11-Year-Old Nigerian Kid Gets International Dance Scholarship Because Of A Video Of Barefoot Ballet

A viral ballet dancer from Nigeria has earned several scholarships worldwide to follow his dream.

Anthony Mmesoma Madu, an 11-year-old Nigerian dancer may be described in a few terms as elegant and ethereal. The young dancer has defied preconceptions to become a skilled performer and more recently, a viral hit. Leap of Dance Academy (where Madu is one of just 12 pupils) released a video in June that showed the young artist in action.

A barefooted Madu displays a fascinating commitment to his art in the video. Madu's quick strides and smooth turns—on firm concrete—beckon sentiments of inspiration and delight against the backdrop of fast pouring rain. Despite growing up in a culture that frowns on males in ballet and having parents who envisioned him as a priest, the young dancer has not been deterred from pursuing his genuine love: dance. "When I'm dancing, I feel like I'm on top of the world," he said in an interview with Reuters.

Madu's dancing video has over 15 million views and has been praised by celebrities such as Viola Davis, an award-winning actress. The film has also caught the attention of Cynthia Harvey the creative director of the American Ballet Theatre Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School of Dance in New York. Harvey was so touched by the little dancer's dedication and persistence that she awarded him a full scholarship to the American Ballet Theater's three-week virtual summer dancing program. (Access to the internet is included in the scholarship.)The viral video has also increased outside financial support for Mudu's dancing academy which is dedicated to providing free ballet classes to Madu and his classmates and challenging gender norms in the field of dance. (You may contribute to the Leap of Dance Academy’s GoFundMe campaign.)

Madu will get a scholarship to study at Ballet beyond Borders in the United States in 2021. The young dancer is overjoyed to get all of the encouragement and possibilities, but he is also ready to reply to those who continue to dismiss his passion for ballet. “When my friends see me dancing,” he explains, “they think, what is this guy doing, is he doing a foreign dance? Now I've won a grand prize trip to the United States... I'll be on the aircraft, and this is what I've been looking forward to, and ballet has delivered.”

Anthony Mmesoma Madu, an 11-year-old Nigerian ballet dancer is constantly confronted with cultural and gender prejudices.

He is one of just 12 pupils at his dancing academy and it is apparent that he is on the rise.

Thanks to this mesmerizing video of barefoot ballet performance in the rain, the globe got to observe his remarkable talent:

The young dancer has been awarded an international dance scholarship at the ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School of Dance in New York as a result of her performance.

Leap of Dance Academy: Facebook | Instagram | GoFundMe
H/t: [Bored Panda]

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