I originally posted this as a comment on the previous post “Drisciminated against by a foreigner in my own country” but I think it’s important that it be a post on its own. This is addressed to all those people who have not lived in Saudi; please refrain from making comments that only showcase your arrogant assumptions. You read things about Saudi, including things on this blog, and then overgeneralize them. Anyone who has lived in Saudi knows that muttawa do not raid classes. They raid mixed gender adult parties especially if alcohol and/or drugs are involved. They have also been known to raid homosexual parties.
Ballet class or any other type of class especially one conducted by a woman and given to little girls in a closed place, i.e. not out in the street, has never ever been raided or even closed down. Yes muttawas do not like the idea of any type of exercise for girls and women but that is ONLY at public schools and colleges.
Private schools and colleges whose student bodies are made up of at least 95% Saudi girls and women have gyms and they have never been raided. Check Kingdom schools, Al Tarbiyah al Namothijya schools, Manarat al Riyadh schools, Prince Sultan University. Heck we even have a national womens basketball team. Somes banks have gym facilities for its Saudi women staff and they have never been raided. All across Riyadh, there are gyms and all types of classes, including ballet, salsa, and pilates. And these gyms are not inside a compound. They have big signs up front and are open to anyone who wants to pay. We even have a Curves gym right off Olaya street. All of them have never been raided. There was some talk in the newspapers that some would be closed until the government organizes a special segment for their inspection and licensing, however I have not heard of any being actually closed.
So now you’re going to say why I went to this lady since there were so many others available. I did so because my daughter went to ballet a couple of years back and didn’t like it. Now she’s a little older I felt that maybe she should give it another try. And not because I want her to be a ballerina but because I thought it would help with her posture. So I was casually looking when a friend by chance recommended this lady and I called her first. Her not allowing my daughter in her class is her loss because I pay just like everyone else plus I have the sweetest little girl ever. Even if she had not said that “Saudis weren’t allowed”, I would still not automatically enroll my daughter. I called her to enquire and I was offended at the principle and not that my daughter would be missing out on anything. I’m going to shop around for a better class, probably someone who teaches in a proper ballet studio instead of moving around from one compound to the other.
Some of the places in Riyadh that cater to mostly Saudi clientele have websites that you can see for yourself, through the miracle of the internet, whatever continent you are on: