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Viral Video Earns Nigerian Boy, 11, Scholarship to American Ballet Theatre [WATCH]

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Anthony Madu
Anthony Madu

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*An 11-year-old boy from Nigerian went viral last month over a video showing his ballet skills as he dances barefoot in the rain. 

The clip has earned the kid multiple scholarship opportunities, PEOPLE reports. 

“A friend who lives in the UK sent me the video,” Cynthia Harvey, the artistic director of the ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School of Dance,  told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “Within a day, I was trying to find him.”

Harvey tracked down Anthony Madu and his dance school teacher, Daniel Ajala Owoseni, and offered him a full scholarship to attend the ABT virtual Young Dancer Summer Workshop. 

Owoseni was also offered a two-week training course at the school that helps instructors hone their skills.

OTHER NEWS YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: Heartbreaking: Georgia Teen (Justin Hunter) Loses Both Parents to COVID-19 Within Days

 

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FACTS ABOUT OUR PROGRAM. Behind those fanciful in class beauty and costumes are lots and lots of backstage hard work. With very little or no resources our kids are training to be the best they can. This is not to bring down anyone but to show their high level of dedication and committments to our program. Who wouldn’t be proud of them? What teacher wouldn’t pray for students who shows/comes to class with so much desire to learn? Kids who are ready to dance with or without conditions. Imagine what more we could achieve if we have more?🙂 DMs for more information. #leapofdanceacademy #covid19 #donation #vocational #nigerianballetschool #travelingtutusincnigeria #danceacademy #danceeducation #weloveyou #growth #weloveourpartners #yeswecan #dancing #learning

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Speaking on his student’s talents, Owoseni told the BBC: “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.”

He added, “Male ballet dancing is here to stay and it is not only supposed to be for females.”

The young dancer is said to be “very, very happy” that his video went viral. 

“When people see ballet they think it is only for girls,” he said. “How I want them to see me is when I am dancing, they know that there is a male ballet dancer,” he said.

“The feeling that comes over me is as if I am dreaming.”

The video even caught the attention of Viola Davis, who shared it on Twitter.

“Reminds me of the beauty of my people,” she wrote. “We create, soar, can imagine, have unleashed passion, and love….despite the brutal obstacles that have been put in front of us! Our people can fly!!!”

Madu has yet to officially accept any scholarship offers. 

“A child who shows this much dedication, you just have to help,” Harvey said. “If there is anything the world has taught us, it’s that we have to inspire all sorts of people and that we all have a lot to learn from one another. Providing opportunities for Daniel and Anthony is the right thing to do.”

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Black Celebrity Gossip - Gossip

LisaRaye McCoy Shares Details About Explosive Argument with Stacey Dash on ‘Single Ladies’ Set

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lisaraye and stacey dash
lisaraye and stacey dash

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*LisaRaye McCoy has offered some insight into why Stacey Dash quit the ‘Single Ladies” show that they starred in together. 

The Queen Latifah produced series aired on VH1 for three seasons with the fourth season on BET.

Dash did not return for season 2, and at the time she said her exit in 2011 was personal, as she had to focus on raising her kids and the shooting schedule made parenting quite challenging, theJasminebrand.com reports. 

“I truly enjoyed playing Val on Single Ladies, but I have decided to leave the show.  I have to be back in L.A. with my children right now and the Single Ladies shooting location makes that impossible,” Dash said.  “I wish VH1 the best of luck with the show and in maintaining the strong fanbase we developed in season one.”

McCoy had nothing but positive words to say about her co-star at the time. 

“Believe me, I wish things had worked out because I thought Stacey and I were great together. She was my age and we were working it. It was sex symbol to sex symbol. But she didn’t want to be there. I was disappointed about that. She had some issues. I’m not sure exactly what those issues were. In the end, she and VH1 made a decision,” she said. 

She also confirmed that she and Dash had an explosive argument on set. 

“Yes, there was a disagreement over a scene. And it really wasn’t with me.  It was with the director. I think it was about 2 or 3 a.m., and we’d been shooting all damn day,” McCoy explained. “Stacey tried to argue with the director about a line. And I’m like: ‘Girl, if you don’t say what the director wants you to say.’ It wasn’t that serious at first, but it went there.”

READ MORE: Estranged Husband of Stacey Dash Claims Pastor ‘Hypnotized’ Him Into Marrying Actress

 

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While Filming ‘Single Ladies’. Full story on #theJasmineBRAND.com (🎥 @vivicahustling)

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In a recent interview with Viviva A. Fox, LisaRaye shared new details about the argument, saying: “It’s like 2:00 in the morning and we’re still at it. And she gets an attitude and she doesn’t say her line to me.  So even the director was like, ‘Stacey, look at [LisaRaye’s character, Keisha] when you deliver that line and then leave.’ So, by the fourth or fifth take I’m thinking, ‘This is just a one-liner, like, girl, what’s the problem?’ And that’s what I say.”

