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Tahar Douis Performing with alligator.

Team Member Highlight: Tahar Douis

Meet Tahar Douis, a Kensington team member of notoriety and unique interest. Today he warms the hearts of residents, their families and Kensington staff members with his cheer, enthusiasm and willingness to lend a hand in any situation.

Tahar’s story is fascinating and we appreciate him sharing it with us. When Tahar was seven years old, he ran away from his home in Morocco, North Africa. Curious and clever, he found himself in a marketplace observing and then meeting a group of acrobats. Tahar became fascinated with their spirit and movements. When his new friends told him it was time to go home, he lied and told them he had no home, that his parents had died in an earthquake.

They took the young boy in as their own. He learned from them and worked with them from age 7 to 17. A European agent visited Morocco to look for acrobatic groups to tour Europe. With this opportunity before him, Tahar returned home after ten years for a birth certificate and passport. He went off again and joined the European Circus Tour. He toured with European circuses from 1970 until 1986. Then, in 1986, the Ringling Brothers Circus came to Europe for a tour.  Tahar was offered a contract and invited to perform with them in the U.S. After several years of performing acrobatics with the Ringling Brothers, Tahar merged into the Alligator Show from 1990 to 2014. He performed in many places, including Las Vegas. He became an acrobat trainer for Cirque de Soleil for four years and then the time came when he decided to give up show business and explore “retirement.”

Instead of retiring himself, as originally planned, one of Tahar’s two daughters encouraged him to take a position with a retirement community in Texas, where he worked for two years; then his wanderlust and friends living on the East Coast brought him to Virginia.

He recently found his place with us at The Kensington Falls Church. He is our “Chief of Transportation” at The Kensington. Residents are comfortable and safe in his care. His spirit, willingness to serve when and wherever necessary, and his zest for life are ingredients that anyone who meets him will embrace. We are delighted that Tahar is part of The Kensington team and grateful to him for his contribution to all whose lives he touches.