Classes & Workshops

Autumn Quarter Workshops


FREE  dance workshops
presented by the TAPS Dance Program

Saturdays, 11am - 1pm in the Bartlett Arts Rehearsal Space (BARS)

If you have questions about whether a class is a fit for your level of experience, contact Julia Rhoads, Director of Dance and Lecturer in TAPS, at


Winston A. Benons Jr.

Afro-Cuban Dance with Winston A. Benons Jr.
Instructor: Winston A. Benons Jr.
Saturday October 22, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm in BARS


Description: Students will explore dances of the African Diaspora with a focus on Afro-Cuban dance lexicons informed by African religious practices, with roots from the countries now known as Benin and Nigeria. These dances are often performed both on stage and as a part of sacred ceremonies. We will examine how these dances are a part of Cuban identity and society, and points of cultural dissonance and sociopolitical abstractions."

About Winston: Winston A. Benons Jr. is a choreographer, writer, vocalist, and educator who has trained in Afro-Cuban, Haitian, Afro-Brazilian, and Bomba dance with additional studies in Horton and Dunham modern dance techniques. He was the Co-Director of EVOLVE Diaspora, which provided intensive studies in culture and dance techniques of the African Diaspora in NYC and Cuba, and he is now Founder and Director of tRúe Culture & Arts, an organization that facilitates cultural exchanges, workshops, and academic lectures/residencies. Winston has taught at Mason Gross School, Rutgers University, and Brooklyn Friends School (K-8), and has been a guest teacher throughout NYC at Ballet Hispanico, Peridance, Djoniba Dance & Drum and Cumbe to name a few. Direction and choreography credits include On Site Opera’s productions of Amahl and the Night Visitors and What Lies Beneath, and Winston is a bronze level United States President's volunteer award recipient for his work with the New Development Theater.


Bril Barrett

Tap with Bril Barrett
Instructor: Bril Barrett
Saturday October 29, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm in BARS


Description: Rhythm is the basis of all tap.  No matter how you learned, you have the ability to build complex rhythms and combos alike! This tap workshop will give you some tools and best practices to aid you in your rhythmic journey. From Improvisation exercises to across-the-floor warm-ups to technique to choreography, this class will present a 2-hour immersion into the art form of tap.

About Bril: Bril Barrett is a dedicated tap dancer, whose mission is to preserve and promote tap dance as a percussive art form, foster respect and admiration for the history and culture of tap, and continuously create opportunities for the art form and its practitioners. Bril is the founder of M.A.D.D. (Making A Difference Dancing) Rhythms, director of The Chicago Tap Summit and founder of The M.A.D.D. Rhythms Tap Academy. His Performance opportunities include Riverdance, Tap Dance Kid, Derrick Grant, Aaron Tolson’s Imagine Tap, The Kennedy Center, Jumaane Taylor’s Supreme Love, the Democratic National Convention and many others. Television appearances include The Oprah Winfrey Show, Steve Harvey Show, Jenny Jones Show, NBC’s Someone You Should know and ABC’s Windy City Live. Bril has taught and/or performed in Prague, Canada, Germany, Finland, Turkey, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Albania, Amsterdam, Brazil, the Bahamas, the U.K. and across the United States. He was named A Chicagoan of the Year and has his very own Ted Talk.


Kinnari Vora

Pulse of India: Folk Dance with Kinnari Vora
Instructor: Kinnari Vora
Saturday November 5, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm in BARS


Description: In this open-level workshop, participants will be introduced to folk dances from northwest India—such as Kalbelia, Ghoomar, Raas, Garba, and Bhil—through the lens of the Roma Journey. The group will be invited to explore the cyclical geometry, geography and props of these dance forms in contemporary context.

About Kinnari: Kinnari Vora is a Chicago based dancer, choreographer, and educator. She shares stories of universal human conditions and emotions through movement, meditation, and theatrical practices. She was born and raised in India. Her contemporary works are rooted in Bharatanatyam (disciple of Sarmishtha Sarkar, India), various Indian folk dances and kalaripayattu martial arts. Kinnari is co-founder and artistic co-chair of Ishti Collective and a dancer collaborator with Surabhi Ensemble. She is a 2022 Chicago Dancemakers Lab Artist and a resident artist at High Concept Labs.


