Community Asset: M.A.D.D. Rhythms

02 Jan

A group of 3 performers took the gym stage at a local fundraiser for an aldermanic candidate. No one was prepared for the amazing performance that the tap dancers were going to display. Children and adults were out of their seats in excitement as the performers connected with us through laughter and sound. The history of tap is one of unity and blended traditions. African beats and feet movement combined with the European Jig and the ingenuity to add the aluminum heel to the toe in the early 1900s, has allowed the art form to flourish.M.A.D.D. Rhythms is a phenomenal TAPdance collective whose “SOLE” purpose is to spread the Love and Joy of TAP worldwide.

The sounds created by the dancers is only half of what allows them to captivate audiences wherever they perform. The energy and visible ensemble dynamics bring the crowd to their toes while listening to the rhythmic thumps and graceful slides of the heel and toe. When I saw M.A.D.D. Rhythms perform I was sure they were a group I wanted to follow and learn more about.

Celebrating their ten-year anniversary, I am as impressed with the organizations administrative capabilities as I am their ability to leave a mark on any audience. Founded by director Brill Barret, M.A.D.D. Rhythms’ mission is to preserve, promote and contribute to this art-form called tap. M.A.D.D. advocates for the future of tap and focuses on impacting the lives of youth by providing access to positive options, including performance. There are 3 locations in the Chicago area in which the tap classes are offered.  Registration ranges from $50-$150, and children as young as 3 years of age are welcome to join a tap class. The company is continuing to grow and make their mark in the world of performing arts, and that takes business savvy!

Annually M.A.D.D. host a Tap Summit in Chicago where many of the worlds most renowned young tapdancers teach, perform and celebrate the art of tap dance while spreading a strong message of empowerment to our youth. The Tap Summit is a testament to M.A.D.D. Rhythms commitment to creating and sustaining a new generation of performers that show strength, unity, and soul in their movements. The video clips of the troupe performing is the proof in the pudding. 
Footage, registration, location, and additional information on M.A.D.D. Rhythms can be found on their website at
What are some other community assets or resources for performers and children?  

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