Nigerian 11-year-old ballet dancer given scholarship following viral video

10 August 2020, 14:45

The video of the 11-year-old ballet dancing barefoot outside went viral
The video of the 11-year-old ballet dancing barefoot outside went viral. Picture: Instagram / Leap of Dance Academy

By Sian Hamer

The video of Anthony Mmesoma Madu’s graceful pirouettes in the pouring rain swept the Internet last month.

An 11-year-old boy whose beautiful ballet dancing went viral has been offered a scholarship.

A video of Anthony Mmesoma Madu performing barefoot outside in the rain was shared last month, and it was met with boundless praise online.

After seeing the clip, the American Ballet Theatre has offered the young dancer a scholarship and has arranged internet access for virtual training this summer, The Washington Post reports.

Anthony will also train in the States next year on a scholarship from Ballet Beyond Borders.

Read more: Nigerian 11-year-old boy dances barefoot in the rain, proves the universal power of ballet >

The talented dancer is one of the small number of students who attend the Leap of Dance Academy in Lagos, a dance school founded by Daniel Ajala Owoseni in 2017.

Since the video stormed the Internet, there’s been a surge in donations to the school, which Owoseni runs for free.

Speaking to BBC News last month, Anthony shared his hopes to challenge the stereotypes surrounding male ballet dancers.

Read more: Mystery ballerina appears on London canalside, dancing to ‘The Swan’ for an audience in canoes >

“When people see ballet they think it is only for girls,” he said. “How I want them to see me is that 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,” he added.

Such a bright future ahead of an incredibly talented young dancer...