Tunisian Dance

Tunisian Dance
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Tunisia Dance: Written by Mellilah

Tunisian dance is characterized by sharp, horizontal twisting movements of the hips with flowing upper bodies, danced almost entirely on demi-point (on the toes) with arms held in a “w” shape. This dance is seen at weddings and parties, and in the southern islands of Kerkennah and Djerba, the dance is often performed with a clay water pot balanced on the head.

These traditional dancers wear a blouse, a “khamisa,” underneath a large rectangular wrap, a “melia,” fastened at the shoulder with two large pins, with a belt of woollen yard around their waists. Additionally, married women wear a “khul-khal,” a famous Tunisian ankle bracelet, to ward off snakes with its rattle-like noise. (Unmarried virgins are believed to have inherent protection from snake bites.)

Tunisian Dance

The Tunisians have another dance called the Stambali, a true trance dance, which is performed in sanctuaries and in people’s homes as a therapeutic remedy. This dance accompanies the sacrifice of an animal and is performed in regard to Sidi Saad, their patron saint.

As I am not an expert on Tunisian Dance, I recommend further research on this subject.

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For more info about the author, visit www.mellilah.com

About Mellilah Jamal

Mellilah teaches belly dance classes in Redmond and Bothell and performs for private parties and restaurants throughout Seattle.


  1. Hi there!

    My name is Jameela. I’ve recently moved to Tunis…do you know of any good belly dancing schools here? I’m a complete beginner but I’d love to learn!


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