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Milwaukee French Immersion fifth graders dance their way to the top in Mad Hot Tap competition

MFIS tap dancers

MFIS dancersMore than 1,000 Milwaukee area fifth grade students took to the dance floor Thursday for the Danceworks Winter Mad Hot Tap Competition held at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

The Danceworks Mad Hot program teaches life skills and increases physical activity and school engagement by integrating tap and ballroom dance into the regular school curriculum.

Students from Milwaukee French Immersion School tapped their way into the judges’ hearts by placing first in each style of the tap dance competitions. They were also named the Overall Mad Hot Tap Competition winners.

Milwaukee Public Schools swept the competition, with six of the district’s 31 participating schools placing first, second or third in the Latin Tap, Funky Tap and Swing Tap competitions:

  • Milwaukee French Immersion: Overall winner; First Place, Latin Tap; First Place Funky Tap; First Place Swing Tap
  • Academia de Lenguajes y Bellas Artes: Second Place, Latin Tap
  • Benjamin Franklin Elementary: Second Place, Swing Tap
  • Byron Kilbourn Elementary: Third Place, Latin Tap; Third Place, Funky Tap
  • Hartford University School: Third Place, Swing Tap
  • Wisconsin Center for Lifelong Learning: Second Place, Funky Tap

tap dancersModeled after the successful New York City schools program featured in the hit documentary Mad Hot Ballroom, the Danceworks Mad Hot program promotes students’ social and emotional development while increasing their respect for themselves and others, as well as their physical activity, through dance.

The 2016-17 school year  is the first year that the program is being offered for the full school year, with students participating in tap in the fall and ballroom in the spring. Since the program’s inception in 2006, more than 21,000 city youth have been positively impacted by the program. Students in the Mad Hot program receive more than 20 hours of instruction from Danceworks teachers.

Partnerships with organizations like Danceworks are key to expanding fine arts offerings in MPS. Central to the district’s plan to increase academic achievement is the redesign of the MPS experience to include expansion of fine arts.

Photos: Milwaukee French Immersion students at the Mad Hot Tap competition.


Stephen Davis, Media Relations Manager
(414) 475-8675
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  • Ninety-four percent of 2022-23 budget dollars go to support schools;
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