Maida Withers and DCCo CONDENSED HISTORY
Maida Rust Withers was born in Kanab, Utah, in the Mountain West of the United States, the youngest in a Mormon family of eight children. Kanab, “little Hollywood,” was famous as the location for the earliest western movies. Maida’s grandfather, William Rust, and her father, Woodruff Rust, built the Kaibab Lodge (1925/6) ten miles from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park, one of the designated wonders of the world. The Rusts had a vision of tourism before this word was in common usage, a vision based on belief in the power of human interaction with nature and the natural world. This knowledge frames Maida’s understanding and ongoing passion and concerns related to the environment and planet Earth. Early years were spent in the Mountain West in Salem, Utah, City of Peace, a small community nestled in Utah Valley surrounded by Mount Nebo and the spectacular Wasatch Range, a continuous source of strength then and now. It is in this spectacular western setting that her love of freedom of thought about life, freedom of adventure and discovery, and, especially, a vision of the universe as experienced in the clear dark sky of night.
In Mormon society, coming together to sing, dance, and share the joy of living and worship is a tradition. Dance is embraced as a natural part of life. Maida has always expressed her high regard and deep gratitude, for LaVaun Turner, her earliest dance teacher, for her love of children, dancing, and teaching dance. This, of course, was not a state-run conservatory, but priceless on the human scale. A typical class involved 15 minutes each of gymnastics, tap, ballet, and what became known as contemporary dance.
“I loved to dance…now and always! Nothing else captured my imagination so forcefully. Dance focused my intense passion and creative imagination. Even Tap Dance has left its deep improvisational mark through the quick movement of my legs and feet, rhythms, extreme dramatic flare, and ability to entertain. My free and somewhat radical spirit may have originated in the astonishing and challenging red earth lands of Southern Utah, or, perhaps, from an unusual religious/radical puritan background, settlers of Boston, and my daring, adventurous, pioneer heritage, settlers in what became the wild west.” (Maida Withers)
Education is a high priority for the Luke family (Isabelle Martina Luke, Maida’s mother). Maida received a BA in Dance, Brigham Young University, 1958, where she studied with Gerry Glover, guest teachers, Ann Halprin and Erick Hawkins; MA in Dance, University of Utah, 1960, where she studied with Elizabeth Hayes, Joan Woodbury and Shirley Ririe and with guest aritsts, Alwin Nikolais and Lucas Hoving during summer dance workshops. Professional study includes: Halprin-Lathrop Studio, San Francisco, CA, 1956; Anna Halprin, Dance DECK, San Marin County, CA, 1956; Erick Hawkins, BYU summer school, 1956; Hanya Holm, Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO, 1957; Martha Graham, Louis Horst, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Jose Limon Dance Company, Lucas Hoving, American Dance Festival, New London, CT, 1958; Mary Wigman School, Berlin, DE 1962; Folkwangschule, Essen-Werden, DE, 1962.
Dance Construction Company
Maida continues to be an active player in the revolution that was part of the development of post-modernism in dance in America, setting the stage for the arts as a social experiment. Maida and the Dance Construction Company, established as a not-for-profit 501-C3 cultural organization in Washington, DC in 1974, are part of the “movement” that experiments with dance improvisation as performance, creation and presentation of work in alternate architectural and environmental locations, artist as social/political activist, experimentation that led to the integration of dance with technology, choreographers who also created dance films, other. Maida has been referred to as the “iconoclast of Washington dance,” and continues to be a leader in the application of new media and technologies with dance.
A powerful and commanding performer, Maida is known for her daring in movement and innovation as a choreographer. She has created a significant body of work for Maida Withers Dance Construction Company, over 80 to 100 projects of breadth and vision, involving a process of experimentation and collaboration. She has been creating visionary collaborations with global partners for more than 50 years including dancers and collaborators in Kenya, Brazil, Ukraine, Russia, Korea, others. A leader in establishing radical notions as a dance artist in the 1960s, her current works continue to support and grow the field through political activism and innovation in dance and interactive technologies. Every three to five years, Maida initiates and produces a large-scale work resulting from on-site research and investigation. Significant projects involve international travel and collaboration with artists, musicians/composers, poets, scientists, architects, and technologists. The Company has performed in all major theatres in Washington, DC: National Theatre, Lincoln theatre, Lisner Auditorium, Kennedy Center for the Arts, National Theatre, Dorothy Betts Marvin Theatre, others.
