Ballet dancer

Viral video sees 11-year-old ballet dancer win scholarship

The American Ballet Theater in New York has awarded a scholarship to Anthony Mmesoma Madu.

  • Anthony Mmesoma Madu is a ballet student from Nigeria.
  • He will train at the American Ballet Theater through virtual classes before heading there in 2021.
  • His viral video also earned the non-profit dance studio, where he currently trains, donations.

Ballet student Anthony Mmesoma Madu caught the attention of millions when a video of him dancing in the rain surfaced on social media last month.

In the video, barefoot Madu can be seen gracefully working on his jumps and spins on the course surface outside the Leap of Dance Academy where he trains in Nigeria.

Ballet is my life. I practice everywhere. When I dance, I feel like I’m on top of the world. Every time my mother sends me on an errand, I dance a ballet before going to this place and that makes me very, very happy.

Anthony Mmesoma Madu

Since then, the video has been shared among more than 15 million people, including those at the American Ballet Theater in New York. The classical ballet company has granted her a scholarship and internet access that will allow her to undergo virtual training within the company.

That’s until 2021 when Madu will train in the United States on a scholarship from Ballet Beyond Borders.

The viral video also saw people donating to the Leap of Dance Academy, which does not charge students for the classes it offers. Its founder, Daniel Ajala Owoseni, says the money will go towards promoting ballet in Nigeria.

I know we cannot afford the luxury of a ballet or dance education… I want them to be able to enjoy what is happening abroad or elsewhere

Daniel Ajala Owoseni

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