Walker, Aida Overton (1880–1914) By Das, Joanna Dee
Aida Overton Walker (born Ada Wilmore Overton) was one of the first female African-American stars of vaudeville, and perhaps the first to be recognized as a choreographer. From the 1890s until her death in 1914, she danced, sang, and choreographed for several successful musical revues, many in conjunction with her husband George Walker and his partner Bert Williams. Most notably, she played a major role in the successes of In Dahomey (1902), Abyssinia (1906) and Bandanna Land (1907), shows that brought black musical theatre out of the minstrel tradition. Walker introduced her version of the cakewalk, an African-American social dance, to New York’s elite.