Danceworks Mad Hot Tap Dance Competition Comes to the BMO Harris Bradley Center on Thursday, January 25th

Danceworks Mad Hot Tap Dance Competition Comes to the BMO Harris Bradley Center on Thursday, January 25th


MILWAUKEE – In an incredible celebration of Milwaukee’s youth, over 1,000 fourth and fifth grade students from 46 Milwaukee area schools will show off their tap dancing skills at the Danceworks Mad Hot Tap Competition on Thursday, January 25th, 2018! The public is invited to the BMO Harris Bradley Center (1001 N. 4th St. in Milwaukee) beginning at 1:00pm to cheer on students as they compete in Funky, Latin and Swing styles of tap dance as part of the Danceworks Mad Hot Ballroom & Tap Program (Danceworks Mad Hot). Finals and awards will begin at 4:00pm. The Danceworks Mad Hot Tap Competition is completely free and open to the public, and guests are welcome to join throughout the day.


Danceworks launched the 12th year of Mad Hot with fourth and fifth graders at 46 Milwaukee area public and private schools in October, including nine schools that are new to the program (see list below). Participating students are trained for one hour, twice per week—22 hours total—learning routines for each style of tap dance over the course of the fall semester. Most participating students have never taken a dance class prior to their instruction in Danceworks Mad Hot.


The program’s primary goals are to improve students’ self-confidence; to improve students’ respect for self and others; and to improve students’ attitudes toward physical activity. “The MPS partnership with Danceworks that makes Mad Hot Ballroom and Tap possible is truly a game-changer for our students,” says Dr. Darienne Driver, Superintendent of Milwaukee Public Schools.


“Our young people not only get the chance to dance and express themselves—they also learn diligence and commitment to their craft,” continues Driver. “When I see the joy and pride in our students at the competition, I also see how deeply the Mad Hot program helps them grow personally, academically and socially.” Since the program’s inception in 2006, Danceworks Mad Hot has reached over 26,000 Milwaukee area students—more than 550,000 hours of tap and ballroom instruction!

Danceworks will also recognize the talent and inspiration our classroom educators bring to the program with “Tappin’ with the Stars: Funky Edition”! School principals, teachers and support staff will take the floor on Competition day for one lightning round of Funky-style tap dance, judged by our student audience.
Over 75% of Danceworks Mad Hot is funded through charitable contributions from a variety of foundations, corporations and individuals. Families incur no cost to participate in the program, and thanks to the generosity of the BMO Harris Bradley Center, the Competitions are free and open to the public. JoAnne Anton, the Director of Giving at Herb Kohl Philanthropies, says, “We are thrilled to support the fun, instructive program Danceworks Mad Hot… Experiences [like Mad Hot] have as much impact on a child’s life as traditional classroom activities – sometimes more because they become the spark that ignites a love of learning, confidence and the discipline to chart a path for success.”

This year’s Danceworks Mad Hot Tap Dance Competition will be the last tap competition at the BMO Harris Bradley Center, whose amazing team has made these last eleven years not only possible, but joyous! “I often wonder if Steve Costello and his BMO Harris Bradley Center team were aware then of the incredible impact they would have on our city,” says Danceworks Executive Director, Deborah Farris.


“By opening up their doors to Danceworks 11 years ago, they opened up the hearts and untapped (no pun intended) potential of more than 25,000 Milwaukee area students,” Farris continues. “Danceworks celebrates the Bradley Center team and their families for the final tap and ballroom competitions of our cherished partnership, 2006-2018.” The final Danceworks Mad Hot Ballroom Dance Competition at the BMO Harris Bradley Center will take place in May.




Danceworks Mad Hot Fall 2017 Participating Schools

Academia de Lenguaje y Bellas Artes (ALBA)

Kluge School
Lancaster School
Lincoln Center of the Arts*
Lowell School
MacDowell Montessori School
Manitoba School*
Maryland Avenue Montessori School
Milwaukee Environmental Sciences Academy
Milwaukee French Immersion School
Milwaukee Parkside School for the Arts
Neeskara School
Pierce School
River Trail School*
Roosevelt Elementary School
Sherman Multicultural Arts School
Siefert School
Story School
St. Martini Lutheran School*
Stuart School*
Trowbridge School of Discovery and Technology
U.S. Grant School
Westside Academy
Wisconsin Conservatory of Lifelong Learning

Alcott School*
Alexander Mitchell Integrated Arts School*
Auer Avenue School
Benjamin Franklin School
Brown Street Academy
Bruce Elementary*
Byron Kilbourn School
Carter’s Christian Academy
Cass Street School
Clement Avenue School
Cross Trainers Academy
Curtin Leadership Academy
Doerfler School
Elm Creative Arts School
Elm Dale Elementary School
Escuela Fratney
Fifty-Third Street School
Forest Home Avenue School
Hampton School
Hartford University School
Hawthorne School*
J.W. Riley School


*Indicates school is participating in Danceworks Mad Hot for the first time.
Danceworks, Inc, enhances the joy, health and creativity of our community through performances, classes and outreach activities integrating dance and other art forms. Danceworks is a member of the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF). For more information about Mad Hot Ballroom and Tap Program, visit the Danceworks website at


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