Maida is an early leader in the use of interactive technology and new media. From her earliest works in the 1960s she has engaged in the use of technology, multimedia and new media, mixing imagination and daring with a keen sense of formal structure and beauty. She is/was always political, a characteristic that may originate from her experience of having a life of great wealth related to family and depth and curiosity of thinking, but not wealth in monetary terms. “All things are possible. Imagine what you want and need and a means will come to accomplish it. After all, life is the ultimate performed improvisation.” Equity, justice, and fairness develop early on in a family of eight people, in a community of 1000 people, in an town of idealists, like Salem, where you meet every personality you may ever encounter as you pass through life.” Maida Withers
In the early founding of Maida Withers and the Dance Construction Company, works primarily explored new ways of making group works by experimenting with ways of collaborating as a group while exploring basic structures of choreography and notions of dance as pure expression through movement: Time Dance (1975/6 and 1984). Works often featured commentary, thought-provoking non-linear narratives often laced with wit and humor: Yesterday’s Garlands, Yesterday’s Kisses (1975). What was revolutionary became practice, of course, over time.
Maida expressed interest in technology in college, 1958, when she composed music for the French horn that she recorded on a 5″ blue desk for her solo, Woman Song, her first work in what became an ongoing engagement as part of the feminist movement. At that time, the tape recorder was paramount for audio use. In 1972, Maida’s interest in dance and interactive technology became even greater when developing an artistic relationship with John Driscoll, sculptor, electronic and sound composer, member of Musicians Inside Electronics. Collaborations and inspiration with John have been consistent, ongoing, and continue today.
Interactive dance projects include works such as Psychedelic Dance (water/oil, overhead projection, 1968); Phase Tracing (Ron Kuivila ultrasound, 1978); Stall. (John Driscoll, rotating loudspeaker, 1981); Families Are Forever (slide projection, voice recordings, 1981); Laser Dance – Duet (1974) and Laser Dance(1985) (dancers interact with lasers, Rockne Krebs, laser artist); Utah * Spirit Place * Spirit Planet * Tukuhnikivatz (extreme Earth site residency, pictographs / ancient civilization; 1 hour film, 13 slide projectors, 1996); Dance of the Auroras – Fire in the Sky (real-time, on-stage, manipulation of virtual images; NASA, global science, mythology, 2001); Hekuras – Spirits of the Rainforest (Tania Fraga, computer artist, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 2002; DC,2010); Maida on Maida in the Universe (computer on stage/writing/projecting; multiple historic dance projections, 2003); Thresholds Crossed (new media, animation, Linda Lewett, filmmaker, 2006); Naked Truth (real-time manipulation of abstract virtual forms, Tania Fraga, Sao Paulo, 2010); MindFluctuations (real-time interaction with activity of the brain, neuroscience, dancers wear Emotiv helmet, 2015); Rainforest Awakens (real-time interaction on Zoom, virtual worlds, Tania Fraga, Sao Paulo, 2020); many others. With rare exception in Withers works, dances feature original music, created and performed live – a lifetime of sustained commitment to live interactive music.
Works are often based on life experience and closely held values, revealing activism for art and social and political issues: Woman See (feminism, 1980); Turf (women as athletes, 1935/1960 Olympic films, 1983); State of the Art (death of dance by management (1986); Obsession – America’s Obsession with sex (AIDS pandemic, 1987); Issues of Gender (museum exhibition with dance, 1991); Still Rush (migration, 1992); Surveillance (2001); Thresholds Crossed (solo with casket, 2003); LENIN (Lenin Museum, Krasnoyarsk, Russia, 2005); Threshold Crossed (Russia/America dancers; 4-part work, large-scale multi-media stage work, 2006); FareWell Series (5 works, planet earth/environment, 2008-2010); Thresholds Crossed – Gulag / Art Angar Film (film, extreme environment, Solovky Island, 14th Century Monestary, first Soviet-era Gulag, 2010); Dance and Politics – Couch Conversation (Clinton/Trump election, 2016); Anonyty – Parts Unknown (dancers wear total body suit, film of another body, 2015); 60 Moves with Future Gaze (Ukraine commission, impact of Soviet Era architecture, 60th anniversary, 2018); DIGG (Trump/Putin, multimedia by Linda Lewett, photos by Diane falk, extreme vocalists, Audrey Chen, Berlin, Phil Minton, UK, Gulag photos, 2018); others.
