BRIL BARRETT is a dedicated tap dancer, whose mission is to preserve and promote tap dance as a percussive art form, foster respect and admiration for the history and culture of tap, and continuously create opportunities for the art form and its practitioners.
Bril Barrett is the founder of M.A.D.D. (Making A Difference Dancing) Rhythms, director of The Chicago Tap Summit and founder of The M.A.D.D. Rhythms Tap Academy. His Performance opportunities include Riverdance, Tap Dance Kid, Derrick Grant, Aaron Tolson’s Imagine Tap, The Kennedy Center, Jumaane Taylor’s Supreme Love, the Democratic National Convention and many others. Television appearances include The Oprah Winfrey Show, Steve Harvey Show, Jenny Jones Show, NBC’s Someone You Should know and ABC’s Windy City Live. Bril has taught and/or performed in Prague, Canada, Germany, Finland, Turkey, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Albania, Amsterdam, Brazil, the Bahamas, the U.K. and across the United States. He was named A Chicagoan of the Year and has his very own Ted Talk.
Bril Barrett has started many outreach programs in Chicago’s public schools, Park districts and even a performing arts high school in Gary, Indiana. He ran an After School Matters Youth Tap Program for more than 10 years and has provided after school and summer jobs for more than 300 youth from underserved communities. As a Taptivist, Bril has spent many years creating an alternative to the school to prison pipeline that exists for many black and brown youth. A child can go from novice to professional without ever leaving our headquarters inside the historic Harold Washington Cultural Center in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood. We have “Tap for Tots” (2-4), followed by “The M.A.D.D. Rhythms Tap Academy” (5-105), M.A.D.D. Rhythms Bronzeville: The HWCC Crew (which is our teen (14-18) employment program), and finally our Apprenticeship Program (18+) that funnels dancers into the Professional company placement at 21. “I am most proud of our Novice to Professional Pipeline!” says Bril.
Bril is determined to make a difference in his community by using tap and it’s history to expose our youth to the art form that saved his life!