Nigerian Boy Earns Prestigious Dance Scholarship After Viral Ballet Video

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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?â–¡ DMs for more information. #leapofdanceacademy #covid19 #donation #vocational #nigerianballetschool #travelingtutusincnigeria #danceacademy #danceeducation #weloveyou #growth #weloveourpartners #yeswecan #dancing #learning

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When Anthony Mmesoma Madu was videoed practicing ballet barefoot in the drizzling rain in Nigeria earlier this year, the 11-year-old thought the footage would be used for a common film study session.

Instead, the cellphone video of him performing the pirouette without shoes on the unevenly wet concrete was seen by a much bigger audience. The video has garnered more than 20 million views on social media including by Oscar-winning actor Viola Davis and Cynthia Erivo, who has won Grammy and Tony awards.

Madu’s practice dance session was so impressive that it earned him a ballet scholarship with the American Ballet Theater in the U.S. It also showed his community that anything is possible.

“I feel very, very surprised, very, very happy,” Madu said after his fellow students at Leap of Dance Academy staged a performance on a dirt street in Lagos, Nigeria, while tossing dust into the air in celebration.

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

Davis shared Madu’s video with her 1.4 million followers on Twitter. She wrote in 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!!!”

Erivo decided to sponsor Madu’s training and helped bring the video to the attention of the American Ballet Theater, said Laura Miller, a spokeswoman for the dance company.

“When I got that call that I won a scholarship to the U.S in the year 2021, I was very, very happy, I was like, ‘What? Is this what God can do?’” Madu recalled. Ballet, he added, “is hard to learn but if you put your effort, you can learn it.”

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