J'Sun Howard

movement improvisation: if i never see a rainbow again with J'Sun Howard
Instructor:J'Sun Howard
Saturday November 12, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm in BARS


Description:  This workshop will focus on memories–past, present, and future–to consider ways to embody the ephemeral in relation to home. What are the homes you did not know you needed to be in? Can the prompt of "never seeing a rainbow" provoke memories and embody them as a way to practice freedom? How will the memories have, the memories to be, and the ones we will never have will interrogate our society's current climate? Through this prompt, this class will engage a poetic sensibility–if there comes a time when there are no more rainbows, what do we return then?

Shireen Hamza and Maggie Bridger

Exploring the History of Medicine through Dance with Shireen Hamza and Maggie Bridger
Instructor: Shireen Hamza and Maggie Bridger
Saturday November 19, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm in BARS


Description: How can movement help you explore a medical perspective on the body? How can medicine, past and present, offer you resources for your dance? In this guided workshop, we will improvise movement inspired by a series of scores, using our bodies to explore themes of illness and therapeutics. The scores are based on the history of humoral medicine, a system of medicine in use across Eurasia for over two millennia. This workshop aims to be accessible to all bodies, minds, and levels of experience. Beginners are most welcome.

About Maggie: Maggie Bridger is a PhD candidate in Disability Studies at the University of Illinois, Chicago. Her research and artistic interests center around disabled bodyminds in dance with a focus on reimagining pain through the creative process. Maggie is a co-founder of the Inclusive Dance Workshop Series, for which she and her project partner, Sydney Erlikh, received a 2021 Albert Schweitzer Fellowship. Maggie serves on the committee to organize Chicago's integrated dance concert, CounterBalance, and her writing was recently published in the Canadian Journal of Disability Studies. She was one of Synapse Arts' 2021 New Works artists and is currently an Artist in Residence at High Concept Labs. In October 2022, Maggie will pilot a program to further support and cultivate Chicago’s disability dance community in residence at the Chicago Cultural Center's Learning Lab.

About Shireen: Shireen Hamza is a doctoral candidate in the History of Science at Harvard University with a secondary field in Critical Media Practice; the latter has enabled her to use sound, moving image, and movement research methodologies to explore themes from her historical research. Shireen is interested in the history of science and medicine beyond the modern West. Her dissertation project is a study of how groups of Muslims made medicine local across the medieval Indian Ocean world. She has also published on the history of gender and sexuality.


Joshua Blake Carter

Jazz with Joshua Blake Carter
Instructor: Joshua Blake Carter
Saturday December 3, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm in BARS


Description: Find your foundation with a classic jazz warm-up, rooted in the Giordano Technique and sprinkled with my personal style. Finish each class with a combination that integrates the technique and my style while dancing to chart topping hits from the 70's, 80's, 90's, 00's and today! This class is great for beginners in all stages of their training, and a great way to sweat your way into the weekend!

About Joshua: Originally from Atlanta, GA, Joshua Blake Carter joined the Giordano Dance Chicago team in 2009 as a member of Giordano II.  He then danced seven seasons with the GDC main company before taking his final bow in 2017 to join the administration team as Operations Manager.  Joshua continues to serve as the Director of Giordano II, a position he has held since 2013. Joshua holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Arizona. In 2009, he was selected as the winner of Wonderbound’s national choreography competition, and in the spring of 2013 he was one of six winners commissioned to create a new work for DanceWorks Chicago’s DanceMoves choreography competition.  Other commissions include Missouri Contemporary Ballet, Nomi Dance Company, Visceral Dance Chicago, Artifact Dance Project and Glendale Community College, as well as an original work for Embarq with the Joffrey Ballet.  Additionally, Joshua created the finale for the 2016 event Sing! featuring Elton John.


