Ballet dancer

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

January 4, 2021, 5:16 p.m. | Updated: January 4, 2021, 6:24 PM

Video of the 11-year-old ballet dancing barefoot outside has gone viral.

Image: Instagram/Leap of Dance Academy


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 dance has gone viral has been offered a scholarship.

A video of Anthony Mmesoma Madu performing barefoot outside in the rain was shared last month, and it has received unbridled praise online.

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

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

Read more: 11-year-old Nigerian 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 took the internet by storm, there has been an increase in donations to the school, which Owoseni runs for free.

Talk to BBC News last month, Anthony shared his hopes of challenging stereotypes surrounding male ballet dancers.

Read more: A mysterious ballerina appears by the London canal, dancing to “The Swan” for an audience in a canoe >

“When people see ballet, they think it’s only for girls,” he said. “What I want them to see me is when I’m dancing they know there’s a male ballet dancer.

“The feeling that comes over me is like I’m dreaming,” he added.

Such a bright future in front of an incredibly talented young dancer…