Maida Withers

Maida Photo

Maida Withers

Professor & Undergraduate Advisor, Dance


Building XX, Rm. 104, 814, 20th Street Northwest Washington DC 20052

Known for her daring in movement and innovation as a choreographer, Maida has created a significant body of work for Maida Withers Dance Construction Company, over 150 dances 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. A leader in establishing radical notions as a dance artist in the 1960s, her current works continue to revolutionize the field through her political activism and innovation in dance and interactive technologies.


Recent & Current Work

In addition to teaching, Maida Withers has created a significant body of work for Maida Withers Dance Construction Company since 1974, including over 100 dances for stage, site, and film funded by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Rockefeller Fund, CEC Artslink, Virginia Commission on the Arts, US Department of State and others.

In February 2018, Professor Withers premiered the politically charged multimedia work, DIGG, in a joint concert with Kei Takei from Tokyo. Also in 2018, for the 60th Anniversary celebration of the Exhibition Center in Kyiv, Ukraine, she created an evening length work for 18 dancers.



Professor:  Purdue University, Howard University, Rick’s College

Board Member

Maida Withers Dance Construction Company, President and Artistic Director (1974 - present)

Founder/Curator: DC International Improvisation Plus+ Festival (1995 - 2010)
Amazing Earth Festival, Kanab, Utah - Founding Board Member (2008 – present)

International Celebration Conference, Board Member (1992 - 1998)

Washington Project for the Arts - Founding Board Member, Program Chair (1978 – 1985)

Kennedy Center - Committee on Programs for Children and Youth, Education (1979 – 1981)

National Endowment for the Arts - Artists in School, Specialist and Review Panel (1973-1979)



  • DC Mayor’s Arts Award “Special Recognition” Kennedy Center, 2014
  • Nominee - Oscar and Shoshana Trachtenberg Teaching Award, 2010
  • John Muir Award, Environment Film Competition in Recognition of Excellence in Filmmaking, Yosemite International Film Festival, Yosemite, California - Film: TUK, 2009
  • Dancing in the Desert, Las Vegas, Nevada - Lifetime Achievement Award, 2009
  • Key to the City of Kanab, Utah - Mayor’s Award for Distinctive Contribution, 2009
  • Nominee: GW:Oscar and Shoshana Trachtenberg Teaching Award 2009
  • Cultural Envoy - U.S. Department of State and US Embassy, Nairobi, Kenya, 2008
  • Dance Place Lifetime Educator’s Achievement Award, Washington, DC, 2007
  • Metro DC Dance Award Outstanding Overall Production– Large Venue, Kennedy Center, 2006
  • DC Mayor’s Arts Award Excellence in an Artistic Discipline, Kennedy Center, 2005
  • Virginia Commission for the Arts and Humanities, Choreographer’s Fellowship, 2003
  • Pola Nirenska Award for Exceptional Creative Contribution, 2001
  • The George Washington University Columbian Professorship Award, 1999
  • The George Washington University Service Award, 1999
  • Other: National Endowment for the Arts Choreographers Fellowship; NEA Inter Arts; NEA Visual Arts in Performing Arts; Dilthey Fellowship for Creative Collaboration; Fulbright; Washingtonian Magazine Award to Outstanding Women, others.



100 works created through a collaborative process; touring:


Washington, DC

Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Lisner Auditorium
Carter Barron Amphitheatre
Dance Place
Smithsonian:  Renwick Gallery and American History Museum; Renwick Gallery / Grand Salon National Air and Space Museum and the Einstein Planetarium; International Gallery of Art
Theatre Roosevelt Island
Holy Rood Cemetery, Georgetown, Washington, DC
U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial, World War II (Iwo Jima), Arlington, VA
Washington Project for the Arts
Corcoran Gallery of Art
Joe’s Emporium
Dorothy Betts Marvin Theatre, GW
Fringe Festival, Shakespeare Theatre, Washington, DC
International Improvisation Plus+ Festival, Dorothy Betts Marvin Theatre 1995-2010
Hilda Thorpe Artist’s Studio Gallery, Alexandria, VA
Prince George’s Public Playhouse,  Riverside, Maryland
Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Site and Freedom Plaza, Washington, DC

Lincoln Center, Great Dance in the Bandshell, Damrosch Park, NYC
Amazing Earth Festival, Kanab, Utah
Alwin Nikolais 100th Anniversary Celebration, Hunter College, NYC
Alvin Ailey Theatre, NYC
Columbus Gallery of Art, Columbus, Ohio
Nikolas Leichter Studio, NYC
Utah State Arts Festival, Library/Theatre, Salt Lake City, Utah
Four city tour: Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Atlanta
Dancing in the Desert, Las Vegas, Nevada

