MSP 173: Giada Matteini

By April 29, 2024Podcast

PODCAST 173: Giada Matteini

Release Date: 4.29.24


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Dance for a Violence-Free Future with Giada Matteini

Episode 173: Show Notes

Today’s guest, Giada Matteini, embodies the belief that artists have the extraordinary ability to shape a world free from violence. As a performer, educator, choreographer, and cultural producer, Giada founded WADE (Wandering Avian Dance Experience), a women-led performing arts company that brings awareness to gender-based violence and offers healing through the transformative power of dance. In this episode of Movers & Shapers, Giada shares a panoramic view of her international dance career, brimming with hope and inspiration for those driven by their passion for art, movement, and self-expression. She speaks candidly about her personal experience with domestic violence and the profound role that dance played in her healing process; emphasizing how WADE emerged as a platform to raise awareness, initiate important conversations, empower survivors, and build a compassionate community of creative minds. You’ll gain insight into Giada’s journey, her dedication to her craft, and her unwavering commitment to using art as a catalyst for social change. This episode is a testament to the boundless potential of dance and resilience, so be sure to tune in today!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Giada’s love for movement and teaching and an overview of her dance career.
  • The story of how she first came to the United States (and what made her stay).
  • How she learned English from The Cure and honed her American slang with TV.
  • Her early days in New York and how she began to build a career for herself.
  • Insight into her passion for learning and her formal dance education.
  • The haven that dance provided for Giada when life was difficult.
  • How WADE was born and how it became so much more than a dance company.
  • The bird that inspired the name and the four foundational pillars in the logo.
  • Touching stories about some of the most poignant moments from Giada’s career.
  • Why Giada refers to ballet as “the greatest equalizer” and her somatic approach to it.
  • Insight into her plans to use dance as a tool to build a violence-free future for all.

“My life was hard; emotionally hard, physically hard, financially hard. Dance was – my haven.” — Giada Matteini



Giada Matteini is an Italian performer, educator, choreographer, and cultural producer based in New York City. She is the Founder and Director of WADE (Wandering Avian Dance Experience), a women-led multifaceted performing arts company working at the intersection with social justice and focused on supporting the voices and artistic expressions of women and historically underrepresented artists. WADE offers numerous points of entry into art and activism through educational programs and curated festivals in the US and Europe. Her WADEintoACTIVISM Festival began during the Covid-19 Pandemic lockdown as a response to the global increase of violence against women and continues its efforts today. The Festival joins the Global 16 Days Campaign, launched by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership and feminists from around the world and has forged collaborations with artists across the globe and with organizations fighting all forms of violence in schools, college campuses, dance studios and work places such as Speak About It: Consent Education, Project Callisto, Dance Data Project, Dance Education Equity Association, and White Ribbon.

Giada is an Assistant Arts Professor at NYU Tisch School of the Arts in NYC and has traveled as a guest artist to Germany, Sweden, Austria, Finland, Spain, China, The Philippines, Mexico and across the U.S. and Italy.

Her 30 year long and on-going ballet research is based in debunking the idea of elitism in the art form, by nurturing the appreciation of the many shapes and sizes of the moving body and of gender fluidity, with the intention to support the training of her students who might feel marginalized in the studio.

As a company director, Giada has produced and/or facilitated over 60 residencies with international artists including Roy Assaf (Roy Assaf Dance), Davide Di Pretoro (Sasha Waltz), Janet Wong (Bill T Jones), Diane Madden (Trisha Brown Dance Company), Kirsten Foote (Limón Dance Company), Cindy Salgado (Crystal Pite), Rashaun Mitchell (Merce Cunningham Dance Company), Shamel Pitts, Rena Butler, Netta Yerushalmy, Stefanie Batten Bland, Bobbi Jene Smith, Loni Landon, Gregory Dolbashian (Dash Ensemble), Shannon Gillen (Vim Vigor), Nathan Trice, Vita Osojnik, Charlotte Boye-Christenson, Cora Bos-Kroese (NDT), Richard Chen See (Paul Taylor Dance Company), Arcell Carbuag (Ronald K. Brown Evidence), Madboots, Sonya Tayeh, Studio Wayne McGregor, Ori Flomin, Sadé and Kristina Alleyne, Molissa Fenley and Company, Sarah Cernaux, and many more.

Giada holds a BA in Dance and Education from Empire State College, an Embodied Social Justice Certificate from the Embody Lab, a Parent Leadership Certificate from Rise Magazine, and she is working on her Moving For Life Certification with Martha Eddy.


Connect with Giada Matteini

Wade Website 

Dance Hub: Italy


Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Podcast produced by: The Moving Architects
Interviewer: Erin Carlisle Norton