Haitian Dance In Pittsburgh
How do we begin to speak of the power of Haitian dance? Bringing a multitude of images and connotations to the minds of Americans, we have been led to distance ourselves from the traditional culture of Haiti for fear of the unknown. At the heart of the Haitian Revolution was the song, music, dance and ritual that galvanized the efforts of people to be self-determining. Through embracing the culture and traditions of the African ancestors of Dahomey, the people of Haiti were able to up-rise from the oppression of slavery.
And now, we have Haitian dance in Pittsburgh, serving as a reminder of, and tool for, our own self-determination. Kujichagalia, the Swahili word used during Kwanzaa, is the principle that says we "define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves", and embracing the traditions of Haitian dance and music are an example of just that. By way of Talahassee, FL, instructor Genia Guirand brings her connection with her homeland of Haiti to share with other artists in Pittsburgh, youth and elder alike. Come check her out on Wednesdays at Sankofa Village for the Arts, 5:30pm - 7:00pm, then stick around for further Caribbean exploration with Salsa and More with Ryan Mitchell from 7:15 to 8:30. Both classes are $6 for adults and free for youth.