Maïko Le Lay is a French and Japanese dancer, educator, scholar, mentor, and YouTuber who is passionate about traveling and cooking. Learning about new cultures and foods and spending quality time with her friends and family are just a few things she loves to do.
Le Lay research interests include embodied, hip hop, peer, and social justice pedagogy; digital humanities and bridge the fields of education, dance, Asian and African diaspora studies. In November 2021, Le Lay received a postdoctoral fellowship from the Franklin Humanities Institute and SLIPPAGE@Duke from Duke University to conduct research on the identities and embodied and digital practices of Black and Japanese--Blasian, Hafu, Daburu--people through ethnographies and social media and video analyses. In June 2021, Le Lay completed a postdoctoral scholarship at the University of California, Irvine in the Connected Learning Lab. She received her Ph.D. in Critical Dance Studies from the University of California, Riverside in May 2020. She has a M.A in Political Science from the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL – Belgium - exchange program) and a M.A in Media and Cultural Studies from the University Paris III Sorbonne Nouvelle (France). Her doctoral research explores the tensions between Western and non-Western knowledges and practices such as hip hop and aims to make people's bodies, movements, cultures, and identities part of K-12 and higher education classrooms and curricula. Indeed, one of Le Lay's life goals is to advocate for the validity and power of movement and kinesthetic knowledge in education, society, and the world.
Le Lay has been teaching for more than a decade to children and adults, in online, studio, and classroom settings. She specializes in Afro-latin dances, ballet, and hip hop. Le Lay's teachings, choreographies, and performances are social justice-oriented. Le Lay has recently started a YouTube channel and donations-based dance workout online classes to render embodied practices more accessible to diverse populations during the 2020 quarantine.