Chicago Tap Allstars Announces 2024 National Tap Dance Weekend This May

Chicago's most accomplished tap dancers host a weekend of classes and more in celebration of National Tap Dance Day.

By: Apr. 18, 2024
Chicago Tap Allstars Announces 2024 National Tap Dance Weekend This May
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Chicago Tap Allstars, a collective of Tap dance artists and organizations brought together by M.A.D.D. Rhythms and Chicago Tap Theatre, commemorates National Tap Dance Day with a weekend that includes free and paid workshops, lectures, history lessons, a viewing party and a Tap Jam, Friday, May 24 - Sunday, May 26 at the Harold Washington Cultural Center, 4701 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.

Tickets for events vary from free to $250 for a multi-event participation. National Tap Dance Day is held annually on May 25 and is a celebration of Tap as an American artform. Information, registration and tickets may be found CTAWorkshop2024.eventbrite.com or at ChicagoTapTheatre.org or MADDRhythms.com.

The annual National Tap Dance Weekend includes some of Chicago's best and brightest allstar tap dancers, including Bril Barrett, Mark Yonally, Donetta "LilBit" Jackson, Nico Rubio, Jay Fagan, Molly Smith, Sterling Harris, Marty Bronson and Tre Dumas. In addition, there is a special heritage class from Chicago legend, Mr. Taps, and new free classes on Friday, May 24. The Friday classes include CTA founders Bril Barrett and Mark Yonally leading a workshop specifically for teachers designed to build a foundation of standards upon which tap is taught in Chicago and to address common issues tap teachers face and Lyn Cole of Rhythm Street Dance Studio and Molly Smith of Chicago Tap Theatre, provides a comforting space for dancers with disabilities to experience the joy of tap dance with accommodations including low lighting, quiet music, smaller setting with fewer distractions, ASL interpreting, options for dancers with movement limitations, and more. 

Classes are available for intermediate and advanced dancers ages 8 through adult, with two or more years experience.

ABOUT CHICAGO TAP THEATRE

Founded in 2002, Chicago Tap Theatre is a growing and vibrant dance company dedicated to preserving the quintessentially American dance form of tap while taking it to the next level of creativity, innovation and quality. CTT performs exclusively with live music provided by some of Chicago’s finest musicians playing everything from Duke Ellington to David Bowie and many artists in between. Under the dynamic direction of master teacher and performer Mark Yonally, CTT has gained a loyal and sizable following in Chicago and continues to tour both nationally and internationally. Having pioneered the “tap opera” format, which tells stories with compelling characters and intriguing plots, CTT has used the language of tap dance, live music and narration to move audiences for more than 20 years.

ABOUT M.A.D.D. RHYTHMS

M.A.D.D. (Making A Difference Dancing) Rhythms, now in its 23rd year, is a phenomenal tap dance collective whose “SOLE” purpose is to spread the love and joy of tap worldwide. What started as Bril Barrett and Martin Dumas III’s formula for giving back, is a full-fledged 501 (c) 3 performing arts company, quickly gaining a reputation for representing the true essence of tap: RHYTHM! The company is composed of young, versatile tap dancers from all over Chicago. Their ages range from 17 to 48 years old, and their backgrounds are equally diverse. The one thing they all have in common is a love for “the dance.”

M.A.D.D. Rhythms’ mission is to preserve, promote and contribute to this art form called tap. They teach its history, represent its culture and advocate for its future. M.A.D.D. Rhythms use this beautiful dance/music form to make a difference in the under-served communities of this world by connecting and caring for the youth of this world. Believing that having access and options gives a child a greater chance at a positive life, M.A.D.D. Rhythms spread the joy, love, discipline and expression of tap to as many children as they humanly can!

M.A.D.D. Rhythms’ performance opportunities, in short, have included: Dance Africa Chicago, Dance Chicago, The Stars of “Dance Chicago” in Istanbul, Turkey, M.A.D.D. Rhythms Canada’s “Release Yourself” and “Great Feets of Rhythm,” Downbeats Canada’s “Embrace the Rhythm,” Miami’s Art-Deco Festival, An Expo for Today’s Black Woman, Kwanzaa Festival, The African Festival of the Arts, St. Louis Tap Festival, Boys and Girls Clubs National Conference, the Chicago Historical Society’s Summer Performance Series, performances at Auditorium Theatre with Trinity Dance and DuSable Museum’s educational theater series. They have also produced 11 full-length productions, created the annual Chicago Tap Summit and educated more than 200 students via The M.A.D.D. Rhythms Tap Academy.

In an effort to continuously give back to their communities, they have also worked with many public and private schools and volunteered performances for various community affiliated organizations including A.C.E.S. (Athletes Committed to Educating Students), Children Affected by AIDS Foundation, Nikola Tesla Alternative High School for Girls, TCA Health and Nutrition Fair, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. and Rainbow House.




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