Nigerian boy, 11, offered dance scholarship after ballet video goes viral

The Artistic Director of the internationally renowned The American Ballet Theatre invited Anthony Mmesoma Madu to attend their summer program to help him take his art to the next level

Anthony Mmmesoma Madu
Anthony Mmmesoma Madu (Leap of Dance)

The American Ballet Theatre (ABT), the professional home of Misty Copeland, has offered the Nigerian viral sensation, Anthony Mmesoma Madu, a full scholarship to attend classes at the prestigious dance program.

Madu, 11, was scouted by the school’s artistic director, Cynthia Harvey. She saw his talents after the video shocked the world.

READ MORE: #BlackExcellence: Misty Copeland, Calvin Royal III score first in The American Ballet Theatre

Once locating Madu, she offered him a spot in the next ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School of Dance’s virtual Young Dancer Summer Workshop.

Anthony Mmmesoma Madu

For three weeks, he will learn from some of the top balleterinos in the world, from the company’s exclusive dance curriculum.

This viral video birthed good fortune for his instructor as well.

Daniel Ajala Owoseni, director of Leap of Dance, is currently enrolled in ABT’s National Training Curriculum. The two-week course equips trainers with skills needed to become better dance instructors.

Owoseni has worked to bring the arts to his community. These free enrichment opportunities, will further his vision for those interested in dance on a high level. He started building the Nigerian dance school, Leap of Dance in 2017. After three years of being open, the school has grown from 12 students and almost 72 thousand followers on Instagram.

Owoseni was the first person to post Madu to the @leapofdance Instagram page. The now-viral video features the 11-year-old phenom dancing barefoot outside in the mud. Madu hits his moves performs with precision as it rains.

Their video now has almost 100 thousand views and continues to catch the attention of people all over the world. 

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Some might compare his video to the “Do it for Lil’ Saint” challenge, which stems from the 2004 film, You Got Served. Where Marcus Houston and Omarion both had solo scenes dancing in the rain.

However, Madu’s video was not a parody. The young boy and his male instructor have set their hearts on promoting excellence while reshaping gender norms in the world of dance. 

Following their viral dance video, both spoke to People Magazine.

“When people see ballet they think it is only for girls. How I want them to see me is when I am dancing, they know that there is a male ballet dancer,” Madu told People.

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