Miami: Little Haiti dance teacher says through dance, ‘We are all the same’

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Dance instructor Myriame Pierre, who hopes to create a haven for all forms of dance, teaches traditional Haitian folklore dance at the Little Haiti Cultural Center in Miami on Wednesday evenings. The class is open to all ages, races and ethnicities.

Video and Story by Heather Hightower

We are all human. We have culture. We have uniqueness, but we are all not that different. That’s the message that dance teacher Myriame Pierre hopes to get across to those who take one of her classes at the Little Haiti Cultural Center in Miami.

“We are all the same…The class is open to all who would like to attend, not just Haitian students,” Pierre said. “Most traditional cultures have folk culture: Irish, Polish, Jamaican, Cuban, Brazilian. We want them to understand it is a lifestyle; a way of living. It has to do with your words, your language, mannerisms, and even the food you eat. We try to drive this all into the arts.”

When speaking about traditional Haitian Folklore dancing you can see the passion in the eyes of Pierre, who teaches classes at the Center every Wednesday from 5:45 p.m.-6:45 p.m.. The class consists of a range of ages, from young children to older women.

The upcoming Winter Concert Series is at the Center on Saturday, Dec. 26 at 7:30 p.m. The three girls featured in the video are fine tuning their routine for the program to traditional Haitian drumbeats, so it’s more of an intimate gathering.

Pierre’s goal is to create a haven for all forms of dance, regardless of race or ethnicity. In the summer, Pierre partners with other cultural dance groups, finds common ground and infuses dances together. Last summer, it was a Brazilian group.

She hopes for those who are from Haiti or have Haitian roots that they will learn modern dance pieces, but “keep the tradition of Haitian culture.”