Tip Top Tap
Tap and percussive dance is hip, energetic and delightfully noisy. Thanks in part to the Chicago Human Rhythm Project, it's
enjoying a revival.
This uniquely American dance form – the melding of Irish and African traditions – has found new life during the past 30 years, in film, on the Broadway stage and at international festivals. The
Chicago Human Rhythm Project organizes one of world's largest gatherings each summer, where master teachers lead workshops and pass dance traditions
along to younger generations, and a variety of major tap artists perform in the evenings.
Lane Alexander is one such top tapper, known worldwide as a master teacher and performer. Two other Chicagoans,
Ernest "Brownie" Brown and his current dance partner,
Reggio "the Hoofer" Mclaughlin, also perform and educate young people. At 90, Brown is still dancing the "Chair Dance," a classic routine he performed
as an original member of the Copasetics, the famous Harlem club formed in 1949 in memory of the great black entertainer, Bill
CHRP celebrates National Tap Day on May 25th each year with a tribute to a tap legend, and in 2006, the spotlight was on Brown.
Chicago Human Rhythm Project, 2936 N Southport, Chicago, IL, 60657
Click here for directions
Find out more about the
history of tap on the
Tap Dance Homepage.
Check out a 2001
Dance Magazine article about
Lane Alexander and find out what keeps him moving.
Reggio McLaughlin got started tapping in the
subways of Chicago.