M.A.D.D. Rhythms Founder Bril Barrett leads a tao class in an undated photo. The Chicago Tap Summit is back this year with a hybrid program for attendees. Credit: Provided

GRAND BOULEVARD — It’s time to dust off those dancing shoes. Award-winning tap collective M.A.D.D. Rhythms will be back at the Harold Washington Cultural Center this weekend for the 2021 Chicago Tap Summit.

Last year’s event went all-virtual because of the pandemic. This year, organizers are offering a combination of in-person and virtual family-friendly events Friday through Sunday at the cultural center, 4701 S. King Dr.

The summit features tap instruction, workshops, panel discussions and performances from artists around the globe. This year, attendees will be able to watch the world premiere of “Hoofin’ It: The Untold Story of Tap,” billed as a “trans-media experience” in which dance pieces, historical footage and interviews are used to explore the origins of tap.


Fans also can look forward to Friday’s “Footage Night,” where folks gather around to watch classic performance footage of the greats. The Cutting Contest, where dancers battle it out on the floor, is also back this year, said instructor Star Dixon, who’s been with the collective since its founding in 2001.

While last year’s virtual program went off without a hitch, Dixon said she missed the energy she gets from students in-person.

“We prerecorded classes and streamed them online. It was great, but it was hard because we’re doing everything ourselves,” said Dixon. “But it seems like a lot of people were waiting for it to come back this year, and they’re coming out.”

Tickets range from $10-$50, and online registration is still available. Those looking to attend classes can choose their track: beginner, intermediate, teacher or online only. Those prices start at $250.

For more information, visit www.maddrhythms.com.

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