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American Rhythm Center to Host Free Classes and More This January

Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP), the nation's premier presenter of American tap dance and international contemporary percussive arts, kicks off a new year with two events: its Winter DANCE Free-4-All, a week of FREE classes January 4-9, and its annual Winter Tap JAMboree, featuring master classes, auditions for the Tap Scholar Program and Nicholas Young's Institute For The Rhythmic Arts (IFTRA), the return of the Tap Off competition and a Tap JAM January 22-24. Both events take place at the American Rhythm Center, Chicago's collaborative arts space in the historic Fine Arts Building, 410 S. Michigan Ave., Suite 300, Chicago.

Winter DANCE Free-4-All lineup

The DANCE Free-4-All January 4-9 features free classes for all ability levels in a range of genres and styles, including tap, modern, steel pan, ballet, Zumba, flamenco, musical theatre, hip hop, reggae, Afro-dancehall, break dancing, soul swing, Bollywood, Tai Chi, house, popping, jazz, cajon, Nia, Pilates, parent-child classes and more.

Teaching the classes are professionals representing the ARC's diverse community partners and other affiliated groups, including Chicago Human Rhythm Project, Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre, Kalapriya Center for Indian Performing Arts, DMX Dance Company, Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater, Esoteric Dance Project, Gang of Toes, Natya Dance Theatre, Mandala Arts, M.A.D.D. Rhythms, River North Dance Chicago, Alluvion Dance Company, Winifred Haun & Dancers, Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras and Movement Revolution Dance Crew, as well as independent artists including Jimmy Payne Jr., Tammy Mader, Matt Crowle, Stacy Letrice, Nico Rubio, Monyett Crump and more.

The ARC also offers children/teen classes with partner Dance To EvOLvE, including such styles as tap, hip hop and Mommy/Daddy & Me. Interested families will have a chance to take a free trial class on September 9. More information is available at

On January 8, the ARC will host its monthly Tap Jam, which takes place on the second Friday of each month. MADD Rhythms' Bril Barrett hosts the January Tap Jam. Tap Jams are open to the public. No prior experience is necessary. Chicago Human Rhythm Project's Winter DANCE Free-4-All takes place Monday-Saturday, January 4-9 at the American Rhythm Center at the Fine Arts Building, 410 S. Michigan Ave., 3rd floor, Chicago. For information or an updated class schedule, visit or call 312-922-1272.

Winter Tap JAMboree faculty and schedule Among those teaching classes for the Winter Tap JAMboree January 22-24 are Syncopated Ladies creators Chloe Arnold and Maud Arnold, who will teach intermediate and advanced levels of tap technique and choreography, along with self-esteem-building tactics for young women in show business, video production, social media and short-filmmaking for artist-entrepreneurs, Afro-funk, voice and more. Other faculty members include Cartier Williams, a leading tap choreographer and protégé of Savion Glover, and Nicholas Young, who received a 2014 New York Dance and Performance Award ("Bessie") for Outstanding Music Composition. Some of Chicago's finest tap masters on faculty include CHRP Founder/Director Lane Alexander--who was named one of 11 inaugural Chicago Creative Spirits by the Chicago Cultural Mile--CHRP's ensemble BAM! Associate Director Martin Bronson and hip-hop/break dancer Monternez Rezell, teaching footworking, swing and tap history.

IFTRA--Nico Rubio Choreography Tap Scholarship and IFTRA Auditions, Tap Off CompetitionCHRP is offering up to $10,000 in tuition awards to advanced tap dancers between the ages of 12 and 18 who audition for its annual Tap Scholar Program Sunday, January 24, 1:30-4 p.m.

These scholarships will make it possible for deserving young tap dancers to attend CHRP's Rhythm World, the preeminent festival of American tap, taking place July 5-24, 2016, with a faculty of more than 20 master teachers/performers from around the globe. Participants must register for at least one Tap JAMboree class.

On Sunday, January 24 from 9 a.m. to noon, students may audition for the Institute For The Rhythmic Arts (IFTRA) by enrolling in a three-hour workshop led by Nicholas Young. IFTRA is a three-week intensive integrating foot, hand and body percussion led by STOMP alumnus and tap dancer extraordinaire Nicholas Young, master percussionists John Angeles and Doug Feig, CHRP Founder/Director Lane Alexander, percussive artist Jumaane Taylor and more. Returning to the Tap JAMboree is the Tap Off competition for small groups and large groups to compete for the title of Chicago Tap Champions in Chicago. Registration forms are available at Participants must register for the Winter Tap JAMboree to be eligible. The Tap Off competition takes place Saturday, January 23, 6:30-9:30 p.m. in the historic Studebaker Theater on the first floor of the Fine Arts Building. Judges include Tap JAMboree faculty and special guests.

Winter Tap JAMboree master classes are $25-30 per class plus a $15 registration fee. Tap Scholarship Audition registration is $15; the IFTRA Audition Workshop is $60. To register, visit The Tap JAM is on Friday, January 22 from 7-8:30 p.m. and is free to registrants. The Tap Off competition on Saturday, January 23 at 6:30 p.m. is $5. All events take place at the American Rhythm Center, Fine Arts Building, 410 S. Michigan Ave., Suite 300, Chicago. For information and registration, visit

Funding Chicago Human Rhythm Project's Winter Tap JAMboree is supported by the Illinois Arts Council and the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events (DCASE). Chicago Human Rhythm Project is supported by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Target, The MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The Joyce Foundation, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, BMO Harris, The Chicago Free For All Fund at The Chicago Community Trust, The Arlen and Elaine Cohen Rubin Charitable Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Kansas City, The Jeanette & Jerome Cohen Philanthropic Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Kansas City, National Endowment for the Arts, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Illinois Arts Council Agency, City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Northern Trust Charitable Trust, L&L Hardwood Flooring, Peoples Gas, The Service Club of Chicago and generous individual donors.

Chicago Human Rhythm Project For 25 years, Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP) has helped to foster the revival of American tap dance throughout North and South America, Australia, Europe and Asia. CHRP presents the oldest and largest annual festival of American tap and percussive dance in the world-Rhythm World-and has expanded through community outreach, ongoing education programs in public elementary and high schools, commissions of new work, innovative conferences for the field and a commitment to social reconciliation and local investment. CHRP led the development of Chicago's shared dance/arts space, the American Rhythm Center, which offers daily dance classes for teens and adults.

During the last 25 years, CHRP has educated and performed for millions of people; received an Emmy Award nomination, as well as national airings, for JUBA! Masters of Tap and Percussive Dance, which was co-produced with ITVS and WTTW/Channel 11; earned an NEA American Masterpieces grant administered by the Illinois Arts Council Agency; curated the first full-length tap concert in any of the Kennedy Center's three largest theaters for a sold-out audience of 1,100 in the Eisenhower Theater; provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in tap dance scholarships to deserving, talented teens; and, most recently, led a collaborative effort to establish a shared dance/arts space in the center of the Chicago Cultural Mile: the American Rhythm Center. CHRP's vision is to establish the first global center for American tap and percussive arts, which will create a complete ecosystem of education, performance, creation and community in a state-of-the-art facility uniting generations of diverse artists and the general public. For information, visit

Photo of Monternez Rezell by Ronders-dot-com.

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