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6th Annual Tap Summit Faculty

M.A.D.D. Rhythms presents The 6th Annual Chicago Tap Summit, October 29-31, 2010. Many of the worlds most renowned young tapdancers will return to Chicago to teach, perform and celebrate the art of tap dance while spreading a strong message of empowerment to our youth.  This year’s Summit will be dedicated to the late, great Chicago Legend Ernest “Brownie” Brown.

Ernest “Brownie” Brown was born April 25, 1916 and left for the big show in Heaven on Aug. 21, 2009. At the early age of 11, Ernest “Brownie” Brown ventured off to follow his dream of becoming a dancer and an entertainer. This dream would turn into a career that spanned 80 years. In 1930, Brownie and his childhood friend, Charles “Cookie” Cook formed the dance team Cook & Brown. They headlined in vaudeville theatres throughout the U.S. and in Europe. In 1934, they played The Cotton Club which led to London’s Palladium, The Latin Casino in Paris and The Broadway musical “Kiss Me Kate”. Brownie was also one of the founding members of the original “Copasetics”; an elite tap company formed in 1949 in memory of Bill “Bojangles” Robinson. One of his proudest moments was being inducted into the Tap Dance Hall Of Fame.

This year’s esteemed honoree is:

Doris Humphries was born in ChicagoIllinois, on September 10, 1924. While a child, Humphries would mimic the dancers that she saw in the movies, and to reproduce the “tapping” sound, she attached bottle caps to the soles of her shoes. At age eleven, Humphries began taking lessons from legendary choreographer Sadie Bruce, and at the age of fourteen, she took up “rhythm skating” with a group called The Musketeers. While attending Englewood High School in Chicago, Humphries met up with her dancing partner, “Junior,” and the two would go on to be known as “Dinky and Junior.” Following their graduation from high school, the two auditioned for Berle Adams of the prestigious William Morris Agency. He quickly signed them, and they began touring the United States dancing with bandleader Louis Jordan. As they toured, they also performed with Sarah Vaughn, Billy Eckstein and Dizzy Gillespie. In 1945, Humphries met Sergeant Hedrick Humphries, and the two were married the following year. Humphries went into retirement to raise her family, but after the birth of her third child, she returned to dancing, focusing on Latin dance.

This years Chicago Tap Summit faculty includes some of the tap worlds most amazing up and coming tapdancers. They all share a Standard of Excellence for representing the art form on stage and an equally strong commitment to making a difference in their communities

M.A.D.D. Rhythms Tap Summit Faculty

BrilFaculty2Bril Barrettis a creative tap dancer, whose mission is to preserve and promote tap dance as a percussive art form, foster respect and admiration for the history and creators of tap, and continuously create opportunities for the art form and its practitioners.Bril is the founder of M.A.D.D. (Making A Difference Dancing) Rhythmsdirector of The Chicago Tap Summit and founder of The M.A.D.D. Rhythms Tap Academy. Performance opportunities include RiverdanceTap Dance Kid, The St. Louis Tap Festival, The Calgary Tap Summit and many others. Bril has taught and/or performed in Canada, Germany, Finland, Turkey, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Albania, Amsterdam, and across the U.S. He has started many outreach programs in Chicago’s public schools, Park districts, a performing arts high school in Gary, Indiana and several After School Matters programs on the city’s Westside and Southside.

JTaylorJumaane Taylor, a Chicago native, has been tap dancing for 13 years. He began his training at the Sammy Dyer School of the Theatre, where he now teaches. He has had the esteemed opportunity to perform and study withDerick Grant, Idella Reed Davis, Jimmy Payne Jr., Jay Fagan, George Patterson III, Jason Samuels Smith, Sarah Savelli and Ted Levy. Jumaane made his professional debut with M.A.D.D Rhythms, where he now serves asAssistant Director. Jumaane has performed and taught nationally and internationally. Some of his credits include theChicago Tap Summit, St. Louis Tap Festival, Chicago Human Rhythm Project, L.A. Tap Fest and numerous shows with ETA Creative Arts Foundation. He was featured in Dance Spirit Magazine as “One of the Top 20 Hoofers under 2”, in 2000 he won 1st place in The 1st Annual Chicago Tap Off and performed in the critically-acclaimed Imagine Tap, directed and choreographed by Derick Grant. Jumaane is committed to spreading his respect and passion for tap dance.

SDixonStarinah Dixon, a.k.a. Star, was born and raised in Chicago. She started dancing at a very young age. Brought up into a dancing family including her mom who studied African dance, which she later also studied, it was no doubt that she would have a love for dance. She is the younger sister of Bril Barrett who started M.A.D.D. Rhythms where she is one of the original members of the 9-year running tap company. With M.A.D.D. Rhythms, she has performed all over the U.S. including The L.A. Tap Festival, The St. Louis Tap Festival, The Detroit Tap Festival, and Northern Illinois University. As well as performing, she also teaches and has been since the age of 16. Her teaching experience includes Alyo Children’s dance theater, Najwa, Chicago Park District, The Imani Dance Center, and the M.A.D.D. Rhythms Tap Academy. She, also dances with Chicago’s newest hip-hop company, Purified.

