Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Bril’s Blog’ Category


Urgent: Chicago Tap Summit 2019 – New Dates!


The Chicago Tap Summit 2019 is on its way. The faculty for this years summit includes members of the world famous M.A.D.D. Rhythms tap dance crew and a few special guests.

Join M.A.D.D. Rhythms for The Chicago Tap Summit 2019 October 4th – 6th.

Click Here For More Information


M.A.D.D. Rhythms @ Evolution Of African Dance


Explore the evolution for African Dance with an evening full of entertainment by talented local performers at the Lake Stage in Polk Bros Park.

PRESENTED BY Africa International House.

Evolution of African Dance explores African dance past, present, and future. The afternoon begins with performances from West African Dance company Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago, Ethiopian cultural dancer Yaasha Abramham and closes with the Chi-Town Regulators, who will perform a Caribbean J’ouvert festival dance.

Performing during the second half of Evolution of African Dance are M.A.D.D. Rhythms who will perform TAP dance sequences followed by Purifyed Dance, performing old and new school hip hop, and Liberian Native Cece Bandit closes out with an electrifying Afrobeat’s performance.

This showcase is interactive with the audience learning African dance for a big finale to end the program.

For more info, visit:



M.A.D.D. Rhythms @ Summer Reading Club Finale – Grande Prairie Public Library & University Park Public Library


The Grande Prairie Public Library serves the communities of Hazel Crest, Illinois and Country Club Hills, Illinois. It is located at 3479 W. 183rd Street in Hazel Crest, in the south suburbs of Chicago. The library is a member of the Metropolitan Library System.
Address: 3479 183rd St, Hazel Crest, IL 60429
Hours: Saturday, July 27th, Show Time 12pm

University Park Public Library District
1100 Blackhawk Dr, University Park, IL 60484
Saturday, July 27th, Show Time 1:30pm

M.A.D.D. Rhythms’ FEELING GOOD: A MADD Tribute To Nina Simone @ Rhythm World 29: JUBA! Masters of Tap and Percussive Dance


Festival Passes are no longer available. Single tickets are still on sale and available to purchase.

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

~~ $75 tickets benefit the Tap Scholar program and also include a post-show reception with the performers at the Dance Center of Columbia College ~~

The third night of JUBA! at the Dance Center of Columbia College features two long-form works by M.A.D.D. Rhythms and Kilian Deissler and, artist in residence, Dani Borak’s 9-Point-Inc.!

M.A.D.D. Rhythms presents an excerpt from its critically acclaimed Feeling Good: A MADD Tribute to Nina Simone.

Founded by Bril Barrett, Martin “Tre” Dumas, and Jumaane Taylor, M.A.D.D. is comprised of dancers from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, sharing one common trait: a love and respect for the art of Tap Dance. Over the course of almost 15 years, M.A.D.D. Rhythms has given hundreds of kids across the city of Chicago a safe space to learn and grow through the art of Tap Dance. Through their tireless work in the community, M.A.D.D. Rhythms has fostered the education of many of today’s most sought-after tap dancers, all committed to sharing culture, tradition, and love of The Dance.

“Amid a harsh political climate in America, where injustice is brought to light faster than ever, and racist idealisms thrive in indifference, we find so many of the artistic voices we turned to in times of discord lost to the ages. One such voice is that of Nina Simone, whose monumental body of work is so unapologetically forthright in matters of human rights. With Feeling Good: A MADD Tribute to Nina Simone we invite Nina’s creative voice back to the conversation and honor her contributions through the art of Tap Dance.”

9-Point-Inc. presents Kick The Square.

“Kick the Square is 9-point-Inc.’s first programme and was laid out to encompass 105 minutes. The dramatic arc consists on the one hand of the conflict and symbiosis between two musical worlds – the world of Broadway and the world of the composer – on the other hand of the intensifying fusion of music and dance.

