by linda ikeji
11-year-old Nigerian ballet dancer Anthony Madu who impressed many around the world after a video of him dancing in the rain went viral has been offered a scholarship from the American Ballet Theater in New York City.
The video of Anthony Mmesoma Madu dancing in the rain in Lagos, Nigeria, spread across the internet as social media users praised the 11-year-old for breaking negative stereotypes around male dancers.
The video was seen by the American Ballet Theatre in New York and the theatre has offered Anthony a scholarship from Ballet Beyond Borders and arranged internet access for the 11-year-old to experience virtual training sessions this summer.
Anthony spoke with the Washington Post to share his excitement at the news he would be soon training in the US.
“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 US… I will be in the plane and this is what I am waiting for, and ballet has done it for me.”
Anthony’s video has also led to a flood of donations to the Leap of Dance Academy in Nigeria where Anthony currently trains.
Anthony and his mum, Ifeoma Madu, had a video chat with CBS where they expressed their excitement.
When asked how ballet makes him feel, the little boy said: “It makes me feel strong and happy when I’m dancing. I see my future like that I’m going to be a professional dancer when I grew up.”