Reporting Rob Johnson
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CHICAGO (CBS) — As everyone knows, Chicago is rich with culture: museums, theater, music and dance, to name a few.
But did you know our city has a vibrant tap-dancing scene?
In a non-descript studio inside the Athenaeum Theatre building in Lakeview, students are tapping and tapping and tapping – the young and the young at heart.
Among them is Lonnie Keeler of Huntley, who’s been making the trek into the city for five years.
“I’ve always like tap since I was a little girl,” she tells CBS 2’s Rob Johnson.
The attraction is the workout, the creativity, the camaraderie, and the teacher, Lane Alexander. He’s been leading the Chicago Human Rhythm Project for more than 20 years now and still loves tap.
“Not only is it good for your health but it’s good for your spirit,” he says.
He’s won awards and even performed at Carnegie Hall, but it’s the unifying quality of tap that keeps him energized.
“Because of its roots in different cultures, especially African and Irish culture, there are elements from both cultures present in the art form, and we use it to bring people together,” Alexander says.
Every year, the Project holds several big performances and even hosts a festival taught by some of tap’s biggest names, including Diane Walker. But Alexander also believes the health benefits from this weekly routine are also important.
“Obviously, dancing for an hour and 15 minutes is going to be good for your body, and there actually have been studies that anything you do on your left and right side in equal amounts helps to prevent onset of Alzheimer’s,” he says.
The Chicago Human Rhythm Project has all different levels of tap dancers, and all ages.
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