A video changed the life of 11-year-old Anthony Mmesoma Madu in Nigeria. In the clip, Madu dances ballet – barefoot, on the wet floor while it drizzles over the city of Lagos.
A performance that became a global hit on social media – and has now earned him a scholarship to the American Ballet Theater.
The renowned ballet company in the USA confirmed the scholarship for a program lasting several weeks on Twitter and Instagram.
In addition, Anthony Mmesoma Madu has received another dance scholarship in the USA, whether in Los Angeles or Montana will be decided, it said in a message. Madu wants to travel to the USA in the coming year.
“I am very happy about the scholarship in the USA,” said Madu of the German press agency. “But even when I feel happy, I am sometimes nervous about leaving my family and going to another country,” he said. But Madu has an effective remedy for his worries: “When I’m nervous, I just do a few ballet steps and then I feel better.”
He has been interested in dance since he saw cartoon ballet dancers on television when he was five.
Ifeoma Madu supports the passion of her son, she told the dpa. If his legs ached after hours of exercising, massage them with warm water.
Many parents in Nigeria have been reluctant to send their children to ballet classes, said the boy’s dance teacher Daniel Ajala, who posted the video of Madu on Instagram in June. “They feel like it is a satanic dance that goes against African culture.”
But Madu doesn’t let himself be dissuaded from his dream: “Although I know that the people in Nigeria don’t dance ballet, I told myself that I want to become a professional ballet dancer. I said to myself, I can just be different, I don’t have to do it what others are doing. ” He wants to represent his homeland internationally in the future. “Ballet makes me happy.”