Her dream is to share Samba with the world. 
Maisa burst onto the San Francisco Carnaval scene in the year 2000 at King and Queen contest held at Roccapulco in San Francisco's Mission district, There was little doubt that this was a great star whose presence was as sparkling as her talent.

Maisa was born in the America's capital of the African Diaspora, 
Salvador, Bahia Brazil
and as far as she can remember, dancing is what she enjoyed most.  Maisa started entering and winning dance contests when she was ten years old.  Her ability to move her perfectly toned body to the complex, frenetic polyrhythmic beating of  samba music has never been done with such beauty and grace in the SF Bay Area.  Queen Maisa like her 2002 King Norberto would be a great standout dancer in any City in the world including their birth countries.

It is worth noting that Maisa in her 2000 debut before the devoted SF Bay Carnavalescos was first presented by one of the web's best known samba dancers, Aquerela director and former Carnaval San Francisco Queen Maria Souza('94),  who is also a symbol of Carnaval San Francisco's indomitable spirit to usher in a new tomorrow for the San Francisco Bay Area.  

For Maisa, this was the " 3rd time the charm" competition held at the ODC Dance theatre." In 2000, she debuted
as a Queen contestant before the discerning insider crowd and veteran judges with the powerful, sexy dancers of Aquerela.
n 2001 you were most likely to have seen Maisa performing with Birds of Paradise or Samba do Coracao, led by Mary Dollar, who was at the forefront for the artists with her co-director husband Fernando de Sanjines in 2001 as Carnaval was reorganized by Mission Neighborhood Centers to contain the most artist support ever in the history of the parade. 

Throughout her reputation  has grown and this year her own troupe, Energia do Samba Dance Company will be debuting in the parade in support of her royal presence on the King and Queen float.  The name Energia do Samba  (The Energy of Samba) was chosen by Maisa because it is the energy, or more specifically, the positive energy of Samba, that she believes is the essence of Samba.  Energia do Samba's dancing is the embodiment of that energy. 

Click for some sound & mo from Energia do Samba
(MPEG 450K)

Maisa's performance was longer than standard since the next King contestant, Wemerson Nader from Energia do Samba insisted 
she dance with him (MPEG 450K)
 Here she attempts to 
stay on the
(MPEG 350K)

"Well, I have been trying for the last two years and today I'm overjoyed to be the Queen of San Francisco Carnaval 2002.  
Like many Brazilians, I live for Carnaval.  This year I'm especially happy to be able to share my spirit, energy and my joy with the people of the San Francisco Bay Area.  I will do my best to make this the most enjoyable and exciting San Francisco Carnaval ever!" 

 Queen Maisa Duke

"and the new queen" (MPEG 400K)
Chair of the Mission Neighborhood Centers Carnaval Committee Jake Pavlovsky introduces the Queen of Carnaval San Francisco 2002 (MPEG 300K) to her subjects who then takes a bow.

Maisa first immigrated to the U.S. in 1998 for 6 months, returning permanently in 2000 to the Bay Area region which supports more samba schools than anywhere outside of Brazil. She has been teaching dance for over 10 years and currently is holding classes at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts and ABADA Capoeria .  

Maisa is also a proud mom, her daughter Laisa is a 5th grader at Lakeview Elementary in Oakland.

Web Sites for Groups and Venues mentioned in this article
Queen Maisa Duke

Director and choreographer 

Regina Calloway, co-director of Fogo na Roupa, Judge and sister of King of Carnaval 2001 Theolonius I expresses her congratulations. 
Energia do Samba  has a performing company and often performs with live percussion by Espirito de Samba directed by Ken Campagna. You can contact Maisa direct at maisaduke@zipmail.com or visit her web site, call her at 415-793-1754 or visit her web site at


King Norberto || Queen Maisa
Contestants 1 - 7
|| Contestants 8 - 13 || Contestants 14 - 21
King And Queen
|| Royalty


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