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Marilyn M. Sylla

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Marilyn M. Sylla, Director of The Bamidele
Dancers & Drummers
MARILYN M. SYLLA, Director: For 24 years (until a 2019 relocation to Florida), Mrs. Sylla was a Five College Dance Lecturer based at Smith College in Massachusetts. In this capacity she taught African, Brazilian and Haitian dance forms at Smith College, Mt Holyoke College University of Mass, Amherst College in addition to Hampshire College. She has also taught at Hampshire College. She has studied African dance forms in Guinea, Senegal, the Gambia, the Casamance, Brazil, Haiti and Puerto Rico. Since 1987 she has taught and performed throughout the United States at venues including Jacobs Pillow, the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York and Kripalu Center for holistic health in Lee Mass. She has been in residence at Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama; Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY; and Ursinus College, in Collegeville, PA in addition she has taught several times at the Bates College Dance Festival in Lewiston, Maine; for six years at Drika Overton's Portsmouth Percussive Dance Festival and is a teaching artist with the Sankofa Dance Project at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst Mass. Marilyn has taught West African dance at the Universidade Federal da Bahia in Bahia, Brazil and has performed and taught in Caguas, Guayama and Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Marilyn studied Haitian Folkloric dance and taught West African dance in Port Au Prince, Haiti at the Ecole National Des Arts and in Mirebelais, Haiti at the Centre Cultural Alexandre Kenskoff. She has also performed at the Theatre Nationale' in Port-au-Prince, Haiti with Ballet Folklorique Tamboula DHaiti, Inc.

Marilyn is a dancer with the Classic 407 dance team for the Orlando Magic NBA team.

In 2021 she received a Certificate of Completion in the course: Introduction to Trauma-Informed Practices Through the Arts Young Audiences Professional Learning Series.

In March 2007 Marilyn received a "Finer Womanhood" Award from the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. at the University of Mass.

In 1998 she received an award from the University of Massachusetts for "Outstanding Support to Women of Color."

Marilyn is a board member of A Better Chance Program, in Amherst, MA.

The Bamidele Dancers & Drummers, Marilyn Middleton-Sylla, Director • Sekou Sylla, Artistic Director • Phone USA: 413.386.2768