Haitian Heritage Month Spotlight: Konpa on the Rise with Sony Laventure

Haitian Heritage Month Spotlight Powered by the Little Haiti Cultural Complex

MIAMI – K.O.T.R Konpa on the Rise is a Konpa Awareness Dance Project founded by Sony Laventure in 2009 as an underground project.

Every Saturday, Little Haiti (Ti Ayiti) comes alive at the Caribbean Marketplace(5925 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, Fl 33137) with free konpa dance classes from 1pm-2pm. Come on time and get ready to have some fun.

We caught up with Sony Laventure to find out what the buzz for Konpa is all about.

Q: Tell us what Konpa dance is and the history behind it

A: Haitian Konpa Dancing is the Pop cultural dance of Haiti. This dance style belongs to Haiti’s Pop genre originally known as Compas (founded by Nemours Jean-Baptiste) but is now socially known as both Konpa and Kompa ever since Haitian creole become its own official language after the independence of French phonetic rule. 

Haitian Konpa is a diverse dance style usually danced in a pair, one lead and one follow. Because of Haiti’s Latin and French influences, the dance style is a diverse style better explained as either a meringue dance or a French ballroom dance. Either way, the basic steps of any form of Konpa dancing all share a Kare base where the emphasis is placed on a figure 8 rotation of the hips, unlike zouk dance.  It all comes down to the style of music you’re playing whether its Konpa Direck, Twoubadou, Bolero, or Konpa Love. 

More than anything, Konpa is a lifestyle that brings people together. Because the music is so rich in brass and easily recognized rhythms, Konpa is enjoyed by everyone. You’ll find many Latin, African, and Caribbean communities that enjoy playing and listening to konpa music. 

Haitian Heritage Month Spotlight: Konpa on the Rise featuring Sony Laventure

Konpa on the Rise

Q: When did you start dancing?

A: I started dancing since the womb. But to be honest, I started dancing before I could walk. My parents had stories after stories of how I’d fight to stand up, and once I’m standing up, I’m dancing. Long as someone’s holding my hands, I’m dancing and wobbling to any music. 

Q: What three things will someone experience the first time they take your class?

A: Welcome. Fun. Confidence.

Welcome. Everyone that experienced my classes feel very welcome no matter age, size or ethnicity. Since I incorporate a lot of activities and exercise drills in my lessons, the environment allows people to feel at ease while meeting new people.  

Fun. –Our classes are FUN! While we make sure to provide a quality 45 minutes of quality lessons, we also make it’s fun for all looking just to come and have a great time with friends, family or even solo. 

Confidence. –I aim to equip my classes with the art of dancing the style with discipline. With all I’ve learned via my minor in dance from the University of Florida and traveling the world to learn from the best in my field, I make sure that those who learn from my classes aren’t just learning choreographed moves but are learning the art and nature of Haitian Konpa.  

Q: What does one wear to your class?

A: My classes have evolved over the past 8 years. Now we offer cardio classes (cardio wear), Konpa Conditioning and Konpa Blitz (Casual Wear), Late Afternoon Konpa Love and/or Konpa Direk dancing (semi-formal wear where ladies wear heels), Solo Styling ( Jeans and heels or dress shoes).

Q: What kind of music do you dance to?

A: I love music, so I’m always dancing to anything whether its Afrobeats, Haitian/Afro Folklore, Hip-hop, Salsa, Bhangra, Country, Kizomba, or Bachata. But Konpa is my native dance, so I usually prefer it. 

Haitian Heritage Month Spotlight: Konpa on the Rise with Sony LaventureQ: Favorite musician?

A: I don’t have a favorite, unfortunately. 

Q: Favorite app?

A: My fav app is Asana. I manage multiple teams and companies. This app keeps me on my game. 

Click here to visit Little Haiti Cultural Center or call (305) 960-2969 for more details.

Click image below to watch a Konpa class with Sony Laventure

Sony Laventure, Konpa Class at Orlando Kizomba Weekender 2017

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