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11-Year-Old Nigerian Dancer Loved By Viola Davis Receives Scholarship From NY Ballet Company

By Ryan Naumann

A Nigerian dancer who went viral after a video of him dancing in the rain has been offered a spot at an NYC ballet company.

Back in June, Leap of Dance Academy, located in Lagos, posted a video of their 11-year-old student Anthony Mmesoma Madu.

In the 43-second clip, Anthony kills it while dancing in the rain without ballet shoes. He moves around with such grace and perfectly lands each move.

The video garnered millions of views and received a shout-out from Viola Davis. She reposted the video on Twitter writing, “Reminds me of the beauty of my people. We create, soar, can imagine, have unleashed passion, and love....despite the brutal obstacles that have been put in front of us! Our people can fly!!! ❤”

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NBC reports Anthony was offered the chance to train at the American Ballet Theatre. Anthony said, "I see my future like that I'm going to be a professional dancer when I grew up.

The Leap of Dance Academy often speaks about breaking the stereotypes of ballet. They wrote, “Changing stereotypes. As a dance school in Africa, and Nigeria to be precise our academy stands to educate our audience that ballet is here to stay; "It's for both boys and girls'' said Anthony Mmmesoma Madu.”


They added, ”When ballet was created 400 years ago, it was created for men. Men were the first dancers. a @collagedance Special shoutout to all parents who have have allowed their boys to dance. Speaking from the Nigerian perspective most children are enrolled in school to have a white collar job but never to become a dancer. We hope supportive and inspirational mom like Anthony's mom has given us a reason for early child talent discovery. We are the Nigerian ballet school.

One fan commented, “What I love most about this is that nothing was planned the rain, the outfit, the hard concrete floor the sounds made by his feet, the scene were all genuine too him. May you never lose this authenticity. Wow again to the power of ONE moment.”

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