUT OUR PROGRAM.
Behind those fanciful in class beauty and costumes are lots and lots of backstage hard work. With very little or no resources our kids are training to be the best they can. This is not to bring down anyone but to show their high level of dedication and committments to our program. Who wouldn't be proud of them? What teacher wouldn't pray for students who shows/comes to class with so much desire to learn? Kids who are ready to dance with or without conditions. Imagine what more we could achieve if we have more?? Leap of Dance Academy Source: YouTube/Latest Tori
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LEAP OF DANCE ACADEMY

Find out more about this free-of-charge dance academy in Lagos, Nigeria. See photos and video, and perhaps you would like to donate a small amount to help with upkeep and maintenance. There is no donate button, so you’ll have to be determined and figure that out for yourself via messenger.