Hundreds in Tunisia dance at the many Latin dance clubs each week.
Latin dance, as a trend, has come over the world like a tidal wave. In Tunisia, S.B.K. (Salsa, Bachata, & Kizomba) has turned into a Tsunami.
Bachata dance originated in the Dominican Republic as a partner dance. It is danced widely all over the world but not identically. For the past decade or so, the Bachata craze in Tunisia has exploded.
The Bachata dance community includes a group of dancers and dance enthusiasts who gather in a shared space to explore the art form and exchange social dances. This notion of community mirrors that of several other dance groups that share invisible ties, which allows for common experiences and artistic practices.
The latest Bachata trends were developed in the US, Europe (specifically Spain) and Australia (urban, bachatango, lyrical and so on). Notably, all the new styles preserved the basic Bachata dance sequence of a full eight count in a side-to-side motion.
The format for Bachata in Tunisia is simple: At the beginning of a Bachata evening, the party-goers gather, share the floor, dance together regardless of their levels. These parties continue deep into the night and sometimes into the early hours of the morning.
Bachata has established a tightly knit group of individuals, each dance group interwoven with another, who spend the majority of their nights together on different dance floors across the country.
“Everyone wants to help one another and make them feel good about themselves, and they receive that same treatment right back.”, said Haythem Laaroussi.
“The social aspect in Bachata is magical and pulling,” said Malouka Ben Hamouda, a Bachata instructor for over 6 years and a Manager at Latin House Dance Company, a Bachata dance school in Tunis.
“There is touch, a certain level of intimacy between two people who may or may not know anything about one another. That creates a very special atmosphere that doesn’t exist anywhere else.” added Malouka.
Malouka Ben Hamouda is a big fan of classic and latin dance since a very young age. She dived headfirst into the latin dance community for over 10 years now, since her middle school days. “I became addicted first and foremost to the community, it became like a second family. There’s a feeling of love all around. I came and began to learn. I then became addicted to the dance.”
Malouka started back then dancing Salsa and then Bachata. Her first dance was in 2011 in la Maison de la Culture El Mourouj. “At first, my mother was reluctant of me joining the dance then she supported me in every aspect.”.
“The second you come to Bachata, you have something in common, you have a topic of conversation.”
Haythem Laaroussi, the co-founder of Latin House Dance Company, a Bachata dance school in Tunis launched in 2019, started bachata back in 2012. “Ever since, dancing has become a life passion. I devoted a lot of time, energy and efforts, to finally graduate and have my own Dance diploma in 2018.” says Haythem.
“I find pleasure and greater happiness when sharing my passion with other people, introducing them to the Latin dance community.” Added Haythem.
“For me, dance remains a source of happiness and fulfillment, which I share with all those who desire to explore this fascinating art form. Bachata has become much more than a dance for me; it is a passion that has changed my life and enabled me to discover a community of talented and passionate dancers.” he said.
Tunisians, despite many struggles, have managed to rise to the top of the Latin dance world and lead in the dance’s social atmosphere and technique, and are taking over the international Bachata/Salsa community by storm with some of the talented dancers in the Mediterranean region.
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