Site specific performances include Dance / Sound Events: Tin Tabernacle Series (DC, 1973); Changing the System (Columbus Gallery of Art, Ohio, 1974); White Mansions (Holy Rood Cemetery, DC, 1975); Sunday Maneuvers (Theodore Roosevelt National Park, DC, 1977 ); Families Are Forever, (Renwick Great Gallery Hall, DC, 1982); Wet and Wonderful in Washington, DC (National Freedom Plaza, DC, 1983); Stone Garden, Museo de Arte Moderno, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Eco ’92, 1992); Halda – A Mound of Waste, International Dance Conference and Festival, Bytom, Poland, 1997); LENIN (Lenin Museum, Krasnoyarsk, Russia, 2005); ICEBERGS: Glacial Drift (National Building Museum, DC, 2016); 60 Moves with Future Gaze, Kyiv, Ukraine, with Anton Ovchinnikov, 2018), others.
Maida and the Company have developed residencies in extreme environments including: Utah Project, six years in exotic, challenging lands, sharing the art and voice of the ancients, Four Corners Area of Southwest, USA; Solovky Islands, White Sea, Northern Russia, 14th Century Monastary, home of the first Russian Gulag experiment; Coral Pink Sand Dunes , Kanab, Utah and White Sands gypsum dunefield, New Mexico; documentary footage in Russia, Finland, and Norway for Dance of the Auroras project; Gloucester New Arts Festival, Dance in the Ice House. Documentation with the video camera for extreme environments presents special challenges along with developing relationships with indigenous people, global auroral scientists, locating/preserving sacred rock art; location history, mythology, and other cultural aspects that result in film works or video art projects as installation for stage works. Some works with statues, and other historic objects require Guerilla tactics to gather photos and video images.
Dance improvisation as art, requires the creation of spontaneous choreography, live, during performance. For Maida, Improvisation is important in the development of all dance works/experiments, but spontaneous choreography is a fundamental act for members of Dance Construction Company. Maid and the Company sponsored and curated the DC International Improvisation Plus+ Festival, two weeks annual event, from 1994-2008. Jim Levy, jazz composer/musician was the curator of music for all festivals. Cyrus Khambatta, and in later years, Sharon Mansur and Daniel Burkholder, joined in curating the annual festivals. Embassies in Washington, DC, The Netherlands, UK, Brazil, Spain, others along with CEC Artslink supported dancers and musicians to participate thru travel support. Events and workshops took place in GW’s Dorothy Betts Marvin Theatre, GW dance studios, on the streets and in parks, and in various locations in DC including K Street and the DC Public Library on 7th Street. Three large scale events featuring local and international improvising dancers, musicians, poets, actors include: Seeing Jazz Move (DC 3rd International Improvisation Plus Festival, Smithsonian International Gallery, S. Ripley Center, 1997); This Space Occupied (DC 4th International Improvisation Plus Festival, Corcoran Gallery of Art, 1998); Dance-IN, DC 7th International Improvisation Plus Festival, Art Museum of the Americas and Organization of American States Garden and Swimming Pool (2001).
Dance improvisation as spontaneous choreography formed the basis of several public performances by Dance Construction Company often based on ideas of and scripting/scoring for dance: Re-Voltaire, The AX, Mary Christmas (1992); Sphota Probe with “Beat” Poet and sonospher, Alex Caldiero (2003); Shocked and Odd, Krasnoyarsk Ballet/Opera House, Russia (2005); Re-Re Voltaire, Washington Project for the Arts 35th Anniversary celebration, H Street Revitalization (2010); In Voluntary Encounters (2012); Matrimony – To Sink or Swim (2013); This Space Occupied (by Maida), 4-hour endurance work, “occupy movement,” Corcoran Gallery of Art (2013), RedWhiteBlueBlack&Orange: Dance of Art and Resistance (2019); others.
