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HomeEmily Mikolitch 2009

Emily Mikolitch [14]  Buster Cooper Tap Scholarship

Emily attended the Chicago Human Rhythm Project this past summer where she furthered her passion for tap. Next year Emily will be attending Booker T. Washington School for the Performing Arts as a theatre major. As she enters high school she will be able to focus on her professional aspirations in film including set design, costume design, and historical referencing. Emily is a unique attribution to the arts as she shines on stage as well as behind the camera.

With the help of The Dance Council and the Buster Cooper Tap scholarship, I attended Chicago Human Rhythm Project’s Youth Tap Ensemble Conference (YTEC) with members from my tap ensemble, The Drawbacks YTE for the second time. The conference this year was just as incredible as last year as I found my tap dancing being taken to a new level. During technique classes with master teachers like Martin “Tre” Dumas and improv classes from Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards and Chloe Arnold, I was able to acquire new skills and improve my improv drastically while becoming familiar and comfortable dancing with different time signatures and many genres of music, especially jazz. The seminars were also extremely helpful as we learned about dance-related injuries, proper stretching, dance photography, and my personal favorite, how to work as a dancer with a live band. My YTEC group, which consisted of members from youth tap ensembles from all over the country, even Canada, was given choreography by the great Jason Janas. It is easily one of the most difficult pieces I have ever learned, but it is also one of my favorites. I am very eager to perfect and perform the number. In our final session with all the YTEC participents, staff, and faculty, Mr. Lane Alexander, founder and director of CHRP commented that not only were some of the world’s greatest tap dancers in the room, referring to the masters mentioned above along with Jason Samuels Smith and "Lady" Dianne Walker, but that the future’s greatest tap dancers could be sitting there as well.
            The YTEC was filled with so many amazing young dancers, and even considering the talent, was a supportive environment with good-natured and healthy competition that is so hard to find. I am so blessed for the opportunity to attend Chicago Human Rhythm Project’s YTEC again and I cannot thank the Dance Council or Trisha Wilson enough for the scholarship.