JDixonJa’Bowen Dixon a.k.a. Jaybo has been performing since the age of six. He began performing at student showcases and assemblies throughout the year at his grade school in downtown Chicago. From there, he began going to auditions and doing movies with his brother Bril, the combination of that, and the skills he had obtained from doing shows at school, is where Jaybo developed a love for the arts. At age 11 his mother enrolled him into Sundance studios, a local performing arts company. There he took his first African, Hip Hop, Caribbean, and vocal classes. He continued to take classes there until he was 15. In late 2000, his brother Bril founded the group M.A.D.D. (making a difference dancing) Rhythms and recruited Jaybo and their younger sister Star to be in the group, that was Jaybo’s first real tap experience. Jaybo continues to dance and study with M.A.D.D. Rhythms today. Now at age 25 Jaybo has appeared ontelevision (local news, so you think you can dance, etc.), film (save the last dance, shall we dance etc.)and multiple shows across both the city and country. Jaybo has been featured in Dance Spirit magazine, ads forLeo’s Dancewear and he teaches at some of the most prestigious dance studios in the city of Chicago.


Nora Clark, 22, is originally from rural Vermont where she danced with the New England Dance Ensembleand The Company at Dancers’ Corner from age 6 to 18. There she competed and performed nationally in ballet, jazz and tap. She received scholarships and titles from dance organizations such as New York City Dance Alliance andAmerican Dance Awards. In 2005, Nora was honored to teach a tribute class for the late Dr. Leonard Reed at the St. Louis Tap Festival and The L.A. Tap Fest. In 2006, she moved to Chicago to attend Columbia College and began dancing with M.A.D.D. Rhythms, where she is now a principal dancer and choreographer. Television and film appearances include local news performances on WGN and ABC and “The Simpsons Movie” premier. Nora has choreographed for The Detroit Tap Repertory, The Company at Dancers’ Corner and taught and performed at the2010 St. Louis Tap Festival. In May of 2010, Nora graduated with honors from Columbia College Chicago, receiving her Bachelors of Arts in Writing and Producing. She is currently working at Long Tail Media Group as a producer for the Internet broadcast, sketch comedy show, Friday Nite Bytes.

DJacksonDonnetta Jackson was born and raised in Chicago, IL. She started dancing at the age of 7 at The Sammy Dyer School of the Theatre and at 11 years old, became one of the founding members of M.A.D.D. Rhythms. Donnetta has performed all over the US, including the St. Louis Tap Festival, The Detroit Jazz Fest, United Nations in New York, Florida, and Tennessee. She has received scholarships from The Sammy Dyer School of Theatre and Chicago Dance Connection and taught at The Sammy Dyer School of Theatre, M.A.D.D. Rhythms Tap Academy, and Maria High School. In addition to tap dance, she does hip-hop, ballet, jazz, praise dance, tumbling, and cheerleading. TV appearances include various local news programs.



CLICK HERE to download the Dance Schools, Studios, Dance Departments Groups and Organizations form

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Official Hotel for The Fifth Annual Chicago Tap Summit

The 6th Annual Chicago Tap Summit will include an array of master classes for all levels of tap dancers, along with history sessions (complete with rare footage of some of the all time greats of tap), a participants’ showcase, a panel discussion and our popular “LIVE THE HISTORY” lecture/demonstration which takes you through TAP history by the legends who lived it.  The festival will wrap up with an electrifying concert “TAP” featuring all faculty, special guests and the M.A.D.D. Rhythms family. All classes and the performance take place at The Harold Washington Cultural Center (4701 S. King Drive, Chicago, IL. 60615).
M.A.D.D. Rhythms is a dynamic collective of young entertainers from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, with one thing in common.  A love and respect for the art of tap dance or “the dance” as we like to call it. Bril Barrett (Imagine Tap, Porgy and Bess, The Tap Dance Kid, Riverdance, Oprah and the Jenny Jones show) founded the company in 2001 and serves as business manager and artistic director as well as being one of the company’s principal choreographers/dancers. Jumaane Taylor (Tap the Map, Imagine Tap, Dance Spirit Magazine’s top 20 hoofers under 20 (may 2005 issue), Grand prize winner of The Chicago Tap Off and the Bring In Da Noize Bring In Da Funk Contest, Chicago Tap All Stars, Rhythm I.S.S. and Friends) began as a protégé of first Bril, but has grown into an artist all his own. Jumaane is the Assistant Director and principal choreographer/dancer in M.A.D.D. Rhythms. Approaching our ninth full year in existence, with 10 critically acclaimed concert performances, several workshops behind us and 5 successful festivals under our belt, we hope you’ll join us.
PSA Unleash your rhythm and experience and learn tap dancing from world renowned hoofers at M.A.D.D. Rhythms, The 6th Annual Chicago Tap Summit; Oct. 29 -Oct. 31 at the Harold Washington Cultural Center (4701 S. King Drive, Chicago, IL. 60615). Enjoy a weekend filled with workshops and evening events including a prestigious concert entitled “TAP“, Friday, Oct. 29 at 7pm. Tickets are $20 and classes range from $30 for individual classes to $300 for an unlimited package. For more information call (773) 604-1899 or visit them online at

1 Comment Post a comment
  1. Jul 19 2011

    Good afternoon,
    Our company is producing a large corporate companies holiday party this December and had mentioned an interest in finding talent that could do “bottlecap tap dancing”. It suits our theme and I was just curious since you are located fairly close to us here in Cedar Rapids, IA if you had any talent that may be interested in this. If so, what would be a range for possible costs to have them for basically a 5 hour commitment on December 1st? If you could get back to me soon I would greatly appreciate it.
    thank you so much,

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