Rhythm World 29
July 22-28, 2019

Rhythm World is Chicago’s annual festival of tap and percussive dance, celebrating its 29th year!  For one week each summer, many of the world’s finest tap and percussive dance artists and teachers work with over 300 students through classes, performances, and more.

Rhythm World offers a sophisticated and comprehensive variety of programs that allows you to design your own curriculum and to study with the faculty of your own choice. Depending on your stamina (and budget), you can, over seven days, study between 80 minutes to 80 hours with an extraordinary faculty of master teachers and performers.

See below for complete information about Rhythm World 29!  If you have any questions, we’d love to hear from you.  You can reach us at registration@chicagotap.org or 312-542-2477.

2018 Faculty

Don’t miss your chance to learn from these amazing artists…

Click here for more information about all of the 2018 faculty, or click on the names below to go directly to each artist’s bio.

2018 Programs

Design your own curriculum and study with the faculty of your choice.  To see the entire festival at a glance, click here.  Or, learn more about each individual program by clicking through the buttons below.

Monday, July 16 – Thursday, July 19

Spend four consecutive days with the teachers of your choice. Each course runs six hours total.

$110 per course if you register by May 25
$120 after May 25

To register for Next Step courses, you must submit a Video Audition.  Click here to learn more about Video Auditions.

TimeNext StepAdvancedIntermediate
9:30am-10:50amNico RubioDani BorakBril Barrett
11:00am-12:20pmTre DumasStar DixonLinda Sohl Ellison
1:30pm-2:50pmAyodele CaselJason Janas
3:00pm-4:20pmCartier WilliamsSarah SavelliDianne Walker
4:30pm-5:50pmCaleb TeicherCharles RenatoSean Kaminski

Monday, July 16 – Thursday, July 19

Designed specifically for intermediate and fast beginner adults, at a convenient time near the end of the work day. Courses meet four consecutive days for a total of 6 hours.

$110 per course if you register by May 25
$120 after May 25

TimeIntermediateFast Beginner
4:30pm-5:50pmSarah SavelliCartier Williams

Monday, July 16 – Thursday, July 19

CHRP’s annual Youth Tap Ensemble Conference (YTEC), now in its 18th year, is a training and repertory development program for pre-professional tap repertory companies. YTEC students study technique and improvisation, alternative movement practice, theater-related seminars, history, music theory and choreography. The registration fee includes the full four days of classes plus a festival T-shirt.

$500 if you register by May 25
$525 after May 25

To register for the YTEC Program, you must submit a Video Audition.  Click here to learn more about Video Auditions.

9:30am-10:30amDrumming – Monti Ellison
Mon – Sean Kaminski
Tues – Sarah Savelli
Wed – Dianne Walker
Thurs – Luke Hickey
11:30am-12:30pmImprov – Nico Rubio
1:30pm-2:45pmAfrican Dance – Stacy Letrice
3:00pm-5:30pmChoreography – Jason Janas

Monday, July 16 – Thursday, July 19

Join members of STOMP for a 4-day intensive of rhythm! Classes include body percussion, found object percussion, campanology, and composition. If you haven’t heard about campanology, Luke Cresswell of STOMP describes it as “A key area in groups of people playing as one musician, a vital ingredient to STOMP. It involves breaking up and sharing rhythms, using melody, counting with movement.” The intensive will also include the creation of a short work.

$450 if you register by May 25
$475 after May 25

9:30am-10:50amBody Percussion
11:00am-12:20pmFound Object Percussion

Monday, July 16 – Thursday, July 19

The Teacher Certification program covers elements of tap history, repertory, pedagogy, physiology and music theory. This year’s program will include classes by Sam Weber, Monti Ellison, Ayodele Casel, and Linda Sohl Ellison.

The Teachers Certification program, now in its 2nd year, is an annual program.  Teachers may attend any year and receive a separate Certificate of Completion for each year. Teachers completing four consecutive years will receive a special Master Teacher Certification from CHRP upon successful completion of the program.

$300 if you register by May 25
$325 after May 25

9:30am-10:50amChoreographic Process and “Kahnotation” – Sam Weber
11:00am-12:20pmPercussion with Monti Ellison – 2 days
Tap with Ayodele Casel – 2 days
1:30pm-2:50pmTap Course with Linda Sohl Ellison
Foster Johnson – Technique
Swing – Latin – Musicology

Monday, July 16 – Thursday, July 19

Rhythm World’s Kids Program takes young tappers to the next level. For 9-12 year-old intermediate students. Program includes all classes, one ticket to Saturday night’s JUBA concert at the Studebaker Theater, and a festival T-shirt.

