Eleven-year-old Anthony Mmesoma Madu from Nigeria caught the world’s attention when a video of the young boy practicing ballet in the rain became a viral video across social media with hundreds of users in awe of his talent. Since then, Madu has garnered a new fanbase from all over the world and now it has been revealed that the aspiring dancer will receive a scholarship to one of the best ballet schools in the world.
Madu is heading to one of the most prestigious ballet schools in the U.S. after the viral video made its rounds on social media. The video caught the eye of Cynthia Harvey who works as an art artistic director of the ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School of Dance, who found a way to get in contact with the boy. After a couple of days, Harvey was able to get in contact with Madu and his teacher, Daniel Ajala, to present him with a full scholarship to the prestigious American ballet school with the option of attending its three-week virtual intensive summer workshop for young dancers beginning this month.
“A friend who lives in the U.K. sent me the video. Within a day, I was trying to find him,” says Harvey to the Cincinnati Inquirer. “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.”
“A child who shows this much dedication, you just have to help,” Harvey added. “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.”
The academy has presented Madu’s self-taught teacher, Ajala, with his own two-week training course to further develop his skills to help other students he teaches at his dance academy in his home where he offers free classes to local kids in the area.