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Walker Reader

Maia Maiden

Scientist by day, dancer by night, Maia Maiden has been in the dance community for more than 15 years. Born and raised in South Minneapolis, she has studied all genres of dance primarily focusing on West African, Hip Hop, and step. In 1995, she co-created Infinity, a hip-hop dance troupe at Apple Valley High School (the first of its kind). Since then, she has performed in productions in the Twin Cities, including: Abstraktions: Requiem for a Homegirl (Leah Nelson), BlackArtsFusion (Maia Maiden, Karla Nweje and Ellena Schoop), Festival of Lies (Faustin Linyekula), and Revolutionary Soul Sistas (Roxane Wallace). Her first full -length choreographic endeavor and conception, The Foundation, et cetera, premiered at Minneapolis’ renowned Southern Theater (in collaboration with Ellena Schoop) as a part of Momentum: New Dance Works 2008, one of the most popular annual showcases of emerging, under-the-radar choreographic talent in the Twin Cities. It was awarded Outstanding Achievement in Dance Innovation by Lavender Magazine. Her work has also been performed in Washington, D.C. at the Hip Hop Theater Festival 2008 and Fringe Festival 2008. In 2010, she was selected as one of four artists and presented gangED, in the first Snapshots: Reflections of Women, a series presented by the prestige O’Shaughnessy Theater at St. Catherine University in St. Paul. In 2012, her latest work, This Was Made for Women’s Bodies, premiered at Intermedia Arts as a part of the Catalyst Series in Minneapolis. She is the creator/curator of ROOTED: Hip Hop Choreographers’ Evening-the first and only choreographers’ evening dedicated to Hip Hop dance and its roots in the Twin Cities, showcasing high school to professional choreographers. With sold-out shows since its inception, and on the Minneapolis City Pages A-List (2009, 2010, and 2014), ROOTED received a Sage Award nomination for Outstanding Performance in 2014. In addition, she is the creator/curator of Sistah Solo, a show which brings women of color together to highlight individuals and celebrate collectively solo works from various performing arts backgrounds. With sold-out shows since its debut, it was featured on the Minneapolis City Pages A-List in 2013. She is also the founder/artistic director of Twin Cities’ based ConsciousSpirit, a movement group using dance styles rooted in the African Diaspora. Interweaving Hip Hop and step techniques with traditional West African movements to create work that is community connected.