Billy Siegenfeld is the founder, artistic director, principal choreographer, and ensemble performing member of Jump Rhythm Jazz Project.
He received a 2006-2007 Emmy Award in the category of Outstanding Achievement for Individual Excellence On Camera/Performer for his work in the multiple-Emmy-Award-winning documentary Jump Rhythm Jazz Project: Getting There, produced by HMS Media for public television. He is the 2006 recipient of Chicago's most prestigious dance honor, the Ruth Page Award, which cited him for "his vibrant dance artistry, development of a unique dance vocabulary, and the exciting choreography created in that dance technique." In 2005, the United States Fulbright Commission made him a Fulbright Senior Scholar, an honor that took him to Finland where he introduced the theory and practice of Jump Rhythm Technique to the Arts Academy of Turku University of Applied Sciences. Also in 2005 he received the Jazz Dance World Congress Award for making "major contributions to the art of jazz dance." Other honors include the National Performance Network Creation Award in 2003, which led to the production of Sorrows of Unison Dancing, the 1997 Ruth Page Dance Achievement Award for Outstanding Choreography, citing Romance in Swingtime and No Way Out, and the 1994 Jazz Dance World Congress Gold Leo Award for Outstanding Choreography, citing Getting There. In 2000 the magazine Dance Teacher placed him on its Twentieth Century Timeline of Choreographers and Innovators for "develop [ing] the Jump Rhythm Jazz Technique and found [ing] Jump Rhythm Jazz Project," and in 1998 the magazine Dancer credited him with "inventing the first genuine jazz technique in forty years." He is also a Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence at Northwestern University where he teaches Jump Rhythm Technique as part of the core curriculum for dance majors, Choreographing Music: Rhythmic Approaches to Choreography, and American Rhythm Dancing and the African American Performance Aesthetic, which surveys and analyzes video excerpts of jazz-rhythm-based choreography and dancing in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.