Coyaba Dance Theater

Coyaba Dance Theater

About the Company

Coyaba Dance Theater was founded in 1997 by Founder/Artistic Director Sylvia Soumah.

The mission of Coyaba Dance Theater is to present traditional and contemporary West African dance and music focusing on the diverse ethnic groups and various humanitarian themes of West African culture.

Coyaba Dance Theater performs throughout the year and has been featured at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The Publick Playhouse, the Lincoln Theater, the Lisner Auditorium, Dance Place, the Chicago Theater and the World Culture Open in Seoul, South Korea.

Coyaba Dance Theater. Kwanzaa Celebration. Photo by Enoch Chan 2011

Coyaba Dance Theater at Kwanzaa Celebration 2011. Photo by Enoch Chan 2011

Company Programs


Full-length Concerts: Coyaba Dance Theater offers full-length African dance concerts.  For more information please contact Sylvia Soumah, Coyaba Dance Theater Company Manager at 240-643-1831.

Outreach Programs and Performances for Adults and Children: Coyaba Dance Theater is available for performances, workshops and residencies throughout the Washington Metropolitan area as well as throughout the U.S. and abroad.

Outreach performance at your school: Coyaba Dance Theater brings the spirit of Africa and its traditions to your school. Students will experience traditional West African dance and drumming depicting daily life of African culture. The performance includes history and audience participation.

School Residencies: Coyaba Dance Theater is available during school hours to teach repertory classes.  The class will focus on African technique in traditional dance and drumming. Students will learn choreographic repertory from Coyaba Dance Theater that will culminate into a performance for your school complete with costumes and live music. Our objective is for students to enhance, goal setting and team-building skills as well as to perform with a professional company!

Coyaba Academy Children’s Classes: Coyaba Dance Theater offers classes for children throughout the year.

Winter 2013 Session Classes are held each Saturday, January 12-March 23 at Dance Place
Contact Ms. Howard(240) 475-0499
Visit us online at:

Technique Stories (Ages 3-6)
Tuition $175.00

Beg./Int. Technique (Ages 7-12)
Tuition $175.00

Int./ Advanced (2 years or more with Coyaba, Ages 7– 12)
Tuition $225.00

Advanced (Admission only by audition or teacher recommendation, Ages Teen)
Tuition $250.00

Coyaba Dance Theater is also available for:
Programs for Seniors
Corporate Events

Sylvia Soumah, African dance teacher and Director of Coyaba Dance Theater

Sylvia Soumah, African dance teacher and Director of Coyaba Dance Theater

What Critics Have Said about Coyaba Dance Theater:

“Soumah has transmitted her zeal for the total experience of African dance – its uplifting essence as well as its form – to others in such a powerful and artful way.”
— Sarah Kaufman, The Washington Post

“Coyaba Dance Theater…performs with easy charm.”
— Pamela Squires, The Washington Post

“Coyaba Dance Theater is more than a dance company — it is a community.”
The Washington Post

“A flourish of female dancers creating rhythmic poetry…”
— Lucia Mauro, Chicago Tribune

“Coyaba Dance Theater laments the loss of society.”
— Kristen Brodenberger, The Washington Post

“Coyaba Dance Theater…fierce, sexy and contemporary.”
The Washington Post


How to Contact Coyaba Dance Theater

For more information about Coyaba Dance Theater, bookings or to receive a press packet please contact us:

Phone: 240-643-1831

Coyaba Dance Theater
3225 8th Street, NE
Washington, DC 20017