A famous writer once said, 'Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning how to dance in the rain.' And 11-year-old Anthony Mmesoma Madu did just that.
Leap of Dance Academy recently shared a clip of the Nigerian boy dancing on Instagram. Madu gracefully twirls and does pirouettes barefoot on the muddy ground as it rains in his yard.
And instantly, Anthony's video went viral, garnering more than 20 million views on social media.
Anthony's practice dance session was so impressive that it earned him a ballet scholarship at the American Ballet Theater in New York.
Check Out The Viral Sensation
The video also caught the eye of Cynthia Harvey, the artistic director of New York's ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School of Dance.
Harvey told the Cincinnati Enquirer:
"A friend who lives in the UK sent me the video. Within a day, I was trying to find him."
Cynthia finally succeeded in tracking Anthony down and offered him a scholarship to a virtual three-week intensive summer workshop in the US.
Anthony's instructor, Daniel Ajala, founded Leap of Dance Academy in Lagos in 2017.
But even after 3 years, the school still doesn't have ample space for students to practice.
As a result, most of the time, his students practice in his basement or public spaces.
Speaking to BBC, the teacher said:
"I wanted to give every child an opportunity by making my program free so that they would be no excuse that any child could give that it was the reason they couldn't pursue their love for dance."
"Anthony is a very committed student. Right from day one, he has always been very time conscious."
"We are trying to change stereotypes around ballet dance. Boys can actually do ballet. Male ballet dancing is here to stay, and it is not only supposed to be for females."
Ajala is a self-trained ballet dancer.
Anthony Is Currently In ABT Virtual Summer Intensive
In an interview with Bored Panda, a business and PR representative at Leap of Dance Academy said:
"Anthony is very excited and has always been a hard worker. So he is happy to continue working towards his dreams and have this opportunity."
"The main goal for our school is to have our students represent ballet in Nigeria well and bring it to the forefront while showing the elegance of ballet, but also letting our culture shine through."