Ibuka is the Swahili word meaning To Rise, we are rising through Dance!

Ibuka Dance Foundation is a Tanzanian nonprofit organization in Arusha, Tanzania;  founded in April 2014 by Canadian dancer and choreographer Anna Bussey.

On a visit to Tanzania in 2013, she met an inspiring group of dancers and realized that there was so much potential in these artists, yet too few studios, dance shows, opportunities and possibilities for them, and decided to start Ibuka to address these issues.

Ibuka is the Swahili verb meaning “to rise, to emerge”, and we believe that giving these young people an opportunity to rise above socio-economic barriers by developing their talent and accessing education and jobs in the field of dance is the reason they are so dedicated, motivated and inspired.

Our mission is to provide education and employment opportunities through dance to talented disadvantaged Tanzanian youth. 

We would like to put Arusha on the map as an emerging African cultural capital.  We are delighted to be able to invite international guest teachers and choreographers in order to become a leading centre for dance education, creation and performance in East Africa.

Ibuka constructed the largest stage in East Africa, measuring 150m2, completed in July 2015 by the renowned architect Mike Leach, who designed the iconic Kariokoo market in the 1970’s and his associate Fred Nnko, GMP Engineers. The covered stage is located in an outdoor setting with views of Mount Meru and features an amphitheatre with seating for 200 people. The theatre serves as the dance studio for classes, rehearsals and workshops and facilities include ballet barres, mirrors, a sprung wood dance floor, sound system and changing room / bathroom facilities for womenand men. The office, costume room and cafe are located on the premises in the adjacent house.


This has all been achieved through a private loan in 2014 as well as several local and international donations. IDF runs as a self-sustainable social business, generating income through open dance classes to the general public, dance classes at international schools, and commercial bookings to perform at various public and private functions. All these allow us to pay our running costs and to create new artistic performances on the dancers. Not only is Ibuka providing a much needed community space and socio-cultural service, we are also active in our outreach work in children’s homes, schools, orphanages and rural villages. 

Current Projects

We currently have a grant from the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) 


Ibuka had the honour of being asked to create an authentic traditional contemporary performance and Drum Circle for their TEDGlobal Conferences  2017 hosted in Arusha at the end of August, as well as a yoga workshop and a dance/drum interactive masterclass for TED Fellows.

Our venue is both a studio and a theatre with a view of Mount Meru and amphitheatre seating. We have the Tree Cafe open during class times and shows