Danceworks Mad Hot Competition


Join us for the 13th annual Danceworks Mad Hot Tap Competition on Thursday, January 24th, 2019!

This incredible celebration will show off the hard work of over 1,000 fourth and fifth grade students from 38 Milwaukee area schools, as they compete in Latin and Swing styles of tap dance as part of Danceworks Mad Hot. New this year, students will also compete in the category of hip hop dance, in addition to the traditional tap dance.

The public is invited to the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena (400 W. Kilbourn Ave. in Milwaukee) beginning at 1:00pm to cheer on students, with finals and awards beginning at 4:00pm. The Danceworks Mad Hot Tap Competition is completely free and open to the public, and guests are welcome to join at any time.


2018-19 is the third year that this transformative program is being offered for the full school year, with students participating in tap in the Fall and ballroom in the Spring. Since the program’s inception in 2006, over 26,000 city youth have been positively impacted by the joy, health and creativity Danceworks brings to our city through Mad Hot.


We are excited to announce that beginning in the 2018-19 program year, Danceworks Mad Hot’s two annual Competitions will be held at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena!


We are especially grateful to the Danceworks Mad Hot Competition’s partners. Year after year, the BMO Harris Bradley Center provided financial and logistical support to make the competition possible. Their assistance and expertise has been vital to organizing and making the competition run smoothly—creating a very special day for the participants. What’s more, the BMO Harris Bradley Center gave all of this to Danceworks free of charge! Thank you to Steve Costello and the BMO Harris Bradley Center team for 12 great years of partnership.


Wisconsin Center District CEO Marty Brooks & Danceworks CEO Deb Farris at the 2018 Mad Hot Ballroom Competition.

We are so humbled and appreciative of the Wisconsin Center District and CEO Marty Brooks for offering to host Danceworks Mad Hot at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena free of charge for future Competitions so that all our Mad Hot families can continue to attend. Read all about our exciting new partnership.


Throughout the years, Weyco Group, Inc. has generously donated men’s dress shoes and ties for our male ballroom students. During the last month of lessons leading up to the competition, we distributed the shoes and ties to students in need. Students proudly wore their shoes and ties on Competition day. For students unable to afford Competition clothing, this donation has made a big difference.



Congratulations to our winners and to every student who participated in Danceworks Mad Hot!

Danceworks Mad Hot Ballroom 2018 Competition Results:

Salsa –
First Place – MacDowell
Second Place – J.W. Riley School
Third Place – Brown Street

Tango –
First Place – Stuart
Second Place – ALBA
Third Place – Siefert Elementary

Swing –
First Place – Byron Kilbourn Elementary
Second Place – J.W. Riley
Third Place – Alcott

Overall Winner – J.W. Riley


view photo album

Danceworks Mad Hot Tap 2018 Competition Results:

Latin –
First Place – Wisconsin Conservatory of Lifelong Learning (WCLL)
Second Place – Bruce Elementary
Third Place – Academia de Languaje y Bellas Artes (ALBA)

Funky –
First Place – Byron Kilbourn School
Second Place – Maryland Avenue Montessori School
Third Place – Bruce Elementary

Swing –
First Place – Byron Kilbourn School
Second Place – Kluge School
Third Place – Maryland Avenue Montessori School

Overall Winner – Bruce Elementary


view photo album

Danceworks Mad Hot in the Media


  • Check us out on Fox 6 Wake Up here! (December 16, 2016).
  • Visit our YouTube channel to view clips of Danceworks Mad Hot in action.
  • Watch the Channel 10 Adelante segment on Danceworks Mad Hot here.
  • Visit our Facebook Galleries to view photos from the 2016-17 Mad Hot Competitions: >Tap    >Ballroom

Questions about Danceworks Mad Hot? Contact Maryann Walbert, Executive Assistant to the CEO, at 414.277.8480 x6012, or via email.

Photos: Jeff Zmania