Meet Lebanon’s Ballroom & Latin Dance Champion

Anna Krith's Lifestyle

Raed Mourad is a 31-year-old computer engineer who studied at Saint Joseph University (USJ) in Beirut but has devoted his life to dance.

He started his journey in dance at the Mont La Salle school when he was 10 years old. Ballroom and Latin dance classes were just another activity he participated in until his love for dance grew year after year.

Mourad is also the owner of Les Mourad, a business that provides dancewear and shoes for Latin, ballroom, and other dance genres. He also won season 2 of Dancing With The Stars Lebanon alongside Daniella Rahme.

When asked why he dances ballroom and Latin dances when there are so many other genres, Mourad told 961, “I believe ballroom and Latin are the greatest forms of couple-dancing. It has a very deep connection with the partner, music, and it is connected to many cultures around the world.”

Some obstacles he said he had faced along his journey were at first dealing with his friends at school judging him for dancing as it was considered to be for girls only.

Then, he struggled to widen his knowledge of dance as there is limited access to instructors in Lebanon.

Mourad started competing in Lebanon at the age of 10 and at 14 internationally. He has participated in many major international competitions such as Asian Olympics, Grand Slams, and Rising Stars.

He won Champion of Lebanon in Ballroom and Latin dance in the Lebanese Championship in December of 2021.

His latest achievement was winning 3rd place in Ballroom dance at the International Rising Star competition in Spain 2 months ago.

“It is my greatest honor to hold my flag around the world. Even after 17 years of competing I still get goosebumps whenever I compete,” Mourad told 961.

He describes how his first experience representing Lebanon in the world championship in 2005 was his favorite one.

It was his first time watching dancers from around the world which woke him up to the fact that he had a lot to learn and bring back to Lebanon. “I decided to devote a lot of my energy to improving my level until today,” he said.

His ultimate goal is to express himself freely through dance because he believes it’s the most difficult to achieve.

Mourad said that “dancing genuinely is actually really simple and beautiful. It takes a lot of courage and detachment, but it is the best thing anyone can achieve.”

You can watch him dancing the Cha Cha Cha with Stephanie Sader at the WDSF World Championship Latin 2018:

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Meet Lebanon's Ballroom & Latin Dance Champion

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