This year’s curriculum includes instruction on rhythm and drumming with Monti Ellison, tap technique and stepology, and a dancing tour through the past, present, and future of tap with Bril Barrett.

$225 if you register by May 25
$250 after May 25

12:30pm-2:00pmPast, Present, and Future – Bril Barrett
2:00pm-3:00pmStepology – Ja’Bowen Dixon
3:30pm-4:30pmDrumming – Monti Ellison

Friday, July 20

Rhythm World once again offers a dedicated day for workshops.  Spend 2.5 hours with your favorite faculty, or immerse yourself in 3 hours of STOMP.

$75 per workshop if you register by May 25
$90 after May 25

10:00am-12:30pmDianne Walker
Dani Borak
10:00am-1:00pm (3 hrs)
2:00pm-4:30pmCaleb Teicher
Cartier Williams
Ayodele Casel

Saturday, July 21 & Sunday, July 22

Master Classes are 80-minute one-time classes with a single teacher.

$30 per master class if you register by May 25
$35 after May 25

To register for Next Step master classes, you must submit a Video Audition.  Click here to learn more about Video Auditions.

Saturday, July 21

TimeNext StepAdvInt/AdvInt or
Fast Beginner
10:00am-11:20amAyodele CaselCaleb TeicherSTOMPJason Janas
11:30am-12:50pmSam WeberAyodele CaselDianne WalkerLinda Sohl Ellison
2:00pm-3:20pmJason JanasDani BorakLinda Sohl EllisonDianne Walker
Fast Beginner
3:30pm-4:50pmCharles RenatoCartier WilliamsSarah SavelliLuke Hickey
Fast Beginner

Sunday, July 22

TimeNext StepAdvInt/AdvInt or
Fast Beginner
10:00am-11:20amNico RubioLane AlexanderJa’Bowen DixonSean Kaminski
11:30am-12:50pmStar DixonSean KaminskiLane AlexanderJa’Bowen Dixon
1:30pm-2:50pmTre DumasBril BarrettStar DixonMarty Bronson
Fast Beginner
3:00pm-4:20pmMarty Bronson Tre DumasBril Barrett
Fast Beginner


Registration for Rhythm World 28 is now open!

You have the option of registering online with a credit card, or downloading a hard-copy form that you can mail or scan and send to us at registration@chicagotap.org.

Bringing a group of 6 or more to Rhythm World?  As group organizer, you can receive discounts off your own tuition, or you can pass those savings on to each group member.  The choice is yours.  Learn more by reviewing our group registration form here.

2018 Video Auditions

If you plan to register for any of the following programs, you will need to submit a video audition before you will be able to register.

  • Next Step Courses – See “Courses” tab above
  • Youth Tap Ensemble Conference – See “YTEC” tab above
  • Next Step Master Classes – See “Master Classes” tab above

Please note: Everyone who wishes to register for one of the programs above is required to submit a video audition for 2018, even if you were approved, through a video audition, for these programs in previous years.

Your Digital Audition must include:

1.  A brief verbal self-introduction, 1 minute maximum
2.  Technique sampler, 3 minute max: Include drills/exercises of differing rhythms/styles.
3.  Performance sampler, 3 minutes maximum: Provide 1 combination, 1 improvisation, and/or repertory excerpts, shot in the studio, that demonstrate a range of dynamics, levels, tempos, and styles; and identify choreographers for works shown. DO NOT SEND COMPETITION VIDEOS IN WHICH THE FEET CANNOT BE HEARD CLEARLY.

The production quality of the video does not need to be advanced; we prefer simple videos shot with your cell phone, with clear sound in a quiet environment.  The video should be shot no earlier than 6 months before the day you send it to us.

To submit your video audition:

1.  Upload your video to a free hosting website (such as YouTube or Vimeo)
2.  Send your name and the video link via email to registration@chicagotap.org.  Also, please tell us for which classes you’re submitting your audition (among the 5 bullet point classes above).
3.  We will try our best to respond to you within a few days.  If you don’t hear back from us within one week of submitting your video, please feel free to follow up.

If you have any questions about the Video Audition process, you can call us at 312-542-2477 or email us at registration@chicagotap.org.

2018 Performances

Over the course of the week, you’ll have the chance to see the incredible faculty and students of Rhythm World perform on stage.  Every single concert is unique; join us for all of them!

Monday, July 16, 7:30pm
Opening Night at the Jazz Showcase
This annual celebration at Chicago’s finest jazz club presents some of the worlds most celebrated tap dancers with special guests and a spectacular jazz trio.  Specific line-up information coming soon.  Make your reservations now…this event always sells out!