The dancer is gradually integrated into the music, while the musicians take on roles increasingly closer to tap dance, first with only a few, accentuated steps. These continue to gain musical importance, until finally the musicians leave their places behind the music stands and conquer the stage in rhythmically composed and choreographed steps, while continuing to play their instruments. In the dramatic culmination, the musicians edge the dancer off the tap dance instrument, and the solo of the “squares” begins: seven people, tap dancing in composed steps on seven “squares,” moving past each other. This poses its own new challenges because classical musicians – unlike the tap dancer – are trained to keep the measure beat with their feet, while showing their virtuosity with their hands on the instrument. In this situation, the rhythmic complexity is shifted to the feet, while the instrument still needs to be played with the hands. This is an extremely unfamiliar and
challenging situation for the ensemble.

With this program, Kick the Square, 9-Point-Inc. invites everyone to dive into an unknown world of music and tap dance!”



M.A.D.D. Rhythms Bronzeville: The HWCC Crew @ RW29: Navy Pier’s Polk Bros Lake View Performance Stage FREE!

Festival Passes are no longer available. Single tickets are still on sale and available to purchase.

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

Pre-professional Youth Tap Ensembles from across the US, Canada, South America, and Asia perform repertory works alongside a mix of curated student works followed by an electrifying JAM session underneath the spectacular Navy Pier Fireworks display. This event is free for the public.



Bril Barrett, Star Dixon, Donnetta Jackson, Tristan Bruns, Megan Davis, Time Brickey & KJ Sheldon @ Rhythm World 29: Opening Night at the Jazz Showcase



Festival Passes are no longer available. Single tickets are still on sale and available to purchase.

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

Virtuoso performers from the concert, Broadway, and commercial stages come together to kick off the 29th annual Rhythm World Festival at the historic Jazz Showcase! This annual celebration at Chicago’s finest jazz club presents some of the world’s most celebrated tap dancers, including Bril Barrett, Dani Borak, Star Dixon, Nico Rubio, Donnetta Jackson, Charles Renato, Cartier Williams, and more special guests alongside the amazing Eric Hochberg Trio!

Tickets and More Information


Bril Barrett, Star Dixon, Donnetta Jackson & Tristan Bruns @ 29th Annual Rhythm World


Rhythm World is Chicago’s annual festival of tap and percussive dance, celebrating its 29th year! Each summer, many of the world’s finest tap dance teachers and performers educate, entertain and enlighten students and audiences from around the globe through classes, performances and more.

Rhythm World offers a sophisticated and comprehensive variety of education and performance programs that allow students and audience members to design their own experiences. Students can take a single class or immerse themselves in up to 50 hours during the week.

Audience members will have the opportunity to enjoy 6 different nights of percussive and rhythmic arts at some of Chicago’s most cherished venues. Opening night at the Jazz Showcase, JUBA! Concerts at the Dance Center of Columbia College and free performances & TAP JAM at Navy Pier Polk Bros. Performance Lawns followed by their weekly fireworks spectacular!

Classes are held at the American Rhythm Center in Chicago’s historic Fine Arts Building at 410 S. Michigan Ave. See below for complete information about Rhythm World 29!

Youth Tap Ensemble Conference (YTEC) | July 22-25 | Mon – Thurs
>>CHRP’s annual Youth Tap Ensemble Conference (YTEC), now in its 19th year, is a training and repertory development program for pre-professional tap repertory companies. This year’s program has been completely re-imagined, with classes in tap choreography, body percussion, boomwhackers composition, tap and live instrument composition and improvisation. The 2019 YTEC choreographers will be Kilian Deissler and Dani Borak.

>>The Teacher Certification program covers elements of tap history, repertory, pedagogy, physiology and music theory. This program is taught by Linda Sohl Ellison, Dianne Walker, Bril Barrett and Jason Janas.

