Barakissa Coulibaly Member of  CID UNESCO The International Dance Council.

Brakissa is a West African dancer and choreographer from Abobo, Abidjan,

Côte d’Ivoire. She started her career in traditional African dance in 1990 with “Fotemogoban”. She continued her career with “Djolem” and performed in Switzerland, Greece, Spain, France, Germany and many other countries!
In fall 2012, she traveled to the United States to choreograph and perform for the University of Florida’s (UF) “Agbedidi” annual show. Barakissa's experience

at UF inspired her to form her own dance company in Ivory Coast known as Compagnie Artistique Mouaye, in 2013.
Later in 2013, Barakissa returned to the United States to partake in Bates Dance Festival at Bates College and at the University of Florida as an artist-in-residence. Soon after, in 2013 Barakissa formed the philanthropy known as Petit Coeur d'Afrique, supporting the youth of Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
In Fall 2014 as well as Spring 2015 Barkissa served as a guest choreographer at the University of North Carolina Asheville's and dance instructor with Studio Zahiya of Asheville, North Carolina. Additionally in Asheville, she participated in Goombay Festival in 2015 and 2016, and Asheville Percussion Festival in 2016 and 2017. In 2016 and 2017, Barakissa also formed the

Festi- Dance Ivoire Annual Dance & Music Festival in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

February 2017, Barakissa served as a guest instructor at Houston community College for the annual Akwaaba Dance And Drum festival and later in

August 2017 became a dance instructor For S-Connection Aerial Arts in Gainesville, FL where she currently Instructs weekly dance classes. Additionally,

In April 2018, Barakissa was invited to provide a presentation and interactive workshop, on West African Dance and Health, at the annual Integrative Medicine conference at the University of Florida.

Additionally, Barakissa has established Gainesville’s first & only African Diaspora Festival, know as Don-Ba.

She later was invited by the UF Cancer Wellness Series Initiative to present on the connections between traditional West African dance and Cancer Fatigue.

Barakissa Coulibaly is a member of the CID at UNESCO The International Dance Council. She also continues local dance efforts at IndepenDance studio of Gainesville, FL and Hip Moves Studio.

In Fall 2020, Barakissa has joined the University of Florida's School of Theatre and Dance as an adjunct lecturer.



“African dances are manifold; they depend on each of their countries of orientation. The gesture: a different way to express the rhythm of the music which is also essential to the meaning of many life lessons. Dance is an essential element of the African cultural heritage. It is the living expression of it's philosophy and memory of its evolution.


To dance, is to demonstrate a knowledge and transmit it. It is also revealing the diversity of a continent, its many symbolims; mystical and spiritual.


Based on the repetition of movements according to different traditions, African dance also has a wide field of improvisation. Improvisation serves to give humanity more;it is participating in the creation of the world, sharing a story and constantly enriching its experience. Often associated with a leisure activity, African dance can also be used to achieve peace of mind through meditation, and in this research, music plays a very important role.


For a dancer, two things are essential: freedom to dance, and soul consciousness. Expression to touch the heart of the viewer. Every gesture has a precise meaning, a dancer in action is always looking to be in communion with the energies of heaven and earth, the harmonization of body and mind; always in specific rhythms because if body language is the vector of a culture and a history; music is the unconditional support.”


-Barakissa Couliably