On Saturday, November 11th, Florida Atlantic University Haitian Student Organization Konbit Kreyol hosted their 8th Annual Best Haitian Dance Troupe Competition. What began as a small event in FAU’s Live Oak Pavilion has now captured hundreds all across Florida and expanded to FAU’s Barry Kaye Auditorium. This free cultural dancing showcase had a packed house filled with 1,500+ attendees.
This annual competition commenced in 2010, while Konbit Kreyol’s executive board and dance troupe at the time, aspired to highlight the talents of all dance troupes. This event launched with only two schools participating, which included Broward College Roots Club and Konbit Kreyol. Over the years, the list of competitors has grown as the competition has received state-level attention. This competition serves as an outlet for each organization to have the opportunity to represent their institution while promoting the Haitian culture with the hopes of winning the coveted trophy.
Two hosts captivated the night, Jessica Hazel who is no stranger to hosting BHDT and the funny man himself Zoe Poze. The night filled with jokes and an excellent ambiance. This year, the groups came out with their members, supporters, and families with chants and signs all over the auditorium.
The competition comprised of three categories Hip-Hop, Kanaval, and Konpa. The theme was a blast to the past, in one word “throwback!” Now all of you know when it is a throwback the show is set to be captivating.
The eight institutions included Konbit Kreyol of FAU, Haitian Cultural Club of Tallahassee, Djakout Lakay of PBSC, USF Club Creole, UCF Club Creole, Haitian IBO at Miami-Dade College, FIU HSO Toucho, and UWF 509 Dance Troupe.
The organizations turned it up this year, and for few, it was their first time competing at BHDT. The creativity was one like no other. From the composer in HCC’s konpa section to Djackout Lakay Kanaval routine and KK’s Hip Hop piece the list of originality could go on. Each year this competition gets better and tighter than ever!
The organizations spend months and practice endless hours a day to perfect their skills, and it was apparent. The rivalry was intense as the judges had their hands to their heads after each performance. The judges comprised of DJ 5 Etwal, Rebecca Aristil, Marie-Carmelle Lindley, Sony Laventure, Jessica Saint-Georges, and Kajanee Smith.
The best category or most intricate category saved for last which is the Konpa section where the teams bring their A game. With the gouyads, dips and cultural dance move the crowd is guaranteed to go wild and not stay in their seats throughout this section. In the end, USF was able to knock HCC off the throne after their four-peat consecutive wins in the past years. Overall, job well done by all eight teams and for those who did not attend this year be sure to come out the next year 2018. Follow Konibit Kreyol for event notifications. Check out the overall winners below:
1st Place: USF Club Creole Dance Troupe
2nd Place: FAU Konbit Kreyol Dance Troupe
3rd Place: PBSC Djakout Lakay Dance Troupe
Hip Hop Category: FAU Konbit Kreyol
Kanaval Category: PBSC Djakout Lakay
Konpa Category: USF Club Creole
See more photos here.
Pictures captured by Focal Muse Photography.
Full Video clip here.
Official videos on Konbit Kreyol