News: Opportunities for Student Tappers at Rhythm World

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)

Leap! Executive Director Drew Vamosi (Courtesy Leap!)

Since its inaugural season in 2012, Leap! National Dance Competition has been all about the little things.

"I wanted to have a 'boutique' competition. One where we went out to only one city every weekend, so I could be there myself, and we could really get to know the teachers and watch their kids progress from year to year," says Leap! executive director Drew Vamosi. According to Vamosi, thoughtful details make all the difference, especially during a global pandemic that's thrown many dancers' typical comp-season schedules for a loop. That's why Leap! prides itself on features like its professional-quality set design, as well as its one-of-a-kind leaping competition, where dancers can show off their best tricks for special cash and merchandise prizes.

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Health & Body
Getty Images

The term "body shaming" might bring up memories of that instructor from your own training who made critical remarks about—or even poked and prodded—dancers' bodies.

Thankfully, we're (mostly) past the days when authority figures felt free to openly mock a dancer's appearance. But body shaming remains a toxic presence in the studio, says Dr. Nadine Kaslow, psychologist for Atlanta Ballet: "It's just more hidden and more subtle." Here's how to make sure your teaching isn't part of the problem.

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Courtesy Russell

Gregg Russell, an Emmy-nominated choreographer known for his passionate and energetic teaching, passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, November 22, at the age of 48.

While perhaps most revered as a master tap instructor and performer, Russell also frequently taught hip-hop and musical theater classes, showcasing a versatility that secured him a successful career onstage and in film and television, both nationally and abroad.

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