Maida was an early activist artist in the international environment movement. Starting in 1980, the earth and natural phenomenon became primary sources, subject and processes for ongoing dance projects for stage, site, and video. Works created for Earth consciousness include: Earth Meets Sky (1980); Ledge (1988); Path (Yellow Springs Institute, 1989); In Earths Belly Deep – an emergence myth (aerial dance, 1990); Earth Spirit Rising (1990); Crossing the Edge (1991); Ancient Lands – Ancient Peoples (shamanic, solo voice, 1992); Dune: Moving Earth, Dunes (1992); In Winds of Sand (1993); SandS CycleS Film (1993); Damned River (based on environment conference in Japan, 1993); Stone Ring and Stone Circle (1995); Utah * Spirit Place * Spirit Planet * Tukuhnikivatz (Lincoln Center commission, based on the six-year Utah Project, 1996); Tukuhnikivatz (film installation from Utah Project, 1996); Halda – a Mound of Waste (Guest Artist, International Dance Conference and Festival, Bytom, Poland, 1997); Dance for the Earth honoring United Nation’s earth Summit, Eco ’92: Rolling Thunder, Sky Cloud (collaborations with renowned artist, Hilda Thorpe, 1991); Prologue – Cowboys & Indians Play by Maida Withers (1991); Spirit Figures (1991/2); FareWell Series: The Others, Uncertain World (2007), Parched Earth – Remembrances from Tomorrow (Kenya, 2008), Tipping Point (2008), Rising Tide (2009); FareWell: To the end of the World as we know it OR Dancing Your way to Paradise (2010); ICEBERGS: Glacial Drift (2016); ICEBERGS: Fault Line (Ykaterinburg, Russia, 2016), others.
Maida and four Dance Construction Company dancers joined with 100 international artists for ecology in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil as part of the International Celebration Group (Marilyn Wood, founder) as participants in the first United Nation’s Earth Summit, Eco ’92. The Company spent 3 weeks in Brasilia doing political activism and education before the two-week UN Earth Summit, Rio de Janerio. MWDCCo and Brazilian dancers performed Rolling Thunder on a outdoor stage event sponsored by the Rio de Janeiro City Government. Withers created Stone Garden, a commission by Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro in Placo Aberto – Open Stage in the rock garden. Ken Haritsuka carved a stone rock donated by the City government during the performance. MWDCCo participated in site works with Brazilian and international artists throughout the city of Rio de Janeiro and on the sacred SugarLoaf Mountain.
Maida and the Company have performed and created works extensively, internationally: St. Petersburg and Moscow, Solovky Islands, Krasnoyarsk, Arkhangelsk, Norilsk, Ekaterinberg, Volgograd, Russia (1996-2016); Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia, Ouro Preto, Salvador / Manaus / Rainforest, Sao Paulo, Brazil (1992-2014); Tromso, Kirkines, Roveniemi, Norway; Helsinki, Finland; Kyiv, Ukraine; Berlin, Essen Werden, Germany; Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Paris, France; Manchester, Cambridge, UK/ England; Bytom, Katowica, Kracow, Poland; Zagreb, Croatia; Kenya, Meru, Africa; Mykanos, Greece; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Mexico City, Cholulu/Puebla, San Luis Potosi, Queretaro, Taxco, Mexico; Guatemala City, Guatemala; Caracas, Venezuela; Tokyo, Yokohama, Kyoto, Osaka, Japan; Ansong, Taejon, Seoul, Korea; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Hong Kong; New Delhi, Bhimtal/Himalayan Indian State of Uttarakhand, India; Beijing, Guangzhou, China.
Maida received Washington, DC Mayor’s Special Recognition Award October 29, 2014, Lisner Auditorium. In 2005, at the Kennedy Center, Maida Withers and the Dance Construction Company received the Metro DC Dance Award – Outstanding Overall Production in a Large Venue for Thresholds Crossed. Maida and the Company received the coveted Washington, DC Mayor’s Arts Award for Artistic Achievement in the Discipline, at the Kennedy Center. In 2001 Maida received the prestigious Pola Nirenska Award for her “great cultural and artistic contributions to the field of dance and for her years of devoted work in choreography and the education of young professionals in Washington, DC” – presented by the Washington Performing Arts Society and as part of the 2001 DC Metro Dance Awards. In 2007, Dance Place honored her for “your lifelong, loving commitment to the field of dance.” She was selected by faculty peers for a Columbian Professorship, Distinguished Professor award, by The George Washington University. Grants have been received from the National Endowment for the Arts, Choreographers Fellowships; NEA Inter Arts; NEA Visual Arts in Performing Arts; DC and Virginia Commissions for the Arts; Dilthey Fellowship for Collaboration; The George Washington University Faculty Research Awards; Washington Area Studies Grant for Cultural Preservation and Archiving; Fulbright Travel Award to Taiwan; Kansai University Exchange. Many of Withers international workshops and performances are supported by the United States Information Services, and US Embassies. The Company and Maida’s choreography and international travels have been supported by The Trust for Mutual Understanding, Ford Foundation in Russia, DC Commission for the Arts and Humanities, U.S. Embassies in Russia, Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, and others, along with several American corporations located in Washington, DC.
