Mai Lê is a French-Vietnamese arts educator, choreographer, DJ, and curator who relocated to Brooklyn in 2009. Since 2013 she has been a lead dancer in the pioneering street dance theater company Rennie Harris PureMovement, performing throughout the United States (Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, LA Music Center), and abroad (US Cultural Ambassador in Central Africa in 2013). She’s a core member of the emerging Passion Fruit street dance company, with performances at the Apollo Theater, Jacob’s Pillow, and Montreal Arts Interculturels. She also toured Europe as a lead dancer in Europe with seminal Detroit house music producer Theo Parrish and his live band, in festivals/venues such as Worldwide Festival (Sete, FR), London’s Barbican, Barcelona’s Sala Apolo.
In 2015 Mai Le founded LayeRhythm, a monthly jam session that brings live musicians to collaborate with street/club dancers (representing flexN, litefeet, house dance, Chicago footwork, Detroit jit, locking…). The NY Times says of LayeRhythm…”Imagine an improv comedy show where dancing, not laughs, is the currency. Then imagine a musicians’ jam session where the band is compelled to keep the dancers’ pace instead of the other way around…what’s distinct about LayeRhythm is the way it bridges the two groups with crowd participation.” Now in its fifth year, the project is taking its club roots to the stage with the LayeRhythm Experiment company, performing at 92Y and Jacob’s Pillow.
As a dj, Mai Lê has played venues such as La Machine (Paris), Good Room (NY), Black Flamingo (NY), opening up for artists such as Ron Trent, Trinidadian Deep, Sonny Daze.
In 2012-2014 Mai Lê co-produced the USA division of Juste Debout, the international street dance competition that brings highly developed dancers to audiences worldwide.
From 2017 to 2019, she was the Program Director of It’s Showtime NYC!, a program that celebrates NYC street culture and provides performance and professional development opportunities to street and subway dancers.
She teaches weekly in NYC and has taught dance workshops at Lehman College, Swarthmore College, Duke University, Georgian Court University.
Her competition credits include House Dance U.K./London/Judge (2015), Ladies of Hip-Hop Festival/NYC/House category/1st place (2015), House Dance Forever/Amsterdam/Top 12/175 (2015), Step Ya Game Up NYC/House/1st place (2013), The Blueprint/Houston/Judge (2013).
To learn more about Mai Lê, visit MaiLeGrooves.com
This class starts with an open conversation about House culture (who, when, where, why, etc). We then move on to a warm-up, drill foundations, and incorporate some variations/music/freestyle exercises using those foundations as a basis. The class is designed to connect movement with music and history and to provide tools for creativity and individuality.