Continuing, “And she looks and rolls her eyes, but you know I don’t think nothing … but honey child, when I tell you when the director had to come out and speak to her, I had walked over to Stacey and said, ‘Just say the line,’ she put her finger in my face and said, ‘You can’t tell me anything.’”

LisaRaye said she went “went Southside Chicago” on Stacey.

“I just said, ‘Stacy, if you don’t take your motherf–king finger out my face…’ but that’s all I had to say because by that time she was taking her heels off and strutting to her dressing room,” LisaRaye continued, “and I was like hold on, ‘You got more to say? Because I can meet you in your dressing room! You want it, you can have it.’”

Dash reportedly showed up to work the next day with a team of security to protect her from LisaRaye.

“She absolutely did,” said McCoy. “And I never said this part before, but she came with security and I was like, ‘Oh, what’s going on today?’ and they was like, ‘You! She brought them for your a**.  I said, ‘Get outta here!’ I went to the d*mn producers I said, ‘Do you know how this would look if this gets out? That she had to bring security to set for me? It will make me look like I’m a bully and y’all ain’t got my back?’”

LisaRaye stayed in her dressing room until producers handled the drama with Dash. 

“I said you know what, I’m bigger than this, I came here to be professional, I came here to be an actress. I came to get my check,” she added. “Let me go ahead and do what I need to do because one monkey don’t stop no show. And then she wasn’t really that relevant or important to me either.  I just really didn’t think it was that big. I thought it would be something she would get over, but she just carried it on, and then I heard she had problems with wardrobe and they start coming telling their stories, and then the producers … yeah, I was just like, ‘Girl, please.”

Hear LisaRaye tell it via the Instagram clip above.

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Some Texas Longhorn Band Members Refuse to Play Alma Mater Song over Minstrel Ties (Watch)

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Texas Longhorn Alumni Band

*The University of Texas Longhorn Band will not play their traditional alma mater song “The Eyes of Texas” at Saturday’s football game against Baylor University after a survey of members revealed several students aren’t willing to play it.

The song has divided the university community in recent months over its ties to minstrel shows where performers wore blackface. According to ABC13, the Daily Texan reported that a message sent to band members by leader Scott Hanna said the survey results wouldn’t affect whether the band performs at future games. The band has yet to play at a football game this season, due to safety restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.t

Band members are “evenly divided” over playing the song, the student newspaper reported, but responses from certain instrument sections would prevent the band from playing this week. The message from Hanna said many band members wanted to have further discussions about the song, which he said he would facilitate.

Student athletes asked UT-Austin to drop the school song during this summer’s Black Lives Matter protests, among other demands, threatening to forgo participation in recruiting and donor events. The university responded with plans to boost Black student enrollment and recruitment, but it kept the song and pledged to educate visitors and students on its history and context.

Below is a brief rundown of the song’s racist past.

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Baltimore - Ferguson - Michael Brown

Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis Join Forces to Release Debut Album

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Jimmy+Jam+BET+Presents+2019+Soul+Train+Awards+t2DxOxIzlqXl

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*Legendary producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis have joined forces on a new project that seems long overdue. 

The five-time Grammy Award-winning duo are set to drop their first full-length album as artists, Billboard reports. 

In announcing their next project, Jam said: “BMG immediately got our vision and understood where we wanted to go with this album. There was real mutual respect. We’ve found the perfect partner to kick off this next era and finally deliver our first record to the world.”

The forthcoming LP will feature “iconic collaborations spanning their influential discography,” reads a statement issued by BMG.

READ MORE: Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg, Monica + More Added to BET Hip Hop Awards 2020

 

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When you know you know #legends thank you @bet #yeassssss

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“It’s crazy to think we’re about to release our debut album after all these years,” adds Lewis. “This is going to be a very special moment and we are grateful to have this team behind us.”

James “Jimmy Jam” Harris III and Terry Lewis are best known for their catalog of hits that includes collaborations with Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, Kanye West, Usher, Gwen Stefani, George Michael, Mariah Carey and many more.

Their untitled album “is an extraordinary celebration of Jimmy and Terry’s musical brilliance, influence, and legacy they’ve created over the course of their musical career,” said John Loeffler, BMG’s executive vp, repertoire & marketing, New York. “Each song is remarkable with awe-inspiring performances to create a career defining master work.”

The album is set to drop next year, with BMG media teasing,”Get ready for them to make history again in 2021.”

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TV Calendar: Coming to Small Screens

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