Maida has played a significant role in Washington, DC as a curator, producer, and board member as well as a Professor of Dance, George Washington University, Corcoran School for the Arts and Design, Department of Theatre and Dance. In 1995 Maida founded the DC International Dance Improvisation Plus+ Festival that brought international artists and local improvisers in dance, theatre, music, and performance art to various theater and site locations in DC for fourteen years, a precursor to the DC Fringe Festival. She has co-produced performances with District Curators, The Washington Performing Arts Society, various embassies, and others. She founded the Dance Direction Festival, an annual two-week performance season in Marvin Center for local artists, and has presented or co-produced concerts with local organizations and the George Washington University. Artists include Phillip Glass (The Photographer), Kei Takei, Yamada Setsuko and H. Art Chaos (Japan), Kim JeYoung and Kim Hyun Je (Korea), Slaski Teatr Tanca (Poland), and residencies with American icons such as Erick Hawkins, Yvonne Rainer, Anna Halprin, Meredith Monk, Ann Carlson, Vicky Schick, Donna Uchizono, Luciana Achugar, and others. Withers served on the early board of directors of the influential Washington Project for the Arts, working with visual, dance, and media artists for eight years on the Board and as Program Chair for 3 years. This experience connected Maida to the DC visual arts community starting in 1976. Maida served a 3-year term on the Kennedy Center Education Committee. Maida serves, (2007 – present) as a Board Member for the Amazing EarthFest in Kanab, Utah, the place of her birth.
Maida’s dance videos have been shown nationally and internationally at film festivals, as part of on-stage performances, and on cable and mainstream television. DANCE:FILMS, an evening of dance film shorts (Tzveta I, Tzveta II, Maida I, Maida II, Collision Course – a.k.a. Pillow Talk, TUK (Tukuhnikivatz), Orbit, and Thresholds Crossed – Gulag/Art Angar) was show at Artisphere Dome Theatre and at Danzlenz, New Delhi, India. TUK I received the 2009 John Muir Award in recognition of Excellence in Film making at the Yosemite Film Festival (Environment Film Competition). SandS Cycles, a land site video created at White Sands, New Mexico and Coral Dunes, Utah, toured with In Winds of Sand to China, Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Paris, Venezuela. Orbit was selected for showing at the 1990 DC Rosebud Film Festival; 1991 Women in Film Festival, Kennedy Center; and exhibited in Frankfurt, Germany at 1992 IMZ Dance Screen. State of the Art, a video art documentary, received national recognition for innovative local cable programming. Dance Portraits on Screen 2021 was featured at the Toronto International Dance festival, 2021. Tukuhnikivatz was a “monthly” winner in September 2021 at the Virgin Spring Cinefest in Kalkota, India. Withers narrated Dance, Dance, Dance, in 1978, a ten-part series for NBC-TV, broadcast in five major US cities.; other festivals not listed.
Maida has been a leader nationally in the development of dance degree programs at the University level where she has been instrumental in developing BA, MA, and MFA degree programs at The George Washington University. The university environment suits her intellectual curiosity and adventurous, independent spirit. Maida has an impressive and sustaining history of university teaching of dance: Brigham Young University, 1957, where she was studying dance and theatre; Rick’s College, Rexburg, Idaho, 1959, where she met and married her husband Lawrence Arlen Withers; Purdue University, 1960-62; Howard University, 1963-4; George Washington University, 1965-present. Maida taught for one term for the Alwin Nikolais School, New York City. and has taught nationally as a founder/specialist with the NEA Artists-in-Schools Program (8 years). She presents her research and teaches internationally, for various festivals and conferences . From 1968 to 1982, George Washington University, School of Education sponsored three-week summer dance workshops taught by Maida Withers and various nationally recognized post-modern guest artists. Maida and the guest created dance works and presented performance for site or stage. Guests included Norman Walker, Yvonne Rainer, Mel Wong, Don Redlick, Rudy Perez, Pat Catterson, Sara Rudner, Marta Renzi, others. She has supported residencies by Meredith Monk and Jacki Apple, dance critic, Los Angeles, and many others as guest artists in residence at GWU. Along with the GWU BA Dance Degree (1966) and MA Dance Degree (1965), the Summer Dance Workshops were important in the development of Washington, DC as a center for post-modern dance along with the work of Maida Withers and the Dance Construction Company. Maida feels strongly that her art work informs the teaching and that teaching informs her art work as well.
