Emily Mikolitch Margaret Rylatt Scholarship
Emily first began tap when she was three years old, and at her first tap recital she was able
to show her free spirit while dancing Jarabe Tapitío— the Mexican Hat Dance.
Although she is dedicated to tap and is able to incorporate different styles into her dance form, she is focused when it comes to academics. Emily, who attends the Greenhill School, is shooting high when it comes to college, aiming at NYU, Brown University or Duke.
With my Dance Council scholarship, I attended the Chicago Human Rhythm Project at Loyola University Chicago. For five days, I tapped from 9 to 4 starting with a technique class for an hour and twenty minutes from great teachers like Sam Webber, Jason Samuels Smith, Gene Medler, Martin "Tre" Dumas, and Ted Levy. Then attended an improv class for the same amount of time from Lisa LaTouche. We would have a different seminar each day where different mentors would come and talk to us, we were taught body percussion, or we sat with all the other youth tap ensembles and discussed the pros and few cons of CHRP and how we could resolve them. Lastly, we learned a dance from Barbra Duffy that we can add to our repertoire when the other group (each ensemble was split in half and separated into room A and room B) learned a piece from Mar! tin "Tre" Dumas so we came home with two new very different and new tap dances.
Prior to going, my goals were to improve my skills and enjoy myself but as the week went on, my goals were far surpassed. I had so much fun and I improved my skills drastically, especially my improv ability. I made a lot of new friends from all over the country and even got to meet tappers from Asia, Brazil and Europe.
The teachers were so great. They were inspirational and amazing tappers. It really made me think about how I would want to become a tap teacher. I hope someday, I will be as talented as the teachers there and travel all over the world like they have to teach and inspire more people and mostly share my passion for tap with everyone.
The highlight of the whole trip though was when the Drawbacks (my youth tap ensemble) got to perform in the CHRP showcase. Halfway though my improv solo in the dance, the music shut off and we did the rest of the dance with no music. Everyone said we were great performers and we handled it very well. It was amazing getting such nice compliments from such fantastic tappers.
I am so thankful for the opportunity to go and get to be with people who love tapping just as much as I do. I can't wait to go back next year. Thank you so much for the opportunity. It was a blast and a great learning experience. Thank you for everyone who made this happen.