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Nigerian Boy Earns Prestigious Dance Scholarship After Viral Ballet Video

Nigerian Boy Earns Prestigious Dance Scholarship After Viral Ballet Video


(LAGOS, Nigeria) — When Anthony Mmesoma Madu was videoed training ballet barefoot within the drizzling rain in Nigeria earlier this 12 months, the 11-year-old thought the footage could be used for a typical movie examine session.

As a substitute, the cellphone video of him performing the pirouette with out sneakers on the inconsistently moist concrete was seen by a a lot larger viewers. The video has garnered greater than 20 million views on social media together with by Oscar-winning actor Viola Davis and Cynthia Erivo, who has received Grammy and Tony awards.

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Madu’s apply dance session was so spectacular that it earned him a ballet scholarship with the American Ballet Theater within the U.S. It additionally confirmed his neighborhood that something is feasible.

“I really feel very, very stunned, very, very joyful,” Madu mentioned after his fellow college students at Leap of Dance Academy staged a efficiency on a dust avenue in Lagos, Nigeria, whereas tossing mud into the air in celebration.

“I thank God that he made the video to go viral,” he mentioned.

Davis shared Madu’s video together with her 1.four million followers on Twitter. She wrote within the caption “Jogs my memory of the fantastic thing about my folks. We create, soar, can think about, have unleashed ardour, and love…. regardless of the brutal obstacles which were put in entrance of us! Our folks can fly!!!”

Erivo determined to sponsor Madu’s coaching and helped convey the video to the eye of the American Ballet Theater, mentioned Laura Miller, a spokeswoman for the dance firm.

“Once I obtained that decision that I received a scholarship to the united statesin the 12 months 2021, I used to be very, very joyful, I used to be like, ‘What? Is that this what God can do?’” Madu recalled. Ballet, he added, “is difficult to study however in case you put your effort, you may study it.”

Madu is simply too younger to bodily journey and examine in New York. The minimal age to be a pupil within the metropolis and stay in a dorm is 15, however he’s been supplied a summer time scholarship, with the potential of him persevering with this fall beneath dialogue, Miller mentioned.

Miller mentioned the American Ballet Theater is at present engaged on a schedule for Madu that works with the six-hour time distinction. The corporate can be speaking to him about participating in weekend packages.

The video was the thought of Madu’s coach, Daniel Ajala, a self-trained ballet dancer. He’s additionally the founding father of Leap of Dance Academy, which he began in 2017.

Ajala recommended the thought as a manner for Madu to assessment his method. He’s been a robust advocate in supporting his college students to comply with their goals, regardless of their circumstances.

“I needed to have the ability to give a chance to each little one by making my program free in order that they might be no excuse that any little one might give that it was the rationale they couldn’t pursue their love for dance,” he mentioned.

Ajala mentioned his dance college has obtained donations, which can be used to create a typical dance academy with housing.

“A few of our college students need to stroll one hour or there about to the academy so we needed to have like a snug area for them to have the opportunity keep whereas they’ll’t go dwelling.”

Landrum reported from Los Angeles.