KIDS PROGRAM* | JULY 22-25 | Mon – Thurs
>>Faculty: Demi Remick, Monti Ellison, Sean Kaminski
Don’t miss this exciting opportunity for kids to accelerate to
the next level! The curriculum of this program will cover: oral
and video histories; rudiments of tap including technique,
timing, syncopated rhythms, and improvisational skills; and the
developments of each dancer’s individual style and expressive

*Program includes twelve classes, one ticket to a JUBA! concert and a festival t-shirt.

OTHER PROGRAMS OFFERED INCLUDE four day courses, Friday Workshops, weekend masterclasses AND adult courses.

For complete Rhythm World 29 Information please visit


M.A.D.D. Rhythms Nominated “Most Outstanding Dance Group” @ Chicago Music Awards

Early -38th CMA flyer for July 5th in conjunction with IFOL-FRONT- - 12-8-18


Bril Barrett @ Tapperfest 2019


Daytime Intensive
10-11:15 Bril Barrett
11:15-12:15 “Step & Tap” with MacKenzie Greenwell
1:15-2:15 Dianne Montgomery
2:15-3:00 Bucket Drumming (no experience necessary)
3:00-4:00 Improvisation with MacKenzie Greenwell
**Please note the intensive ends at 12pm on July 5th**

Workshops & Tap Jam with Bril Barrett on Thursday, July 4th
6:30-7:45 Intermediate
7:45-9:00 Advanced
9:00-10:00 Tap Jam

Professional Showcase: TAP’S IN THE PORT
July 2nd at Clarke Hall, 8PM
Featuring faculty and local artists.

Student Choreography Charity Ball
July 3rd at the Tap Dance Centre, 7PM



FEELING GOOD: A MADD Tribute To Nina Simone @ Jazz Institute Of Chicago’s Birthday Bash


The Birthday Bash continues! M.A.D.D. Rhythms is proud to present a tribute to an American music icon, Nina Simone featuring new choreography from M.A.D.D. Rhythms dancers, performances by Chicago Jazz greats Maggie Brown, Joan Collaso, Tecora Rogers, Felena Bunn, and arrangements by Ben Jammin Johnson. With Feeling Good: A MADD Tribute to Nina Simone we invite Nina’s creative voice back to the conversation and honor her contributions through the art of Tap Dance. Presented in partnership with M.A.D.D. Rhythms.

M.A.D.D. Rhythms: Bril Barrett, Starinah ‘Star’ Dixon, Donnetta LilBit Jackson, Tristan Bruns, Megan Davis, Alexandrya Fryson, Andrew Carr, Time Brickey, KJ Sheldon, Carmen Paquette, Caleb Jackson, Ivy Anderson, Izaiah Montaque Harris.

Musicians: Maggie Brown (voice), Joan Collaso (voice), Tecora Rogers (voice), Felena Bunn (voice), Ben Johnson (Music Director/ drums), Curtis Robinson (guitar), Joshua Ramos (bass), Carmen Stokes (piano).

Saturday, June 29, 2019 | 7pm
Feeling Good – A MADD Tribute to Nina Simone
Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts | Performance Hall
915 E. 60th Street | Chicago, IL

For more information on our Birthday Bash Weekend:

Sponsored by the Epstein Family Foundation and presented in partnership with the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts.

#JazzinChicago #JIC50 #JazzisHappening


M.A.D.D. Rhythms #3rdSundays #FREE #TAPJAM @ Harold Washington Cultural Center – 2pm


M.A.D.D. Rhythms’ is hosting our 3rd Sundays #TapJam

and we want you there!


4701 S. King Dr.

2nd Floor

(Use 47th St. Entrance)

Chicago, IL 60615


Sunday 6/16/19


TAP JAMS are our way of paying homage to the HOOFERS of old and the traditions they set.

TAP JAMS make us better. TAP JAMS give us new ideas.

TAP JAMS help us communicate.

TAP JAMS allow us to express ourselves.

TAP JAMS show us where we came from and where we are going.

TAP JAMS are absolutely necessary to nudge your growth as a tapdancer!

#FREE #Fun #OpenToThePublic #SeeYouOnTheWood

#ImprovToImprove #RespectTheDance