Miyu Ananthamaya: Indonesian Dance Prodigy Breaks Stereotypes As She Captivates Audiences

Miyu Ananthamaya Pranoto
Miyu Ananthamaya Pranoto

In the heart of East Jakarta, the dance floor lights up whenever nine-year-old Miyu Ananthamaya Pranoto takes her place. With her white sneakers pounding the ground and her small frame moving with remarkable skill, she commands the attention of a captivated audience, leaving spectators jostling for a prime view of her mesmerizing freestyle and breakdance performances.

Miyu, a dance prodigy with boundless talent, has garnered an immense following for her effortless mastery of dance moves that are considered the realm of dancers twice or even thrice her age and stature.

Dressed in baggy clothing, her hair pulled tightly into a bun, Miyu is carving out an extraordinary path for young girls in Indonesia, a country with conservative norms, where the dance scene lags behind other Asian counterparts like Korea and Japan.

Unwaveringly supportive, Miyu’s parents share in her aspirations. “Miyu’s dream is our dream. Whatever her goal is, it is also our goal in life,” asserts her mother, Rizky Mellissa.

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A viral sensation was born when one of Miyu’s performances at an international contest in Vietnam captured the attention of YouTube viewers, accumulating a staggering 45 million views. This breakthrough moment catapulted her Instagram following overnight to 217,000.

Miyu Ananthamaya Pranoto

Speaking to BBC, Semmy Blank, Miyu’s dance mentor, underscores her exceptional talent and fervor, highlighting how her passion enables her to internalize intricate dance routines with ease. “Teaching someone like Miyu isn’t challenging for me.

She can outperform adults. Her rapid progression in terms of foundational techniques, technical prowess, and musicality sets her apart.”

During a recent dance class in East Jakarta, Miyu took center stage. With the beats of Kid Ink’s “You Remind Me” and Duckwrth’s “Power Power” pulsating through Bluetooth speakers, she glided across the dance floor. Even when fellow dancers were winded, Miyu persisted, practicing each step meticulously until perfection.

Always eager to learn, Miyu Ananthamaya Pranoto approached a classmate for pointers on a demanding breakdance maneuver – twirling on the floor before springing back onto her feet. The class concluded with her classmates surrounding her for selfies, an encounter she graciously embraced.

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Attributing her passion for dance to Korean boy band BTS, Miyu cites the group’s member Jimin and their hit song “Idol” as pivotal influences. Through K-pop, she discovered dance competitions like “Street Woman Fighter” and platforms like “1Million.” “It surprised me; I didn’t think there were kids who could dance so well,” says Miyu, who embarked on her dance journey a mere two years ago.

Among her favored styles, freestyle reigns supreme. In fact, she clinched an award in this category during her maiden competition. “It’s more free than choreography too so it’s not so much thinking exactly; it’s just like freedom,” she articulates with an infectious enthusiasm.

While dance occupies a significant portion of her life, Miyu also balances her commitments. Amid frequent competitions that span from Jakarta to Bali to South Sumatra, she dedicates herself to school, piano lessons, voice training, and even takes up drawing as a hobby.

“When school ends, it’s straight to piano lessons,” shares Ms. Mellissa. “Tomorrow, she has singing lessons and then dance practice with her crew. Our role as parents is to strike a balance so she doesn’t get overwhelmed.”

With her sights set on the future, Miyu Ananthamaya Pranoto aspires to elevate her passion for dance to a professional level. “I want to be a professional dancer and perhaps a teacher, not only for students but for dance idols too,” she declares with conviction, underscoring her boundless ambitions.

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Written by Andrew Walyaula

Multimedia Journalist

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