Tap dancers have taken over Chicago

Tap dancers have taken over Chicago

It's true. The city has been overrun with all sorts of them - from 15-year-old girls hoping to improve their skills to some of the greatest tap dance masters in the world. And, believe it or not, this happens every year.

The Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP), a non-profit that presents American tap dance and contemporary percussive arts, is celebrating its 21st annual Rhythm World. This two-week festival consists of tap residencies, master classes and student showcases that culminate with the "JUBA! Masters of Tap and Percussive Arts" performance series taking place this week.

Tap has taken over my calendar this week. My first Rhythm World activity will be to attend the Wednesday show at the MCA: JUBA! Emerging Voices. This concert is created by the 20-somethings coming up in the tap world, and it promises some exciting pieces. The show is directed by the amazing Nico Rubio (he's only 21!!!!) and features “beat-niks” like Jason Janas, Zada Cheeks and Jessica Chapuis.

Chicago tap dancer Jason Janas

Thursday night celebrates our dancing neighbors to the north, bringing the Canadian tap dancers to the stage for "Canada on Tap." This actually kicks off a five-year program to spotlight a different location every year. Upcoming annual shows include Brazil, the Pacific, Spain and other European countries.

Canadian tap dancer Lisa LaTouche

Saturday night is dedicated to the Chicago tap dancers. Check out what the Windy City has to offer with the Chicago Human
Rhythms Project’s resident ensemble BAM!, Cartier Collective, Jus' Listen and MADD Rhythms.

There are still tickets left for these shows, but not that many so hurry!

But that's not all! I'm super excited for the master classes I'm taking this weekend! I've taken class every year for about five years, and not only do I leave having learned a ton, but I'm convinced I'm also a few pounds lighter. These are the heavy weights in the tap world, so you're definitely going to sweat.

One of the greatest tap dancers of our generation, the Emmy and American Choreography Award winner Jason Samuels Smith, teaching at Rhythm World.

Do you have an old pair of tap shoes you haven't put on in a while? Or maybe you just want to learn a new art form? CHRP offers weekly tap classes at the Athenaeum Theater, taught by CHRP founder and artistic director Lane Alexander. The new session starts September 12th.



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    I had never heard of this festival before, but it sounds pretty cool! Thanks for sharing, and also thank you for your kind words about my cat. :)

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