Maida is the mother of Kristin Withers, Lawrence Luke Withers, Eric Pratt and Marc Pratt Withers and proud grandmother of Nicole (Nica) and Milan Mercury Withers, children of Eric and Elena Withers, Moscow, Russia.
Personal Notes: Maida Withers Early History (not for publication, but more details)
Maida was born in Kanab, Utah, “little Hollywood,” located on the Utah/Arizona border. By age six she attended Salem Elementary School, the community where she began her study of dance (ballet, tap/jazz, and acrobatics) with LaVaun Turner, Maida taught children in various small towns in Utah County on the weekends with and for LaVaun starting at age 13. At Spanish Fork High School, as Girls Athletic Association President, Maida co-directed two student dance concerts of student choreography in the high school auditorium. Maida’s first dance was created to “Rhapsody in Blue.” Maida graduated from Spanish Fork High School in Utah in 1954 and became a student at Brigham Young University on an academic scholarship where she studied modern dance and theater in Provo, Utah. She earned a BA degree in 1958. While studying at BYU with instructor Gerry Glover, Maida was introduced to Erick Hawkins and Lucia Dlugoszewski and, also, Anna Halprin, guest artists. During this time, Maida studied in In the summer of 1956 at the Welland Lathrop/Anna Halprin experimental dance studio in San Francisco, CA. Anna Halprin invited Maida to participate that summer in the early “dance deck” workshop with Anna Halprin in San Marin County, CA. In the summer of 1957 (6 or 7) Maida participated in the eight-week summer dance program at Colorado College with German artist/educator Hanya Holm. In 1958-59 Maida taught dance at Rick’s College where she met her husband Lawrence Arlen Withers. In 1960 Maida completed her MS in Dance with a minor in Education at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah where she studied with Joan Woodbury and Shirley Ririe along with guest artist Lucas Hoving and in the summer with Alwin Nikolais. (Maida taught later in NYC at the Alwin Nikolais school.) In Salt Lake City, Maida taught children’s dance at the Virginia Tanner Children’s Dance Theatre/Creative Dance Program. During the summer of 1959 Maida studied at the American Dance Festival (ADF) in New London, Connecticut where she studied dance with Lucas Hoving, Martha Graham, Louis Horst (composition), and Merce Cunningham. This was an important summer. It is where she became aware of the “radical performance ideas” of John Cage through his public lecture and performance. Maida taught dance at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana 1960-63, where she also performed as an actress. On a 1962 Purdue University faculty grant, Maida studied with Mary Wigman in West Berlin, Germany and at the Folkwangschule in Essen Werden, Germany. In 1965 Maida began teaching dance at the George Washington University where she participated in establishing the MA in Dance (1965) and the BA in Dance (1966) in the School of Education. Maida established the GW Summer Dance Workshop three-week intensive program that lasted for ten summers and featured herself and national artists Norman Walker, Yvonne Rainer, Rudy Perez, Mel Wong, Don Redlich, Pat Catterson, Sara Rudner, and others. In 1988 the MFA in Dance in the Department of Theatre and Dance was established, in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. Currently the dance program resides in the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design. In 2007 the MFA Distance Learning Program in Dance at GWU was established. It was one of the earliest Hybrid Dance Programs in the USA. Maida has taught many different courses but generally taught undergraduate level courses such as Dance Technique as Performance, Dance and Movement Improvisation, Trends in Performance Art, Dance Composition, and Choreography, and advising Honor’s Theses projects. Maida has served as the Artistic Director of the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design Dance Season of performances, guest artists, cultural projects, fall and spring semester. In 2020-21 Choreography became Choreography/Filmmaking and students created film shorts in the course. In 2021, Fall Semester, Maida took a sabbatical leave of absence to prepare for the Legacy Exhibition tentatively scheduled for Corcoran Gallery 1 and the South Atrium, Oct/Nov 2022, Washington, DC.