M.A.D.D. Rhythms, Chicago’s premier tap collective, is proud to announce new video content created by principal dancers Star Dixon, Donnetta Jackson and KJ Sheldon celebrating and commemorating Black History and Women’s History months. The videos will premiere in February and March on M.A.D.D. Rhythms’ YouTube channel. These video premieres are part of M.A.D.D. Rhythms’ 20th Anniversary Season which includes video premieres, a new documentary premiere, M.A.D.D Rhythms’ publishing debut, social media happenings, classes, the Chicago Tap Summit and more. Information on these special 20th Anniversary events may be found at MADDRhythms.com.
“All of us at M.A.D.D. Rhythms are excited for these videos to premiere. These video drops offer an opportunity for Company Members like Star, Donnetta and KJ a showcase for their skills and talents and give our fans and followers incredible, new content to enjoy,” said Bril Barrett, founder of M.A.D.D. Rhythms. “We will be sharing more videos throughout our 20th Anniversary Season and hope you will join in the celebrations.”
Video descriptions, premiere dates and more are:
Monday, Feb. 22 at 1 p.m. CST
“Dreams & Nightmares” by Rehearsal Director Donnetta Jackson
Performers include: Ivy Anderson, Bril Barrett, Tristan Bruns, Andrew Carr, Megan Davis, Michael “MikeDchicago”Davis, Starinah “Star” Dixon, Alexandrya Fryson, Izaiah Harris, Sterling Harris, Caleb Jackson, Donnetta “Lilbit’ Jackson, Eddie “Pause Eddie” Martin Jr., Devin Mosely, Case Prime and KJ Sheldon
“Dreams and Nightmares” is a visual expression of Donetta Jackson’s spiritual journey with the Meek Mill song with the same name as the performance piece through the media of tap dance and Chicago footwork. It is a tribute to her creation brother Kendall who, after his transition, flows through Jackson through this song and continues to push her to new heights.
Sunday, Feb. 28 at 1 p.m. CST
“Rhythm Symphony” by Assistant Director Starinah “Star” Dixon
Performers include: Ivy Anderson, Andrew Carr, Starinah “Star” Dixon, Alexandrya Fryson, Izaiah Harris, Sterling Harris, Caleb Jackson, Donnetta “Lilbit” Jackson and Devin Mosely
“Rhythm Symphony” highlights Black people, culture, music and art. It is a tribute to the journey of Africans to America while celebrating the classic movie “Coming to America” and its long-awaited sequel, premiering March 5.
Monday, March 8 at 1 p.m. CST
“I Get So Lonely” by Principal Soloist KJ Sheldon
Performers include: Ivy Anderson, Megan Davis, Alexandrya Fryson, Starinah “Star” Dixon, Donnetta “Lilbit” Jackson, KJ Sheldon and Molly Sute
“I Get Lonely” is a celebration of what it means to be a woman in M.A.D.D. Rhythms. Specifically created for International Women’s History Month and released on International Women’s Day, it features a combination of rhythm and style.
The videos production team include Ashley Battle (director of photography/editor); Brian Delisi (steady camera operator); Ibrahim Useinovski (camera operator)/editor); Chris Owsiany (gaffer) and Mina Jue (camera assistant/photographer).
ABOUT DONNETTA JACKSON, choreographer/performer “Dreams & Nightmares,” debuts Monday, Feb. 22 at 1 p.m. CST
Donnetta “LilBit” Jackson is a dynamic and versatile dancer whose skill has brought her international acclaim. She was born and raised on the south side of Chicago, where she began dancing at The Sammy Dyer School of the Theatre at the age of seven. At 11 years old, she became one of the original members of the prestigious M.A.D.D. Rhythms tap company and later joined the Chicago footwork group Creation Battle Clique/Creation Global, which led her to the internationally recognized dance ensemble the Chicago FootworKINGz, which resulted in her performing with them on season 6 of MTV’s “America’s Best Dance Crew.” Later she was a featured dancer for Grammy award winning artist Chance The Rapper’s “Sunday Candy” and “Angels” music videos, and is now one of his choreographers/dancers. She performed with him at the 2020 NBA All-Star game and also Rolling Loud, the largest Hip-Hop festival in the world, and “Good Morning America” among others. She also performed on the “MTV Video Music Awards” performing with Missy Elliot during her Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award performance.
