11-Year-Old Nigerian Ballet Dancer Receives Scholarship Offer After Viral Video - Black Enterprise
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11-Year-Old Nigerian Ballet Dancer Receives Scholarship Offer After Viral Video

Anthony Mmesoma Madu
Screenshot via @leapofdanceacademy/Instagram

Eleven-year-old Anthony Mmesoma Madu from Nigeria caught the world’s attention when a video of the young boy practicing ballet in the rain became a viral video across social media with hundreds of users in awe of his talent. Since then, Madu has garnered a new fanbase from all over the world and now it has been revealed that the aspiring dancer will receive a scholarship to one of the best ballet schools in the world.

Madu is heading to one of the most prestigious ballet schools in the U.S. after the viral video made its rounds on social media. The video caught the eye of Cynthia Harvey who works as an art artistic director of the ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School of Dance, who found a way to get in contact with the boy. After a couple of days, Harvey was able to get in contact with Madu and his teacher, Daniel Ajala, to present him with a full scholarship to the prestigious American ballet school with the option of attending its three-week virtual intensive summer workshop for young dancers beginning this month.

“A friend who lives in the U.K. sent me the video. Within a day, I was trying to find him,” says Harvey to the Cincinnati Inquirer. “Here, we’re complaining about not being able to open our buildings but in that video, I saw a boy who was a perfect example of the tenacity someone can have when they have love and a dream. It was immediately obvious how much determination he had.”

“A child who shows this much dedication, you just have to help,” Harvey added. “If there is anything the world has taught us, it’s that we have to inspire all sorts of people and that we all have a lot to learn from one another. Providing opportunities for Daniel and Anthony is the right thing to do.”

The academy has presented Madu’s self-taught teacher, Ajala, with his own two-week training course to further develop his skills to help other students he teaches at his dance academy in his home where he offers free classes to local kids in the area.


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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. a @collagedance ) Special shoutout to all parents who have 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. We are the Nigerian ballet school. A heartfelt thank you to our partners @blacksinballet @ingridsilva @jmentzos @fabiocmariano @m.s.t_dance_center @ruangaldino @travelingtutusinc @fernandomontan0 @thalemawilliamsstudiosusvi @grishkoworld @nikolayworld @bbcnews @graceekpu @balletnoire @abtschool @hurkmanslinda @katwildish #boys #blackboydancetoo #boyswillbeboys ##boyscan #blackboysrock #blackdancers #goboy #dancer #blacklivesmatter #qualityaboveall #nigerianballetschool #nigeria #leapofdanceacademy #vocationaltraining #boys #dancingintherain #viralvideo #vocationalballetschool #goon #bbc #bbcafrica #bbcnews #2020

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