Strike up the band for July! Tap Dance dominates with the Chicago Human Rhythm Project’s annual Rhythm World Festival (July 17-23) and Chicago Tap Theatre’s extended run of “Changes” (June 30-July 16).

Joining the midsummer Chicago dance roster are three programs devoted to the development of new choreography: Cerqua Rivera (July 13), Thodos Dance Chicago (July 15-16) and DanceChance (July 28). Natya Dance Theatre brings Indian tales to Maggie Daley Park (July 19), and Chicago Dance Crash launches an unconventional trip down the yellow brick road with “The Bricklayers of Oz” (July 28-August 5).

Summer is a perfect time to try something new. Check out the details below. 


Rhythm World: Festival of Tap & Percussive Dance

Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP), presents the 27th annual Rhythm World summer festival of American tap and percussive dance, featuring three generations of hoofers, including tap giants Savion Glover and Maurice Hines. Rhythm World takes place July 17-23 at the American Rhythm Center, Studebaker Theater, Jazz Showcase and, new this year, the Polk Bros Performance Lawns at Navy Pier.

Rhythm World will feature a wide-ranging array of tap luminaries, including alumni from its 20+-year old Tap Scholar program as a part of a five-year cycle, Root and Branch, as well as the first-ever STOMP Intensive led by STOMP cast members Ali Bradley and Jeremy Price.


2017 Rhythm World Performances

Rhythm World performances open with the annual appearance at the Jazz Showcase (806 S. Plymouth Court),  featuring faculty accompanied by a jazz trio Monday, July 17 at 8:00 p.m.
Opening Night // BUY TICKETS

The JUBA! Masters of Tap and Percussive Dance concerts, the crowning events of Rhythm World, feature a host of extraordinary foot drummers and percussive arts masters July 21 and 22 at 7:30 p.m. in the Studebaker Theater at the Fine Arts Building (410 S. Michigan Avenue), Chicago.

  • Friday, July 21 — The concert features a world premiere by CHRP's new Artist in Residence, Dani Borak; solo performances by former Tap Scholars, including Jumaane Taylor and former CHRP ensemble member Tristan Bruns; STOMP alumna and Broadway hoofer (Shuffle Along) Lisa LaTouche; and members of percussive dance ensembles featured in CHRP's citywide festival Stomping Grounds, including Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater, Muntu Dance Theatre and Trinity Irish Dance Company. JUBA! July 21 // BUY TICKETS
  • Saturday, July 22--The performance showcases a wide-ranging mix of master faculty, including Dani Borak, Martin "Tre" Dumas, Lisa LaTouche and more. JUBA! July 22 // BUY TICKETS

In the second year of Root and Branch, Rhythm World, directed by CHRP Founder and Director Lane Alexander, shines the spotlight on the talented performers, choreographers and teachers who have "grown up" with CHRP and the masters who first inspired them. 

"The teenagers who studied with us 10, 15 and 20 years ago are not teenagers anymore," said Alexander. "They are winning MacArthur Fellowship (Genius) Awards (Michelle Dorrance), choreographing on Broadway and with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra (Jared Grimes), performing in historic Broadway revivals (Lee Howard and Karissa Royster) and making new works that are revolutionizing our art form (Jumaane Taylor's Supreme Love and Zada Cheeks' Diabolus). Perhaps most important, one dancer, Dani Borak, is returning as a multi-year Artist in Residence to provide new and fresh artistic direction for CHRP. We are devoting the summer festival to exploring they ways their inspirations are affecting the work they are creating now." Former Tap Scholars and CHRP ensemble members returning to teach and perform this year include Jumaane Taylor, Lee Howard, Tristan Bruns and Lisa LaTouche. 

Two audience favorites, the improv tournament, or "Cutting Contest," and the Student Showcase take place Tuesday, July 18 with faculty judges choosing the winners who will vie for the honor of performing on one of the two weekend performances at the Studebaker Theater.
Cutting Contest & Student Showcase // TICKETS AVAILABLE AT THE DOOR ONLY

Rhythm World master teachers and students will perform free on Navy Pier's brand-new Polk Bros. Performance Lawns Wednesday, July 19. More information will follow.


This feature is brought to you by, the definitive guide to Chicago's dance scene and your source for a full calendar of dance events and performances in the city. Read the complete selection of dance highlights for July at