Autumn Quarter Weekly In-Person Technique Classes


Hip Hop Fundamentals
Instructor: Brave Monk
Mondays, 5:15-6:45 pm in the Bartlett Arts Rehearsal Space (BARS)


Open to all levels and experiences (recommended age of 18+), BRAVEMONK will focus on the foundational movements & vocabulary of breaking while guiding students to develop proficiency in core techniques & concepts that are utilized across Breaking and a variety of Hip-Hop & Street Dance styles. Students will have the opportunity to improve & gain new skills, knowledge & application through these live classes. A curated playlist of BreakBeats, Hip-Hop, Funk & Soul music will bump!

About Bravemonk:
Daniel "Bravemonk" Haywood is a choreographer, performer, and dance educator based in Chicago. He regularly travels throughout the US and internationally as a guest speaker, host, judge, and teacher at many hip hop events, and has worked closely with the University of Hip Hop, Temple of Hip Hop, Urban Arts in Action Movement, Hip Hop Congress, and Universal Zulu Nation. Over the past fifteen years, Daniel has dedicated much of his time to researching the origins and mastering the foundations of hip hop’s cultural dance form known as B-boying or breaking, in addition to drawing from house, freestyle, martial arts, and various other hip hop lineages. Daniel is currently a member of Chicago’s legendary breaking crew, Phaze II—Crosstown Crew. He is also a founding member and active leader of Awesome Style Konnection and a member of F.E.W. Collective.


Anna Gerberich

Intermediate Ballet
Instructor: Anna Gerberich
Tuesdays, 3:30 - 5:00pm in the Ida Noyes Dance Room


The class will include a balance of barre and center work in order to achieve clear body alignment along with optimal expression. Anna believes in using every inch of the body to achieve full potential.

About Anna:
Anna Gerberich began her training at the age of seven with the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. Her training also included summer programs at Kaatsbaan, Kirov Academy and American Ballet Theatre. She danced with Charlotte Ballet, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, The Bad Boys of Ballet in London, and joined Joffrey Ballet in 2015. Over the course of her career as a principal dancer, Anna has performed leading roles including Robert Joffrey’s Nutcracker (Sugar Plum), Sleeping Beauty (Aurora), Dwight Rhoden’s Othello (Desdemona), Jiří Kylián’s Forgotten Land (Black and Red Couple), Marius Petipa’s Don Quixote (Kitri), George Balanchine’s Stars and Stripes (The Liberty Bell), Cathey Marston’s Jane Eyre (Young Jane).


Kara Brody

Intermediate Modern
Instructor: Kara Brody
Wednesdays, 5:00 - 6:30pm in BARS


Wake up your body with this release-based practice. Progressing from the floor to standing, we’ll move through sequences that partner with momentum & gravity. Our priority is to be efficient as we activate and amplify our bodies. Be ready to move with ease and to analyze how we absorb, inform, and approach the way we embody movement.

About Kara:
Kara Brody is a native of Detroit, Michigan and received her BFA in dance from Wayne State University. She spent the last four years in Chicago working with companies Khecari, Lucky Plush Productions and The Cambrians, and has worked with artists Erin Kilmurray, Amanda Maraist, Ayako Kato, Kevin Iega Jeff, Shannon Alvis, and Alice Klock. Brody teaches frequently guest teaching at University of Chicago and has been on faculty at Virtual Dance Lab, Visceral Dance, Dovetail Studios, The Cambrians’ Winter and Summer intensives, Lucky Plush Productions, Brighton Dance Festival, and The Actors Gymnasium. Brody just relocated to the Seattle area and continues to pursue her work through a virtual platform. She is currently working with Danceable Projects with Erick Montes as well as Jodie Randolph Dance.


Introducing a new Choreography Cohort!

Choreography Cohort 
Thursdays from 7:00-9:00pm in Logan 701

This bi-weekly choreography cohort is lead by Julia Rhoads, Director of Dance in TAPS, and offers students an opportunity to discuss approaches to creating dance and movement-based work, experiment with new methods alongside peers, and get feedback on choreography-in-progress. No experience with choreography is required to attend. On alternating Thursdays, students can use the space to work on their choreography.