Viral ballet dancer gets a scholarship to the American Ballet Theatre in New York

Center Stage anyone?

By Tegan Mouton

Viral ballet dancer gets a scholarship to the American Ballet Theatre in New York

Ballet dancer

If you’re like me and you’ve been spending a lot of time on social media lately, you’ve likely come across the viral video of 11-year-old Nigerian ballet dancer Anthony Mmesoma Madu who was filmed dancing barefoot in the rain a few weeks ago.

As someone who danced for 13 years and couldn’t pull off graceful fouettes with all the appropriate clothing and dance studio flooring in place, I’m hella impressed.

The video quickly spread online, garnering millions of views, and the results might be life changing for the young dancer from Lagos.

Cynthia Harvey, the artistic director of the American Ballet Theatre Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School of Dance in New York, has also seen the video, and quickly decided that she needed to find the young talent.

She managed to track him down through his teacher, 29-year-old Daniel Ajala Owoseni who founded the school where Madu trains, the Leap of Dance Academy in Lagos.

As a result of his talent and passion for his craft displayed in the video, Harvey has organised that Madu will get a full scholarship to ABT’s virtual three-week Young Dancer Summer Workshop and next year, he’ll travel to America to train further, courtesy of a scholarship from Ballet Beyond Borders.

Since the video went viral the local dance school has also received a flood of donations, which offers free classes to local youth.

It’s great to see the internet be a happy and loving place every once in a while!