ABOUT STARINAH “STAR” DIXON, choreographer/performer “Rhythm Symphony,” debuts Sunday, Feb. 28 at 1 p.m. CST
Starinah “Star” Dixon is an assistant director, choreographer and original principal dancer of world renowned tap company, M.A.D.D. Rhythms. She has taught and performed at the most distinguished tap festivals in the country including The L.A.
Tap Fest, DC Tap Fest, RIFF Dallas, Chicago Human Rhythm Project’s Rhythm World and M.A.D.D. Rhythms own Chicago Tap Summit. She’s performed internationally including in Poland, Japan and Brazil. Performance venues include Jacob’s Pillow, Kennedy Center and the Lincoln Center. Outside of M.A.D.D. Rhythms, she’s performed as a guest with such companies as Michelle Dorrance’s Dorrance Dance and Savion Glover’s All Funk’d Up. Dixon is currently on staff at numerous dance studios in and around Chicago.
ABOUT KJ SHELDON, choreographer/performer “I Get So Lonely,” debuts Monday, March 8 at 1 p.m. CST
Native of Colorado, KJ Sheldon grew up dancing under the direction of her late mentor, Prof. Robert Reed. At 18, she moved to Chicago to pursue a BFA in musical theater with an emphasis in dance. Throughout her years of studies, Sheldon started dancing with M.A.D.D. Rhythms Tap Company, and she has truly found her family. She graduated in May of 2019 and is now performing as a professional tap dancer in Chicago.
ABOUT M.A.D.D. RHYTHMS
M.A.D.D. (Making A Difference Dancing) Rhythms is a phenomenal tap dance collective whose “SOLE” purpose is to spread the love and joy of tap worldwide. What started as Bril Barrett and Martin Dumas III’s formula for giving back, is now, in its 20th year, a full-fledged 501 (c) 3 performing arts company, quickly gaining a reputation for representing the true essence of tap: RHYTHM! The company is composed of young, versatile tap dancers from all over Chicago. Their ages range from 17 to 45 years old, and their backgrounds are equally diverse. The one thing they all have in common is a love for “the dance.”
M.A.D.D. Rhythms’ mission is to preserve, promote and contribute to this art form called tap. They teach its history, represent its culture and advocate for its future. M.A.D.D. Rhythms uses this beautiful dance/music form to make a difference in the under-served communities of this world by connecting and caring for the youth of this world. Believing that having access and options gives a child a greater chance at a positive life, M.A.D.D. Rhythms spreads the joy, love, discipline and expression of tap to as many children as they humanly can!
M.A.D.D. Rhythms’ performance opportunities, in short, have included: Dance Africa Chicago, Dance Chicago, The Stars of “Dance Chicago” in Istanbul, Turkey, M.A.D.D. Rhythms Canada’s “Release Yourself” and “Great Feets of Rhythm,” Downbeats Canada’s “Embrace the Rhythm,” Miami’s Art-Deco Festival, An Expo for Today’s Black Woman, Kwanzaa Festival, The African Festival of the Arts, St. Louis Tap Festival, Boys and Girls Clubs National Conference, the Chicago Historical Society’s Summer Performance Series, and DuSable Museum’s educational theatre series. They have also produced nine full-length productions, created the annual Chicago Tap Summit and educated more than 200 students via The M.A.D.D. Rhythms Tap Academy.
In an effort to continuously give back to their communities, they have also worked with many public and private schools and volunteered performances for various community affiliated organizations including A.C.E.S. (Athletes Committed to Educating Students), Children Affected by AIDS Foundation, Nikola Tesla Alternative High School for Girls, TCA Health and Nutrition Fair, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. and Rainbow House.