Marianne is an instructor of African dance and assistant professor of dance at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee. Shas been performing and teaching dance for more than 35 years. She danced with the Art of Black Dance & Music, Ballet Theatre of Boston (Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre), Danny Sloan Dance Company, Boston Dance Collective, Brasileiro, Inc., Grupo Bandança Afro-Brazilian Dancers & Drummers, Under the Sun Dance & Drum, the Spirit of Africa, and Impulse Dance Company, among others. During this time, Harkless toured the United States, France, Switzerland, and Jamaica, performing and guest teaching at schools, theaters, and festivals.
Marianne has taught dance at Radcliffe College, Boston University, amongst many other public and private schools in Cambridge and dance studios in Greater Boston. She is a former member of the board of trustees for the Boston Dance Alliance. She received the Dance Belt Award (city of Cambridge, 1996) and an award from the Art of Black Dance and Music (2013). She trained primarily in Boston at the Boston Ballet, Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre, and the Institute for Contemporary Dance, and in New York at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center and the International Afrikan American Ballet.
Marianne currently resides in Cambridge. She and her husband, Sory Diabate, codirect Benkadi Drum & Dance, a Cambridge-based African dance company that has been in existence since 2008.