We ALL Got Rhythm

In-school & after school dance programs in Chicago

 

CHRP provides high quality educational programs that offer a range of experiences that teach artistic skills, enhance social and emotional learning, support other academic subjects and lead students to lifelong engagement with the arts. 

If you are interested in bringing rhythm to yout school, or would be interested in funding CHRP’s programs for public school students, please contact:

Canisha Russ

WAGR Outreach Coordinator
CanishaRuss@chicagotap.org
312-542-2477

IGNITION

CHRP provides rhythm-based, lecture-demonstrations and master classes in K-12 settings throughout Chicago.

“Ignition” moments expand the minds and imaginations of students who have had little or no access to percussive dance. Almost every great artist can point to a moment that led to a lifetime of artistic practice. While deep engagement is important, we do not discount the deep impact of “ignition” opportunities.

ENGAGEMENT

We also offer extended residencies during or after-school. These programs are supported in part by the Creative Schools Fund and individual donors.

CHRP’s in-school/after-school education programs help to level the playing field at a critical early age for underserved Chicago young people attending public schools that lack sufficient funds to offer high-quality, standards-based dance education programming. CHRP’s partner schools are located across Chicago.

IMMERSION

Through our world class Tap Scholar program and summer intensives, our immersion programs bring together world renowned teachers with gifted students which accelerates the advancement of the individual as well as the field.

Alumni from these programs have included a MacArthur “Genius” Fellow, Michelle Dorrance, Jazz at Lincoln Center Soloist, Jared Grimes, and numerous leaders of the field of dance education, creation and performance including Dani Borak, Jumaane Taylor, Nico Rubio, Star Dixon, Chandler Brown, Ian Berg among others.

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WE ALL GOT RHYTHM INSTRUCTORS

Keyana Latimer

Keyana Latimer is an African American actress, singer and dancer. Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Keyana began her dance training at The Academy of Dance Arts. At the age of nine, she started choreographing dances for young teen girls in Chicago’s North Lawndale community. She made her professional debut in 2009, as a Junior Luvabulls and Bulls Kidz for Chicago’s NBA team. She later was selected to be dancer for the memorable band Pink Floyd. In her early adolescent years, she devoted much of her time and talent while in middle and high school. She became head choreographer for many school plays and musicals. She was also a writer and composer for the musical, Train performed at Trinity High-school.  

In 2020, she pursued her professional acting career landing a principal role on Fox’s television show, “Empire” and “The Chi” on showtime. She later premiered as a principal dancer in Ugly Flavors. A livestream work sample performance piece created by tap dancer Jumaane Taylor, and premiered at The Dance Center of Columbia College. Keyana’s ultimate goal is to empower underserved youth in Chicago through the education of the performing arts.

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Kenneth Russell

As a native Chicagoan, Kenneth Russell (Djedi) was the second child to be born out of 3 siblings and has been involved the in performing arts since he was 8 years old. He started out in tumbling class at Mayfair Academy, but after 2 years of repetitive routines, his enthusiasm faded, so his mother introduced him to tap dance. After all, his mother, brother, and sister were all taking up tap, so he finally gave it a shot. After his first performance, Kenn fell in love with the art form and sought after it more as years passed. He has taken master tap dance classes from some of the greatest tap dancers in the world (Jason Samuels Smith, Bril Barrett, Martin “Tre” Dumas III, Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Dianne "Lady Di" Walker, Derrick Grant, Reggio McLaughlin and the late great Ernest “Brownie” Brown to name a few). Now more than 20 years in his craft, he's teaching children to pursue their dreams, while he leads by example with his own style in the art form of tap dance. Amongst other rhythmic dance genres that were picked up along the way, Djedi has been using tap dance as an outlet for healing.

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Markeya Olokunsmoon Howard

Markeya Olokunsmoon Howard a proud Chicago native, began studying traditional West African & Caribbean dance at the age of 11. She credits her success to a great dance companies such as Alyo Children’s Dance Theater, Silimbo West African Dance Company, NAJWA Dance Corp., Muntu Dance Theater of Chicago, and Ayodele African Drum & Dance Company. Markeya’s passion for Afro-Cuban folklore has led to many travels to the Caribbean island. Learning multiple styles of Cuban dance styles such as Rumba, Palo, Orisha, Son, and Cuban-Salsa from master instructors from Havana, Santiago de Cuba, and Matanzas.


Markeya remains the Founder & Artistic Director of Mofindu West African Dance Company, founded in 2008. in 2013, Markeya launched The Mofindu Urban Village Program to provided arts education to youth in the urban communities that would likely never have the opportunity to experience traditional performing arts. Successful programs have been assisted with After School Matters, B.U.I.L.D. Chicago, and Chicago Teen Youth Empowerment Programs with in the last 10 years. Markeya instructs at Ruth Page Center for the Arts, The Firehouse Community Arts Center, and The American Rhythm Center for all ages.

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Amansu Eason

Amansu Eason began performing at age 4 with the Morning Bishop Theatre Playhouse. At age 10, he began studying ballet, jazz, tap, and modern at the Emerson School for the Visual and Performing Arts in his hometown of Gary, Indiana. During the same time, he also began extensive training in West African folklore and dance with the Alyo Children’s Dance Company in Chicago, Illinois. Over the next six years, he began to develop his own style, fusing the disciplines he learned throughout his training and giving power to his artistic and creative voice.

In 2003, as a dance minor at Bowling Green State University and a major of Africana Studies, he was introduced to the Katherine Dunham Technique. Though his father was a professor at BGSU, he accredits the Dunham Technique for giving him an academic voice and confidence to be a scholar. Throughout his career, he has performed with Ben Harper, opened for artists such as Omarion, Marcus Houston, Mary, Mary, Arrested Development, and presented a solo for the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. He has performed on stages and in spaces all over the U.S. and the Caribbean, as well as in Canada, Mexico, Israel, and Brazil and has taught dance throughout Northwest Indiana, Ohio and the Chicago area for the past 13 years.

Amansu is currently the Assistant to the Director of Muntu Dance Theater of Chicago, and Associate Director of Dancexcel Champion Center for the arts in Gary, IN. He also serves as Co- Chair of the Planning Committee, a member of the Technique Committee, and Certified Instructor for the Institute for Dunham Technique Certification. Amansu is a two-time recipient of the Black Excellence Award for Outstanding Achievements in Dance granted by the African American Arts Alliance of Chicago.

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Peyton Z Yang

Peyton Z Yang is a 22 year old dancer from Madison, WI residing in Chicago, IL. He has 10 years of experience in street dance, styles such as Breakin, hip hop and Krump. The most recent style he’s been invested in is Krump. Krump is an acronym for Kingdom Radically Uplifting Mighty Praise! It’s a dance style that was founded by Cesare Learone, Aka Tight Eyez, and Joarttis Ratti, Aka Mijo, in the early 2000’s. It’s been an underground dance movement for 10 plus years while the founders have been pioneering this dance style worldwide! It’s an aggressive, hyper, and energetic dance that lets you express every ounce of feeling you have in that moment. This dance style will benefit learners who want to develop skills in free styling, dance battling, body control, and cleanliness.