Rhythm World 29.5
August 10 - August 15, 2020

Rhythm World 29.5 is Chicago’s annual festival of American tap and percussive dance! Mark your calendar for this exciting event — here’s a preview of what’s to come. ..

AUGUST 10 – AUGUST 15, 2020
Masterclasses, Cutting Contest, Collaborative Performances and more . . . Open to all ages and levels

Rhythm World, Chicago’s annual festival of tap and percussive dance, is excited to host a special, amended edition this year! Each summer, many of the world’s finest tap dance artists convene to educate, entertain and enlighten students and audiences in ear-bending classes and performances.

Rhythm World offers a comprehensive variety of education and performance programs that allow students and audience members to design their own experiences. This year, students can enroll for between 3 and 20 masterclasses. Audience members can enjoy Live Attended and Live Streamed performances at Navy  Pier’s Lake Stage and the historic Jazz Showcase.

This year, classes will hosted online and registration is hosted through Eventbrite.  If you have any questions, we’d love to hear from you.  You can reach us at registration@chicagotap.org or 312-542-2477.

2020 Faculty

Click here for more information about all of the 2020 faculty, or click on the names below to go directly to each artist’s bio.

2020 Faculty and Schedule

Ted Louis Levy

Guillem Alonso at Tap on Barcelona

Guillem Alonso

Roser Font Tap on Barcelona_Cropped

Roser Font Camanal

Salvo Russo

Valeria Pinheiro_Cropped

Valeria Pinheiro

Rhythm World

Vijay Tellis-Nayak

2020 Programs

Design your own curriculum and study with the faculty of your choice.

For an overview of the 2020 schedule click here.  

Learn more about each individual program by clicking through the buttons below.

Saturday, July 25 & Sunday, July 26

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

$30 per master class if you register by April 15
$35 after April 15

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

Saturday, July 25

TimeNext StepAdvVariousVarious
10:00am-11:20amStar DixonJason JanasTristan Bruns
Sean Kaminski
11:30am-12:50pmDani BorakSam WeberYOUTH:
Cartier Williams
Dianne Walker
2:00pm-3:20pmTre DumasDianne WalkerTEACHERS:
Linda Sohl Ellison
Salvo Russo – Body Drumming
3:45pm-5:15pmTristan BrunsTed LevyTEACHERS:
Salvo Russo – Body Drumming
Tre Dumas

Sunday, July 26

TimeNext StepAdvancedIntermediate
10:00am-11:20amStar Dixon Lane AlexanderTre Dumas
11:30am-12:50pmSean KaminskiTed LevyStar  Dixon
1:30pm-2:50pmTre DumasDani BorakSalvo Russo
Body Drumming

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

  • American Tap Conservatory – See “American Tap Conservatory” page
  • Next Step Courses
  • Next Step Workshops
  • Next Step Master Classes
  • YTEC Concert/Student Showcase  – Scroll below for submission details
  • Cutting Contest – Scroll below for submission details

Please note: Everyone who wishes to register for one of the programs above is required to submit a video audition for 2020, even if you were approved, through a video audition, for these programs in previous years.

Your Next Step/YTEC Digital Audition must include:

Please note: These are the requirements for video auditions for YTEC and all Next Step programs. To audition for the American Tap Conservatory, please click here .

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.
3.  We will try our best to respond to you within one week.  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.

Here’s an example of a WONDERFUL audition video: CLICK HERE!


Additional Audition and Application Information:

July 22 – Student Showcase at Navy Pier’s Polk Bros Performance Lawn LAKE STAGE   All registered students are eligible to apply. Groups of 3 or more will be given preference.

We are looking for works from all ages that demonstrate professional compositional ideas, advanced tap dance technique, and a developed level of musicality and timing. Dancers are encouraged to use simple costuming. Audition video should show the complete work the dancer(s) plan(s) to perform.

Work should be 2-4 minutes maximum.

July 19, 22, 25 YTEC Performance Opportunities: All performers must be registered students in RW30. 

YTEC Directors should submit one or more dances to be curated to create balanced performances. Audition video should show the complete work the ensemble would like to perform.

Work should be 4 – 8 minutes maximum.

Performance Opportunities:

Accepted performers will have the opportunity to perform on July 19 as a part of the American Tap Conservatory Showcase or July 22 at Navy Pier LAKE STAGE as part of the Student Showcase. Additional YTEC performances, also by audition through the YTEC program, will be happening at the MCA on July 24 and 25.


Works may be performed to recorded music or no music. Accepted performers should submit their music digitally to us at info@chicagotap.org and ensure they have a back-up copy on a cell phone or laptop to be available to play in case of any technical malfunctions. 

How to Apply:

To audition for a performance opportunity: send an email with the application information below, and provide an audition video by giving us a link to Youtube or other internet site.

Deadline: May 15, 2020. Applicants will be notified by email and will be approved as they are received.

Send application info by email to info@chicagotap.org Please write “YTEC Performance Audition” or “Student Showcase Audition” in the subject line, and provide the following information:

Application Information:

1) Ensemble or soloist name:

2) Link to audition video on YouTube or other internet site:

3) Contact name:

4) Contact email:

5) Contact phone number:

6) Number of dancers:

7) Length of work (in minutes:seconds)

8) Title of work:

9) Choreographed by:

10) Music composed by:

11) Names of dancers who will be performing in alphabetical order (all performers must be registered students):

12) Other information about the audition video you want us to know:

For more information: contact info@chicagotap.org


July 21 – Cutting Contest (Improvisation tournament) in Curtiss Hall in the Fine Arts Building

Dancers have traded steps for centuries and the continuation of that tradition in the annual CUTTING CONTEST is one of the highlights of Rhythm World.

At Rhythm World 30, dancers have the opportunity to showcase their improvising “chops” in a supportive, competitive environment with fellow foot drummers.. 

All dancers are welcome. 

ONLY 16 SLOTS available, so sign up now before it fills up!

To submit, please fill out the following form:


For more information:  contact ccsubmissions2020@gmail.com

2020 Performances COMING SOON!

2020 Performance Information Coming Soon

Every single concert is unique; join us for all of them!

**Festival Passes will be available March 14.**

Please call 312-542-2477 or email us at info@chicagotap.org with any questions, comments, or concerns.

Monday, July 20, 7:30 PM
Opening Night at the Jazz Showcase
Virtuoso Performers from the concert, Broadway and commercial stages join the Eric Hochberg Trio in the 18th Annual Jazz Showcase opening night. 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!

Photo credit: Philamonjaro

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.