Skip to main content

Marcia Howard Interview, 2020-06-11

Identifier: dcpl_dcohc021

Scope and Contents

Marcia Howard, long-time company member of Coyaba Dance Theater and coordinator of the Coyaba Youth Academy, reflects on her life and passion for dance. Howard speaks about her childhood growing up in Baltimore, her dance training, and early recollections of racial tension in the country. After a brief hiatus, Howard talks about how dance reentered her life and became her sole purpose, leading her to travel around the world to perform and study dances of the African diaspora, as well as hold numerous teaching positions around DC. Howard talks of the importance of DanceAfrica, DC and how the festival is an anchor in the community. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the fight for racial justice, Howard believes dance can help us unite and heal during the most difficult times.


  • Creation: 2020-06-11


Biographical / Historical

Marcia Howard was born in Baltimore in 1959 and began her dance training with Gwendolyn Biddle at the Francine School of Dance. In 1995, she began her training in traditional African dance of Guinea and Senegal with Sylvia Soumah, which led to her becoming one of the original company members of Coyaba Dance Theater and coordinator of Coyaba Academy youth programs. Howard traveled to Senegal in 2000 to study with Bouly Sonko of Les Ballet du Senegal and returned in 2008 to further her studies in traditional dance and culture of Senegal and Guinea. In 2017 she traveled to Havana, Cuba to study Afro-Cuban dance and music. Howard has been teaching African Dance at Dance Place since 1999. She also is the Senior Faculty of Dance Education at Imagination Stage (Bethesda, MD) and is on faculty at American University.


From the Collection: 1.13 Terabytes

Language of Materials


Repository Details

Part of the The People's Archive, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library Repository

901 G Street NW
4th Floor East
Washington DC 20001