International Tours / Performances
Akademie der Kunst Festival, Berlin, Germany
31st Festival d’Inverno UFMG, Teatro Nacional, Ouro Preto, Brazil
Aula Magna Theatre, Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas, Venezuela
Beam Theatre, Tokyo, Japan
Munye Theatre, Seoul, Korea
Universidad Metropolitana de Caracas, Caracas, Venezuela
Teatro de la Danza, Mexico City, Mexico
Bodies of Influence, 10th Anniversary School for New Dance Development, Amsterdam.
Jooksan Festival, Ansong, Korea
K.A.C. International Exchange Modern Dance Festival, Taejon, Korea
Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Hong Kong
Guangdong Dance Company, Guangzhou, China
Theatre Dunois, Paris, France
International Russian Congress, Norilsk, Russia
Luna (Moon) Theatre, Moscow, Russia
Ballet and Opera House, Isadora International Dance Festival, Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, Russia Zagrebi Festival! Zagreb, Croatia
Lenin Museum, Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, Russia
Kuala Lumpur Ballet Company, Kuala Lumpur, West Malaysia
Barents SPEKTAKEL, Kirkines, Norway
TOUCH 3 Festival, Arkhangelsk, Russia
Universidad Anhembi Morumbi, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Northern Lights Festival, Tromsø, Norway
2nd International Conference on Art and Technology, Brasilia
Hoam Theatre, Korean Arts Council International Modern Dance Festival, Seoul, Korea
Taejon Cultural Center, Taejon, Korea
Eco ’92, United Nations Earth Summit, Museo de Arte Moderno – Rock Garden, Rio de Janeiro; Sugarloaf Mountain, City Stage
Side Step International Dance Improvisation Festival, Zodiak Center for Dance, Helsinki, Finland
International Festival of Dance, Mexico City, Mexico
IV International Dance Conference and Festival, Bytom, Poland with performances City Plaza,
Placu Sejmu Slaskiego, Katowice, Poland; Kazimierz ul Szeroka, Kracow, Poland
Akademie der Kunst Festival (Academy of the Arts) Berlin, Germany
National Dance Festival, Volgograd, Russia
Art Angar Center for Contemporary Art, 15th Century Solovetsky Monestary (Gulag) and other locations, Solovki Island, Russia

Dance Films

Park City Film Music Festival, Park City, Utah

Int’l Video Dance Festival of Burgundy, France

Artisphere Dome Theatre, (Dance Films) Arlington, VA

Istanbul International Dance Film Festival, Istanbul, Turkey

FinnUS – Finland and USA Exchange; Embassy of Finland. DC

Danslenz, New De Istanbul International Dance Film Festival, Istanbul, Turkey lhi, India

Yosemite International Film Festival - recipient of the John Muir Award for Outstanding Filmmaking

Wollumbin Film Festival, Wollumbin, Australia

Get Reel in Moab Film Festival, Moab, Utah

DC 2008 Independent Film Festival, Washington,

IMZ Dance Screen, Frankfurt Germany

III Sao Carlos Video dance Festival, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Women Make Movies VIII, Kennedy Center, Washington, DC

Women In Film Festival, Kennedy Center, Washington, DC

DC 1990 Rosebud Film Festival

United Nations Eco ’92 Earth Summit, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil as part of events sponsored by 100 International Artists for Ecology.

Cable TV

Metro-Arts Program, Fairfax, Virginia. (several performance videos)

Perfect Moment at WPA Documentary: Withers interviews patrons viewing controversial Mapplethorpe exhibition at Washington Project for the Arts. Footage appeared on Oprah and USA newscasts.

Dance, Dance, Dance (30-min each) Maida Withers narrator. Ten-part dance series by NBC-TV, Washington, DC; Televised in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, St. Louis, and D.C.



Maida Withers has toured & engaged in collaborative projects in over 20 countries with more than 13 projects in various cities in Russia since 1996 and more than 8 projects in Brazil including the first international Earth Summit, Eco'92. Her projects and tours are often sponsored by Embassies and the Department of State.

International performances & residencies include:

  • UK
  • France
  • Poland
  • Norway
  • Ukraine
  • The Netherlands
  • Germany
  • Russia
  • Korea
  • Japan
  • China
  • Malaysia
  • Mexico
  • Venezuela
  • Costa Rica
  • Brazil
  • Argentina
  • Kenya
  • Others

Her films have been shown in festivals and exhibitions in:

  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Mexico
  • UK
  • Germany
  • USA in Colorado, Utah, Virginia, and DC



BA in Dance & Theatre, Brigham Young University
MA in Dance, University of Utah