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Ramallah dancer Shireen Ziyadeh wants to use pirouettes and plies to change the place where she grew up, training aspiring ballerinas to show that "something beautiful comes from Palestine".In tights and a white tunic, her hair scraped back in a flawless bun, the 24-year-old Palestinian repeats instructions to a group of tiny dancers in pink tutus and slippers at her ballet school in the West Bank city of Ramallah. The idea of teaching ballet to little girls came to the young management studies graduate four years ago. Ziyadeh's is not the first ballet school in Ramallah – she herself learned to dance here in her childhood – but she is one of just a handful of teachers across Palestine.Although ballet is a niche activity in Palestinian culture, traditional folk dance is everywhere.
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