Two local dancers tap, shuffle, stomp with Rhythmic Circus

A quartet of dancers tapped into each other’s lives when they crossed paths performing on the Minneapolis arts scene seven years ago.

When he’s not dancing around the world with Rhythmic Circus, Nick Bowman teaches dance at the Northern Force Dance Company of Blaine.

When he’s not dancing around the world with Rhythmic Circus, Nick Bowman teaches dance at the Northern Force Dance Company of Blaine.Photo submitted

Together they danced as part of larger troupes, entertaining audiences around the Twin Cities and beyond. But the dancers felt a deeper calling, a calling to inspire and communicate a positive message to all who witness the dance.

That calling planted a seed that bounced into life as Rhythmic Circus.

“Bob Dylan said, ‘The highest purpose of art is to inspire,’” said dancer Nick Bowman, a 10-year resident of Coon Rapids who recently moved to Blaine and serves as executive director of Rhythmic Circus, an 11-member company of tap dancers, musicians and technicians.

“That is what we set out to do every time we perform – convey a positive message, one that leaves the audience feeling really, really juiced when they leave the show.”

Dancing their originally-choreographed, high-energy and critically-acclaimed “Feet Don’t Fail Me Now,” Rhythmic Circus dances to original music infused with jazz, funk, rock, blues and soul, highlighting the percussive footwork and explosive choreography of the four dancers.

Another member of the dancing quartet, Kaleena Miller also has local ties. Growing up in Andover, Miller attended Washington Elementary School and Sandberg and Oak View middle schools before graduating from Anoka High School in 2002.

“Performing with Rhythmic Circus is an amazing experience,” Miller said. “We put our heart and souls into every performance, and I think people see that and respond to it. Yes, it’s a tap dance and music show, but at its core, ‘Feet Don’t Fail Me Now’ is about a group of friends who really love what they do with a ton of energy and passion.”

Dancing with the mission to “spread positivity to audiences everywhere through inspirational experiences for all age groups and cultural backgrounds through the sensational blend of theatre, music and dance,” Rhythmic Circus won awards in two categories in the 2011 Minnesota Sage Awards for Dance. It was also recognized for outstanding performance and outstanding ensemble and was named Best Dance Performance by City Pages that same year.

“The audience response is always so great … (To see) people connect to that energy and passion … It’s a wonderful thing to give and feel on stage,” said Miller.

Rhythmic Circus kicks off its 2014-2015 40-city international tour with a pair of performances in Burnsville (see sidebar). From there, the troupe returns to Scotland where “Feet Don’t Fail Me Now” was awarded the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe Festival “Spirit of the Fringe” award.

Next, Rhythmic Circus comes back to the United States with stops in Wisconsin, Washington, Iowa, Georgia, and Minnesota. Then it’s back to Europe for a month-long tour in the Netherlands.

Rhythmic Circus continues in the United States, concluding its tour in May 2015 at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.

To see its complete schedule and to learn more about Rhythmic Circus, visit RhythmicCircus.com.

Kicking off an
international tour

Minneapolis-based dance company Rhythmic Circus performs “Feet Don’t Fail Me Now,” 8 p.m. July 25 and 8 p.m. July 26 at the Ames Center (formerly Burnsville Performing Arts Center), 12600 Nicollet Ave., Burnsville. Tickets  are available at ticketmaster.com or by calling the Ames Center box office at 1-800-982-2787.

Sue Austreng is at
sue.austreng@ecm-inc.com

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