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Poetry Instead of Music: This Ballet School Turns Muslim Girls to Little Ballerinas

A ballet school in London opened up earlier this year with a view of turning Muslim girls into little ballerinas.

“We’re passionate about child development,” explained Royal Academy of Dance trained Maisie Alexandra Byers, 24, and psychologist Dr. Dajedah Shubib, 28, to

“We believe that this unique approach to ballet helps the child’s physical, emotional, social and cognitive development.

“Until now ballet has been inaccessible to many Muslims and Grace and Poise aims to cater to the community.

“It also aims to provide a space to celebrate Islamic Identity and support the harmonious connection between mind body and soul.”

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As some Muslims don’t listen to music, the Grace and Poise Academy plays unique poetry syllabus instead of music to be more inclusive.

Parents can sign their kids up to Baby Ballet classes for those aged between two to four.

The Pre-Primary & Primary Ballet is for six to eight-year-olds who undergo an exam for the first time. And the last class is Grade 1 onwards, for nine years and above, where ballet steps become formalized.

It is known that music is one of the most controversial issues among jurists.

While some scholars see that music is completely forbidden, others are of the view that it is permissible as long as it is free from all kinds of paganism, sensuality, immorality, dissoluteness, and subliminal messages.


The reaction to the new ballet school has been very positive.

“The reaction has been incredible. We are surrounded by the most supportive and loving communities who have aided us along the way,” Maisie and Sajedah continued.

“Everyone is thrilled to have this opportunity. We have had many emotional conversations with mums telling us about the impact our classes have already had on their little ones. Also how they wish they had this opportunity as little girls themselves!”

There are many hijabi Muslim ballerinas.

In 2014, young Emirati ice skating princess Zahra Lari drew lights at the Winter Olympics in Sochi. She exhibited her talents in performing jumps with power and grace while proudly donning her hijab.

Muslim teenager Stephanie Kurlow’s dream to become the world’s first hijabi ballerina came true in 2016 after a Swedish clothing company awarded the young girl a scholarship to pursue her dream.