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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 September 2018

Meet Saudi Arabian ballerina Rana - in pictures

She started dancing eight years ago, and is looking forward to the cultural sea change opening the Kingdom up to more recitals and opportunities 

Young Saudi ballet instructor Rana is one of the very few Saudi ballet practitioners.

She started ballet eight years ago when she was living in Riyadh. After moving to Jeddah with her family, she joined the Jeddah Ballet Academy, which was opened by California-born Mary Francis. She then started a ballet instructor course, and also offered ballet classes to children with Down syndrome in a bid to bring ballet to more people as part of her graduation project.

She said that she is very lucky because her family supported her from the beginning, and although it is unusual to be a ballet dancer in Saudi Arabia, she says she feels optimistic about the changes that have started in the country as part of the 2030 project.

She says the biggest challenge of being a ballerina in Saudi Arabia, is finding a tutu and dress that is modest-fashion appropriate. Although, as she points out, this is a global issue.

Watching a ballet show is not a usual cultural outing in the Kingdom, but Rana says this has not prevented her from taking part in ballet recitals with her school and her students over the past eight years.

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