You’ve probably seen the video on social media: a boy, barefoot, dancing ballet elegantly on wet concrete. You probably wondered, like us, the origin of the video.
Well, that wonderful performance is due to the Leap of Dance Academy.
The Leap of Dance Academy, founded by Daniel Ajala, is a ballet school in Lagos that provides quality ballet education to indigenous young dancers in Nigeria.
Daniel Ajala who brought his vision for the school to life in 2017 studied the art of ballet online and in books. In a recent France24 interview, Ajala shared his reasons for starting the dance academy.
Ballet is for people who have money, who are very high class, because ballet is expensive, in this area, I know we can’t actually afford the luxury of ballet, or dance education — so I think it’s a beautiful art to introduce to our people here.
Ajala also talked about how the academy was first received by the people in his neighbourhood. He said:
When we started ballet here, people were like ‘what are they doing? Is it not indecent? It’s not a Christian dance!’ We want to make sure to show them that this is not a bad dance — ballet is a very disciplined, forward dance that is very important in the growth of a child.
Over the years the academy has grown and gathered support from all over the world. The art of ballet is now widely accepted in the neighbourhood where the academy is located, and the academy now has 12 pupils between the ages of 6 and 15. The academy’s lessons are free and Ajala provides his dancers with ballet shoes and kits.
Recently, a video of one of the academy’s dancers started trending 0n social media and it has received a lot of positive comments from social media users all over the world.
Watch the trending video below:
What is dedication? Ballet, barefoot on concrete while raining… incredible! (Via: LeapOfDanceAcademy/IG) pic.twitter.com/seoKahOxre
— Black With No Chaser (@BlackNoChaser) June 24, 2020
The video definitely struck a chord with Nigerian media personality, Fade Ogunro, who responded to the video on Twitter and offered to sponsor the young dancers education till he graduates from university.
As a former ballerina I’m jealous of his beautiful lines, his toe points and his effortless gracefulness. @leapofdanceacademy I want to pay for his entire formal education anywhere in the world until he graduates from Uni.
See her tweet below,
Thanks everyone for your kind words. I really didn’t expect this incredible response. I have communicated with @LeapOfDanceAca1 and the young man in the video and another female ballet student will be put through school until they finish Uni, thanks to @BookingsAfrica
— Fadé Ogunro (@FadeOgunro) July 7, 2020
Fade Ogunro has now confirmed that she will be putting two dancers from the Leap of Dance Academy, the male student in the video, and another female student, through school, and it is truly inspiring.
Find out how you can help the Leap of Dance Academy HERE.
Photo Credit: @leapofdanceacademy