Gracefully spinning amongst a bunch of dancers clad in pink, 11-year-old Anthony Mmesoma Madu stands out in black leggings, a white turtleneck and poise past his years.
A video of him dancing barefoot within the rain on concrete exterior the studio the place he trains, the Leap of Dance Academy, went viral final month.
More than 15 million individuals have watched his joyful leaps and pirouettes, undeterred by the rain and coarse floor. Academy Award winner and How to Get Away With Murder actor Viola Davis had additionally shared the video of Anthony dancing within the rain with the caption, “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!!!”
Leap of Dance Academy reshared the video final week with the caption, “Changing stereotypes. 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. Special shoutout to all parents who 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.”
The video caught the attention of Cynthia Harvey, the creative director on the elite American Ballet Theatre of the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School of Dance in New York, which gave him a scholarship and organized web entry for digital coaching this summer time. Next yr, he’ll prepare within the United States on a scholarship from Ballet Beyond Borders.
In an interview with the Cincinnati Enquirer, Harvey stated, “A friend who lives in the UK sent me the video, within a day, I was trying to find him.”
His mother and father in Lagos, Nigeria’s teeming lagoon metropolis, needed him to turn out to be a priest. Instead, he has captivated thousands and thousands along with his ballet.
“When I am dancing, I feel as if I am on top of the world,” he instructed Reuters.
Anthony Mmesoma Madu, an 11-year-old ballet dancer, poses throughout a rehearsal with different college students on the Leap of Dance Academy in Lagos, Nigeria July 27, 2020. Picture taken July 27, 2020.
“When my friends see me dancing, they feel like, what is this boy doing, is he doing a foreign dance?” he stated. “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 additionally sparked a flood of donations to the academy, which teaches its college students without cost. Founder Daniel Ajala Owoseni stated he’ll use the cash, and fame, to advertise ballet in Nigeria, a rustic the place it isn’t but broadly practised.
“I saw the need to bring a form of art that shows discipline, dedication and commitment,” he stated. “Students who are able to learn all of these can … transfer (them) into other spheres of their lives.” Owoseni will even be given a two-week advance coaching course to assist him train others higher.
Talking about Anthony to NPR, Owoseni stated, “Anthony has been a very dedicated student. From the day when he started, he’s someone who if he doesn’t get the combination correctly, he start crying in class.”
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