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Students tappers pull out all the stops for Mad Hot Tap Competition

They weren’t dancing in the street, but a gathering of nearly 1,000 students at the UWM Panther Arena did manage to transform the sports venue into a dance party during the annual Danceworks Mad Hot Tap Competition.

On January 24, just ahead of the winter weather that closed schools for five days, fourth and fifth graders from 39 Milwaukee schools donned their tap shoes to dazzle their family and friends with hip hop, Latin, and swing styles they learned through the Danceworks Mad Hot Ballroom and Tap Program.

Danceworks has delivered high-quality ballroom and tap dance programs to MPS students for more than 12 years. Through the Mad Hot program, hundreds of children gain access to formal dance training--most of them have never been in a dance class before. Students develop confidence and showmanship while also experiencing the value of practice and hard work. Students take a one-hour class twice weekly during the fall semester (at no cost, thanks to generous funders) and they learn routines for each style of tap dance in preparation for the competition.

The Mad Hot Tap program is known to motivate students to excel in their schoolwork and help drive up attendance. Joyful arts experiences inspire students' creativity, promote a love of learning, and encourage discipline that will serve them well in the classroom and throughout their lives.

Photo by Jeff Zmania

Congratulations to all Mad Hot winners, especially MacDowell Montessori, the overall winner of the Mad Hot Tap competition!

Hip Hop

First Place – MacDowell Montessori

Second Place – Carter’s Christian

Third Place – Fifty-Third Street School


First Place – St. Martini

Second Place – MacDowell Montessori

Third Place – Milwaukee French Immersion


First Place – Fifty-Third Street School

Second Place – Roosevelt Elementary

Third Place – MacDowell Montessori



Stephen Davis, Media Relations Manager
(414) 475-8675
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