LAGOS (Reuters) – Gracefully spinning amongst a neighborhood of dancers clad in purple, 11-One year-venerable Anthony Mmesoma Madu stands out in unlit leggings, a white turtleneck and poise past his years.
Anthony Mmesoma Madu, an 11-One year-venerable ballet dancer, poses correct by a rehearsal with different school college students on the Leap of Dance Academy in Lagos, Nigeria July 27, 2020. Picture taken July 27, 2020. REUTERS/Seun Sanni
His people in Lagos, Nigeria’s teeming lagoon metropolis, wished him to become a priest. As an numerous, he has captivated a whole bunch of 1000’s together with his ballet.
“When I’m dancing, I undoubtedly really feel as if I’m on excessive of the realm,” he advised Reuters.
A video of him dancing barefoot throughout the rain on concrete out of doors the studio the place he trains, the Leap of Dance Academy, went viral closing month.
Additional than 15 million people bear watched his comfortable leaps and pirouettes, undeterred by the rain and rude floor.
The video caught the leer of the elite American Ballet Theatre, which gave him a scholarship and arranged internet entry for digital teaching this summer time season.
Subsequent One 12 months, he’ll put collectively inside the USA on a scholarship from Ballet Previous Borders.
“When my guests imprint me dancing, they undoubtedly really feel love, what’s that this boy doing, is he doing a overseas dance?” he talked about. “Now I really bear gained a gargantuan prize to path to the U.S. … I will be throughout the plane and proper here is what I’m looking forward to, and ballet has carried out it for me.”
The video additionally sparked a flood of donations to the academy, which teaches its school college students free of charge. Founder Daniel Ajala Owoseni talked about he’ll exhaust the cash, and reputation, to advertise ballet in Nigeria, a nation the place it’s now not however broadly practised.
“I seen the need to carry a get pleasure from of artwork that exhibits self-discipline, dedication and dedication,” he talked about. “Faculty college students who’re able to be taught all of those can … swap (them) into different spheres of their lives.”
Extra reporting by Angela Ukomadu in Lagos; Writing By Libby George; Enhancing by Alexis Akwagyiram and Mike Collett-White