Rhythm World 30
Jumaane Taylor, Artistic Director

Photo Credit: Kristie Kahns

July 26 – August 14, 2021

Rhythm World 30  – America’s oldest and most comprehensive festival of tap – is BACK and under the direction of Jumaane Taylor, a visionary and accomplished teacher, performer, choreographer and producer. Taylor has reimagined this year’s anniversary festival to offer three weeks of rhythm bending, in-person education and performance programs by a new ensemble of teaching and performing artists. Classes will return to Chicago’s historic Fine Arts Building with concerts at Navy Pier’s Lake Stage, Jazz Showcase, the Black Legislator’s Theater a the DuSable Museum of African American History and the Edlis Neeson Theater at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.

All programs are LIVE and IN PERSON. All programs are limited to 20 participants unless COVID-19 protocols are updated to allow higher occupancy rates.

Students will be asked to verify whether they have been or intend to be vaccinated at least two weeks prior to their first class.

CHRP will comply with all City, State and Federal mandates related to vaccination status, room and theater occupancy as well as rigorous cleaning protocols.

This year’s festival spans three completely distinct weeks and attendees, other than those enrolled in the American Tap Conservatory (ATC), may come for one, two or all three weeks. ATC attendees may choose to enroll for either the first and second week, or the second and third week.

Please contact us at registration@chicagotap.org or 312-542-2477.

July 26 – August 7 OR August 2 – August 14


Attendees of our newly established American Tap Conservatory will have the opportunity to experience it all. ATC attendees may choose to enroll for either the first and second week, or the second and third week. Beginning each week at the Jazz Showcase, ATC students will have the opportunity to jam with live musicians, engage in discussions with treasured members of the tap community, and perform works learned throughout the ATC program – displaying the brilliance of this year’s invited teachers and choreographers. This is an invitation into the life of a professional tap dancer, consistently learning while sharpening all knowledge on tap.

July 26 – 30

Spend five consecutive days with the teachers of your choice. Each course runs seven hours over five days.

Learn something to stay with you on your tap journey. The classic festival ‘course’ where you are guaranteed to take something home. Maybe it’s a phrase that catches your ear or a longer rhythmic composition that will become helpful for your eternal rhythmic experience. Building off those artists’ ideas, rather than just memorizing routines would be the focus here.

Fees: $125 per course

Monday, July 26 – Friday, July 30

Masterclasses are 80-minute, one-time classes with a single teacher. Choose from 10 advanced and 10 intermediate classes.

All up to the “master” in the room. The masterclass is an audition style setting. Meaning, you pick up whatever they put down. This week’s faculty will share their masterful ideas with warmups, traveling phrases, a combination, or all of the above but particularly structured for the students in that room. Be aware of what artistry these tap masters share with you . . .  it will take you a step closer to understanding this art form. With Robyn Watson, Jumaane Taylor, Jason Janas and Karissa Royster.

$25 per master class

Monday, August 2 – Friday, August 7

The Youth Tap Ensemble Conference will include: technique classes with drills that embed muscle memory in young dancers for more advanced technical work, an ensemble performance on August 7 at the Black Legislator’s Theater at the DuSable Museum of African American History, historical and contemporary video footage assignments as well as improvisation. YTEC introduces youth ensemble members and serious younger dancers to professional life. Participating ensembles will learn tap choreography built for an ensemble that teaches members to listen to each other, and to learn from one another on the dance floor, creating a more conscious tap dancer for the next generation. With Caleb Teicher, Kaleena Miller, Naomi Funaki and the legendary Ivery Wheeler.


August 9 – August 14

Four classes per day for 5 consecutive days.

What does it mean to choreograph tap? When we are choreographing, is it tap or something else with tap? During this residency, students will be “in the room” with 4 of the most defining voices of our field. These powerful voices arrange rhythm for the feet, so that the body and spirit can be fulfilled. Here we teach you how to compose or choreograph for tap, strategically creating a rhythmical flow that complements the music, but also exemplifies a full range of vocabulary. Within the works shared this week, you will learn how to build for this dance, fitting for the concert stage. WIth Ian Berg, Christina Carminucci, Maurice Chestnut and Sarah Savelli.


Monday, August 9 – Friday, August 14

What should teachers teach? There are some technical standards that most tap dancers agree on. There are also certain advancements in the techniques that may be new or less well known to many teachers. The week of the ‘Teachers Certification’ will update you on where we are in tap. Technically and rhythmically. Incorporating and connecting with those important standards, while also learning how to incorporate some historical archives into our lessons. Discussing how they can apply what they’re learning to their curriculum. This year’s faculty includes Ian Berg, Maurice Chestnut, Christina Carminucci and Sarah Savelli.

The Teacher’s Certification Program, now in its 4th year, can be attended regardless of attendance during previous years. Teachers attending a single year receive a Certificate of Completion and those attending four consecutive years receive a Master Teacher Certification.


Rhythm World 30 to Feature 6 Unique Performances at 4 Iconic Chicago Venues . . . 

Tuesdays – July 27, Aug 3 and 10     7:00 PM
3 Unique Nights at the Jazz Showcase  806 S. Plymouth Court

Each live performances from Chicago’s historic Jazz Showcase will feature a different ensemble of renowned tap dance artists and special guests accompanied by the Eric Hochberg Trio with Vijay Tellis-Nayak and Tim Mulvenna. Complete information and tickets available June 19.

Jazz Showcase

Photo credit: Philamonjaro

Saturday, August 7, 7:00 PM
Black Legislator’s Theater – DuSable Museum of African American History
Washington Park     740 East 56th Place

Make a day of your visit to Washington Park. Visit the DuSable Museum’s newest exhibit in the breathtaking Roundhouse, enjoy a picnic in the park or your favorite South Side restaurant and then head to the Black Legislator’s Theater for a ground shaking night of rhythm with Ivery Wheeler, Caleb Teicher, Naomi Funaki, Kaleena Miller and special guests. Make a night of it!

Saturday, August 14, 7:00 PM
JUBA! Masters of Tap and Percussive Dance
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago

Virtuosos from the concert, Broadway and commercial stage gather to present the festival finale concert accompanied by the Eric Hochberg Trio. Leading lights from the global tap community gather to share intimate and boisterous works to live jazz — a festival tradition for 30 years.

Photo credit: Philamonjaro

Accommodations provided by:

Offering studio apartments with kitchenettes for those who register. The Sonesta ES Suites are located right off the Magnificent Mile making the Fine Arts Building and the rest of the city accessible to all. To book a reservation, please click here or call 1.800.SON.ESTA (766.3782) and mention “Chicago Human Rhythm Project.”

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.