Raised and educated in both the Baltimore/DC Metropolitan Area and the San Francisco Bay Area, Bakara Johnson became a student of dance after participating in a modern dance class in high school. She later received aggressive training in Haitian dance and Dunham Technique with Lynn Wethers-Coles and Blanche Brown, Congolese dance with Malonga Casquelourd, and the traditional dances of Guinea, Ghana and Mali, but it was in the traditional dances of Senegalese West African that she found special personal and artistic resonance.
As a performing member of Harambee Dance Ensemble, Ballet Saungamar and CEEDO West African Drum and Dance Company, she worked to articulate movements through her dance technique, choreographed pieces and her costume designs. She became fascinated with West African dance as a lexicon of movement around the world, and the interface between preservation and dissemination, which makes West African dance an interregnal part of her life.
Aside from her professional dance career, Bakara works as a Staff Coordinator and Editor. She holds an A.A.S. in Business Technology, a B.A. in English and a MPS in Publishing, and devotes her editing career to working with writers in a way that helps to facilitate better communication between readers and writers.