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Marilyn M. Sylla

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Marilyn M. Sylla, Director of The Bamidele
Dancers & Drummers
MARILYN M. SYLLA, Director: Mrs. Sylla is a Five College Dance Lecturer based at Smith College in Massachusetts. In this capacity she teaches African, Brazilian and Haitian dance forms at Smith College, Mt. Holyoke College (since 1995), University of Mass and Amherst 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 also taught West African dance at the Universidade Federal da Bahia in Bahia, Brazil and recently (April 2009) returned from a performing and teaching tour 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.

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

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

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: 413.253.4297