Boy, 11, wins scholarship from NYC school after video of him dancing in the rain goes viral

Since its June 2020 upload to Instagram, the video has been seen more than 330K times and shared across social media platforms.

Anthony Mmesoma Madu, a Nigerian youngster of eleven years old, has received a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity due to his unending enthusiasm for dance. The amazing boy went popular on social media after a video of him displaying his impressive ballet talents barefoot, seemingly unfazed by the pouring rain, won the hearts of people around the world. Since its June 2020 upload to Instagram, the video has been seen over 330,000 times and shared across social media networks. It ultimately caught the attention of Cynthia Harvey, creative director of the ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School of Dance in New York, who was highly impressed by the little dancer.

Harvey informed the Cincinnati Enquirer that a buddy in the United Kingdom provided him the footage. Within a day, I was attempting to locate him. Within two days, she was able to locate Anthony and his ballet instructor, Daniel Ajala, and shortly thereafter, she arranged for full scholarships for the aspiring ballet dancer to attend the three-week intense program, ABT virtual Young Dancer Summer Workshop. ABT also incorporated Ajala into its National Training Curriculum, a two-week course designed to help teachers improve their abilities.

Harvey, a former lead dancer with the American Ballet Theatre, elaborated on why she was so moved by Anthony’s video:”Here, we’re complaining about not being able to open our buildings. But in that video, I saw a boy who was a perfect example of the tenacity someone can have when they have love and a dream. It was immediately obvious how much determination he had.”  The Washington Post reports that the ABT scholarship is not the only opportunity to have approached Anthony since the video went viral online. Next year, the kid will receive a scholarship from Ballet Beyond Borders to train in the United States.

“When my friends see me dancing, they feel like, ‘what is this boy doing, is he doing a foreign dance?'” he said. “Now I have won a grand prize to go to the U.S… I will be [on] the plane and this is what I am waiting for, and ballet has done it for me.” The video also sparked a flood of donations to Ajala’s Leap of Dance Academy where he teaches his students at no charge. “I saw the need to bring a form of art that shows discipline, dedication, and commitment,” he said. “Students who are able to learn all of these can… transfer (them) into other spheres of their lives.”

The 29-year-old started the Leap of Dance Academy in his own modest house in late 2017 after being inspired by the film “Save the Last Dance,” which incorporated ballet, hip-hop, and jazz dance in equal proportions. With the aid of YouTube and three encouraging ballet instructors from New York, Michigan, and California, he trained himself ballet and then decided to coach aspiring dancers in his nation. Every day, Ajala moves his furniture out of the room and transforms it into a dancing studio, placing cardboard on a concrete pad outside when the class requires extra space. There, Anthony’s video was filmed.

In a recent Zoom interview with Vogue, Ajala stated, “People say that you can never do ballet the way it is done abroad because ballet is not an African dance, but for me, it’s about making the art form our own,” Ajala told Vogue in a recent interview over Zoom.

“There’s a saying here that nothing makes a teacher happier than a student who wants to learn. Can you see what’s going on behind me? There’s a torrential downpour outside and they’re getting ready for class. Who wouldn’t be proud of these children?” Harvey agrees. “A child who shows this much dedication, you just have to help,” she said. “If there is anything the world has taught us, it’s that we have to inspire all sorts of people and that we all have a lot to learn from one another. Providing opportunities for Daniel and Anthony is the right thing to do.”