Tuesday, July 17, 6:30pm & 8:00pm
Student Showcase and Cutting Contest @ Curtiss Hall in the Fine Arts Building
See the students of Rhythm World face off in our annual improvisation tournament, the cutting contest, or experience their fantastic showmanship in the Student Showcase. Both events are presented back-to-back. Tickets are $5 at the door and get you access to everything for the night!

Friday, July 20, 7:30pm
JUBA! Masters of Tap and Percussive Dance
An evening packed with extraordinary foot drummers and percussive arts masters from around the globe sharing the stage – Superstars Caleb Teicher and Sam Weber join forces for a classic American tap duet; the amazing Ayodele Casel returns to Rhythm World with her extraordinary improvisational repartee; CHRP’s Stone Soup Rhythms ensemble will premiere innovative, multi-dimensional choreography led by Dani Borak, Artist in Residence; and, virtuoso Cartier Williams will perform his newest show, Zigity Bop! with special guests Luke Hickey, Aqura Lacey, Tokumi Watanabe and Lacey Thomas.

Saturday, July 21, 7:30pm
JUBA! Masters of Tap and Percussive Dance
Another extraordinary evening unfolds with Star Dixon and Nico Rubio, who have grown from students of Rhythm World’s Tap Scholars program to world-renowned tap artists in their own right. So good you will want to see them twice, Stone Soup Rhythms ensemble will premiere more new works by Dani Borak; and finally, Rhythm World closes with a world premiere by Chicago’s own all female tap company Rhythm ISS, co-founded by Idella Reed-Davis, Sarah Savelli and Sharon Rushing.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Next Step?

Next Step is a professional level program for technically advanced dancers, where teachers are encouraged to experiment and take technical and aesthetic risks to advance the field of tap and percussive dance. Students are expected to fully participate in this boundary pushing environment.

How do I register for Next Step programs?

Next Step programs are open to students who pass the Video Audition process.  To learn more about Video Auditions, please click here.

How do I determine what level is appropriate for me or my child?

The best way to determine the appropriate level for your child is to ask their instructor, who is most familiar with your child’s abilities. If their teacher is unfamiliar with our program and/or instructors, we can better determine an appropriate level if you provide a video link which shows you or your child/student dancing. You can send video links to registration@chicagotap.org.

What are the age restrictions for the programs?

While there are no strict age restrictions for most programs, some things to consider are whether your child is at the appropriate skill and maturity level for the chosen classes. Maturity and skill level are not always determined by age, but students must be able to function in a highly focused learning environment.

I have no experience with tap dancing. Can I take beginner-level classes?

Unfortunately, there are no classes offered at Rhythm World for absolute beginners. There are a few advanced beginner classes for those with some tap experience. Beginner level classes are offered year-round at the American Rhythm Center.

Can I video the class?

No, videos are not allowed. You must ask permission of the instructor if you wish to make a video AFTER class. Videos are NOT permitted under any circumstance DURING classes.

Can I register for classes at the festival? Or should I register in advance?

You may register at the festival for any classes that still have openings. However, CHRP does not guarantee that you will be able to get a spot in your preferred classes if you register at the festival.  We highly recommend you register in advance.

Are there any discounts?

Early registration discounts are available if you register by May 25. Tuition credits are also available for groups of 6 or more.

What is the cancellation policy?

Students may cancel their registration by June 14 to receive a refund minus a $75.00 cancellation fee + the $30.00 registration fee. Unfortunately, refunds will not be issued after this date for any reason.

What if the class I want is full?

If classes are full, you can be placed on a wait list for the classes you wish to take. CHRP will notify you if a spot opens up in your desired class.

What if my class is cancelled?

CHRP reserves the right to cancel any class before the start of the festival, due to low enrollment. If your class is cancelled, we will notify you right away and you will have an option of moving to a different class, a tuition credit to be used at another program or a full refund.

How can I help/volunteer at Rhythm World?

Please call the CHRP office at 312-542-2477 to learn more about volunteer opportunities at Rhythm World.


The official hotel of RW28 is the Best Western Grant Park.  Located less than a 1/2 mile from the Fine Arts Building, this centrally-located hotel, overlooking Grant Park, is newly remodeled, comfortable, and convenient.  All Rhythm World students and chaperones have access to the following rates:

$169 for a room with a single king bed
$179 for a room with two double beds

  • To make a reservation online, click here. Guests MUST mention “Chicago Human Rhythm Project 2019”
  • To make a reservation by phone, call 1-800-472-6875 or 312-922-2900
  • To make a reservation by email, email Marites Capalad at mcapalad@bwgrantparkhotel.com to make their reservations.

This rate ends on June 21, so be sure to book your room before then!