Trained by the great Russians including Tamara Karsavina and Lubov Egorova, and later Rosella Hightower, Maina Gielgud has had an incredibly diverse career creating works with Maurice Bejart’s XXth Century Ballet, dancing as a principal with London Festival Ballet and Sadlers Wells Royal Ballet, as an international guest artist, and being partnered by Rudolf Nureyev. She then directed The Australian Ballet (1983-1997) and the Royal Danish Ballet (1997-1999).

Free-lancing since 1999, she stages her own classical productions, such as her highly acclaimed The Sleeping Beauty and Giselle for The Australian Ballet (staged also for Boston Ballet, Ballet du Rhin, and Houston Ballet), various works choreographed by Maurice Bejart, including Serait-ce la Mort, Bhakti, Webern opus 5, and Songs of a Wayfarer; by Kenneth MacMillan: Manon; Serge Lifar: Suite en Blanc; Rudolf Nureyev's productions of  Don Quixotte and Swan Lake, and classical favourites such as  Les Sylphides, Spectre de la Rose, Paquita

Maina made a comeback in 2003 as a dancer and actress in Bejart's L’Heure Exquise.

In the last few years she staged Kenneth MacMillan's Manon for three consecutive seasons, a production of the Bournonville La Sylphide with new sets and costumes, for the Hungarian National Ballet, and staged Nureyev's Don Quixotte for La Scala Milan. 

During the 2015/16 season, she created a new production of Coppelia for the Australian Conservatoire of Ballet performances, was a guest teacher with Tokyo Ballet in Japan.  She was on the Jury of the Helsinki Competition, Finland, then during the summer, gave Masterclasses at the National Ballet School, Toronto. In New York Maina was guest teacher with Ellison Ballet, Ballet Academy East, and ABT Summer intensives.

In 2016/17 she was guest teaching with the Royal Ballet, gave mime and stagecraft classes for the Royal Ballet School, staging Anton Dolin's Variations for 4 for Ellison Ballet and La Scala school in Milan, working on Kenneth Greve's production of Swan Lake with the Finnish National Ballet.  She then returned to Budapest for Manon, while continuing in her position of Artistic Advisor for the Hungarian National Ballet.

2017/2018 was an exceptionally full season, which included regular guest teaching for Queensland Ballet and her various annual Summer Intensives with ABT and Ellison Ballet. She  staged Anton Dolin's Pas de Quatre for the New National Ballet in Tokyo Japan,; she taught and rehearsed Serge Lifar's Suite en Blanc in St Petersburg, which was then staged by Attilio Labis for the Vaganova 280th anniversary graduation performances; she choreographed an entirely new full length Cinderella to the Prokofiev score for Goh Ballet's  40th anniversary performance in Vancouver, with guest artists Venus Villa and Rolando Sarabia . She also choreographed two short works for Ellison Ballet's Winter Showcase to Benjamin Britten's Sea Interludes, one of which, Storm was performed for YAGP in New York.

The "Anton Dolin Foundation", newly formed in Berlin by Jelko Yuresha, Michael Scheinin and Mikhail Kaniskin, has recently appointed Maina as Artistic Advisor and Authorised Repetiteur.

"Coaching the Coaches' an experimental interactive workshop introduced in London in August 2017, is a new initiative:  dedicated to discussion and examples of ideas and methods of coaching students for ballet competitions as well as professional dancers for their solo and principal repertoire.  Discussion is presently occurring for a video presentation of this enterprise as well as introduction into various summer intensives.

The 2018/19 season has started with restaging her much loved production of Giselle for The Australian Ballet, with David Hallberg as guest artist.  Other engagements besides regular commitments, include a staging of The Sleeping Beauty for Joburg Ballet.  She will also be in New York for a couple of months, choreographing new works and or classical  stagings for Ellison Ballet and Ballet Academy East Spring Showcases and continuing an association with YAGP for their New York competition, after teaching and adjudicating for their semi Finals in Paris.