It’s a known fact that Samira AlKhamis is a woman of firsts.

Known under the pseudonym of ‘The Saudi Ballerina’, AlKhamis has become a beacon for change in the Kingdom throughout the years, shattering stereotypes and breaking down barriers. However, it’s something she never envisioned herself, insisting just simply following her passions she found herself in the “unintentional” position of being a role model.

“I didn’t expect to become a role model, it just happened unintentionally,” she explains. “Knowing that people are looking up to me as a role model is something I take great responsibility in.”

While it’s an unexpected position she’s found herself in, it’s exactly why she’s one of three inspirational women at the centre of Estee Lauder’s ‘Reaching for the Stars’ campaign.

Shining a light on the groundbreaking figures in the region, AlKhamis stars alongside Nayla Al Khaja, the first female Emirati film director, and Amna Al Qubaisi, the first professional female Emirati racing driver, in the beauty brand’s Ramadan campaign.

Emirates Woman sat down with AlKhamis to find out more about her journey of pursuing her passions, how she hopes to pave the way for others, being a part of the ‘Reach for the Stars’ campaign and more.

What inspired you to enter the world of ballet?

Dance is something that has been a big part of my family, we’re five sisters and each one of my sisters had danced as some point in their life. My parents always felt that having an after-school activity is an important part of growing, whether it was swimming, art class or dance. I grew up around dancers my whole life. I can remember so vividly watching my older sisters perform on stage when I was only a little girl just starting my dance journey. Watching them gave me a powerful sense of inspiration and it stuck with me; It gave me a unique sense of fulfilment that I couldn’t find anywhere. Now it’s my responsibility to give back to my community and the new generations by passing on the passion and knowledge of dance.

How have you broken down stereotypes by pursuing your passion?

By following what my heart is calling me to and what gives me that sense of fulfilment that I didn’t find anywhere else. Hoping that someone that still doesn’t have the courage to pursue their passion would take me as an example and inspiration to go after their dreams.

What is it you love about ballet?

Ballet has a kind of beauty that is rare to find. My favourite part of ballet is how technical it is, even with the smallest details that people don’t always notice, such as the smallest movements of the fingers. Ballet taught me so many things such as self-discipline and body awareness. Dance always feels good to follow the music to portray a story or send a message

You’re a woman of many firsts in your career. What is it like being a woman in this region to pave the way for others?

I take this with great responsibility. Sometimes I feel a certain amount of pressure to be in this position, but it’s also such a privilege to be considered as someone that is capable of paving the way for others.

What are your hopes for women in the future in this region?

I always like to encourage women to follow their passion and dreams, find what makes them happy and go for it. I think more women should be given the opportunity to explore all their options to find where their passion is; or what they’re truly meant to be doing. Feeling like they’re not “allowed” to figure that out about themselves can be frustrating. I hope to see more female leaders in the Arab world. Taking charge of their career and own paths.

Being a woman of firsts, you’ll be a role model to many. What do you love about being a role model?

When I first started building my career and opening Pulse Performing Arts, I didn’t expect to become a role model, it just happened unintentionally. Knowing that people are looking up to me as a role model is something I take great responsibility in. Watching those around me grow and follow their passion makes me want to give them my best to create a nurturing environment so that they continue to do so.

What does being part of Estee Lauder’s campaign mean to you and represent to you?

Reaching for the Stars is more than just a campaign, it gives me inspiration. To be able to say that your dreams are possible and will come true no matter how big they are! All you need to do is truly believe anything is possible and set your mind to it. Don’t be afraid to dream big, just like Mrs. Estee Lauder did 75 years ago when she opened Estee Lauder Companies and inspired generations of women. It’s been a great opportunity and I greatly appreciate to be part of this inspirational campaign alongside other women who have paved the way for many.

What will you be doing this Ramadan to reflect and recharge?

I usually take this time to focus on my health in all aspects as well as my training. Usually, it is very difficult for me to train while focusing on work. I’m going to take advantage of this special time to grow myself educationally and physically.

– For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and Instagram

Images: Supplied