The Youth Tap Ensemble Conference was one of the many education programs offered at Chicago Human Rhythm Project’s Rhythm World Festival in August. In its ninth year, the program attracted more than 90 dancers between ages 12 and 19 who are members of pre-professional repertory companies, to learn from their peers and leading teachers and choreographers. A typical day included technique class, improvisation, a seminar and choreography.
University Tap Ensemble Conference, new to Rhythm World this year, followed a similar schedule. It is designed for students who want to continue their tap education, but who are not finding what they need at the university level. Lane Alexander, co-founder and director of CHRP, hopes the new program will help students create a network of university tap ensembles and clubs. “We want to see tap become an integral part of college dance departments and we hope to facilitate the development of a national network of university tap ensembles.”
Photo: Derick Grant teaching in Chicago (by and courtesy of Brynn Shiovitz)