Who is Ayaovi Kokousse?


Ayaovi Kokousse is the founder of Forêt Sacrée Obouibé. He was born in Lomé, Togo.


Even as a boy, A. gathered friends around him after school and gave dance lessons. In Togo, he was trained in various dance traditions of his country and danced in different shows and performances of African artists and dance groups. Shortly after arriving on Dutch soil, he founded his own dance group; Forêt Sacrée Obouibé.
In 2004 he obtained his certificate, “Street Dance Education”, in The Hague. In 2005, Ayaoui began to study “Dance” at the ROC, in The Hague, under the direction of Jocelyn Bergland.
According to the Artistic Director, Jopie de Groot, of the Dance Teacher study at the Amsterdam Theater School, A.’s discipline and enthusiasm stood out particularly.  “With his great hunger for dance and his hard work, he has since then made great strides forward in his development as a teacher.”  This hard work has achieved excellent results through which he has succeeded in finishing his training earlier than usual.


After his study he began giving lessons at various dance academies and schools in the Netherlands. His mentor from the ROC and at the same time founder of the Amsterdam 5 O’Clock Class, Jocelyn Bergland, introduced A. to Jopie de Groot.  In 2008, A. was asked to come give lessons to the Dance Teacher study at the Amsterdam Theater School, where he teaches to this day. He also directs and coaches students from various levels, inspiring and motivating the students within the Dance Teacher study of the SNDO (School for New Dance Development), the 5 O’Clock Class (preparatory training for the Dance Academy) and the JDM (Jazz Musical).  Besides this A. has enjoyed teaching at Codarts, University for Applied Sciences of Arts (Rotterdam). In Almere and A’dam, he teaches Afro-Urban dance to young people as well as adults, at the Global Dance Center. Each summer he gives lessons at the many-sided ‘Roots & Routes’ Summer School. Here young dancers gather from many places to share with passion and enthusiasm in order to refine the roots of their dance. As well, every week A. teaches an enthusiastic group of advanced dancers and percussionists, called Ablode Gbadja, building up a traditional and contemporary repertoire, leading to their performance.



Narrator of the dance. He who lets African dance come alive, creating a new form which allows you the chance to be free…


A gifted and multi-faceted dancer, percussionist, choreographer and teacher, Ayaovi’s cheerful openness radiates so that one sets one’s reserve aside and becomes gripped by the energetic African dance. With his enthusiasm he carries his students along with him on a fascinating journey through African dance cultures.


“An exceptionally expressive dancer with enormous personality, who dances from his heart  and knows how to reach people.” — Jopie de Groot 

He seeks his own path, creates his own style, yet keeps the dance traditions alive. The ancient stories of the Ewe will continue to be told… 





For more information about Ayaovi’s work; Visie.