Originally from Chester, Pennsylvania, Monique Newton Walker has traveled the world as a performer, educator, and choreographer. She specializes in neo-traditional and contemporary African dance; and has studied from many dance masters and institutions including Chuck Davis, Katherine Dunham, Walter Nicks, Philadanco!, The School at Jacob’s Pillow, and Dr. Kariamu Welsh. Based in southern Maryland, Monique holds a Bachelor of Arts in Arts Administration, is the former Administrative Director for the Charles County Arts Alliance, a 2018-2019 NextLOOK Residency Artist (MD), and a certified Master Teacher of the Umfundalai contemporary African dance technique. She teaches Umfundalai at CityDance’s School & Conservatory and POP! Programs (MD) and The Viva School of Dance (DC). Monique has served as a guest lecturer at Drexel University (PA) and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and on the dance faculty at North Carolina State University and The School at Jacob’s Pillow. She is the former Assistant to the Artistic Director of Chuck Davis’ African American Dance Ensemble and former principal dancer with Kariamu & Company: Traditions. Her choreography has been presented at the North Carolina Dance Festival, the Philadelphia Fringe Festival (PA), Dance Place (DC), and the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center (MD). Monique continues her mission of using dance, music, and theater as a vehicle for the preservation, promotion, and innovation of African Diasporan dance through her work a choreographer with her project-based performance company, MoDance Works.
As an Arts Administrator, Monique is committed to using the art of collaboration to advance all the arts in both the private and public sectors. This commitment has drawn her to serve on the Board of Directors for the Phoenix International School of the Arts (MD), several grant panels with the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC), as a presenter for MSAC’s annual Arts Summit, and provide consulting services to local non-profit organizations. Monique is the Executive Director of the National Association of American African Dance Teachers (NAAADT) where she works with a team of dance educators and scholars from across the country to heighten the quality of contemporary, neo-traditional, and Diasporan African dance teaching in North America through teacher training, performance opportunities, professional development, and certification in the Umfundalai contemporary African dance technique for aspiring African dance educators.