The internet is a weird place. We all know so well that once you post something on here, it never really goes away. And for many people that means their old mistakes resurfacing in the most inconvenient ways and with the worst timing ever. Going viral is something that happens quite often these days, but even that can go two ways. You can either become a meme in a matter of hours or you can get an opportunity to do something great. Going viral certainly helped quite a few artists to further their career. The internet can also change your life, and in the case of this Nigerian boy, it can give you an opportunity of a lifetime.
A video of Anthony doing ballet in the rain outside was posted on Instagram and in a matter of days, it spread online like wildfire. People were liking, commenting, sharing and praising the boy’s talent. And that’s how a representative of a ballet school in new york found this video.
Cynthia Harvey who works for New York’s ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School of Dance as an artistic director got sent this video by her friend from Britain. It was that same day that she decided she needed to contact the boy. She saw so much talent in him she was going to make him an offer no one in their right mind could refuse.
Eventually, Cynthia found the original post that was posted by the Leap of Dance Academy, a local ballet school in Nigeria. It was the founder of the school, Daniel Ajala Owoseni, who posted Anthony dancing. The truth of the matter is that the school was founded in 2017 and in 3 years they still haven’t managed to secure an actual location for it. So a lot of the time the 12 students have lessons outside or at Daniel’s house.
Once Cynthia reached Daniel and Anthony with her offer they were very excited. Anthony is obviously passionate about ballet and it’s a massive opportunity for him, he’s actually doing the summer intensive program right now since he’s doing the virtual one (we can only assume he can’t fly out because of the pandemic).
The founder of the Nigerian ballet school, Daniel, said that it’s a huge honour to have a student be offered a spot in an American program. All he ever dreamed about was to have Nigeria represented in ballet and it looks like Anthony is his best hope.
Daniel also mentioned that his school is both for boys and girls, and his goal is to break stereotypes. Ballet is still seen by many people as something only girls can do. It’s true that even in his school there are far more girls than boys, but Daniel hopes that will change with time.
The Leap Of Dance Academy also mentioned on their Instagram that a lot of the time in Nigeria kids are enrolled into school to later get a white-collar job, but it’s rare for people to allow their kids to do something like discovering a talent for ballet, so they’re super happy that Anthony’s mother let her son try out ballet, and they hope that this example of him being discovered will encourage more parents to give their kids a chance of trying to become a dancer.