Coyaba Dance Theater, founded in 1997 by Cincinnati native Sylvia Soumah[1]. Sylvia arrived in Washington, D.C., in 1986 to focus her skills in modern dance under Carlo Perlo of (Carla & Company) where she was exposed to many choreographers, Lesa McLaughlin, Nancy Havlik, Debra Riley, and African American postmodern choreographer Alvin Mayes. In 1992, Sylvia began her extensive study of West African dance under the tutelage of Aidoo Holmes, Founder/Artistic Director of Wose Dance Theatre. Every two years Ms. Soumah hosts a two- week cultural dance and drum study tour to Dakar, Senegal, adding to the trans-continental sharing of culture started by Baba Djimo of Memory of African Culture. Coyaba performs around Washington, D.C. and through their school, The Coyaba Academy. Image: Coyaba Dancers/

[1] “Coyaba Dance Theater.” Dance Place. N.p., n.d. Web. <>.