This past summer, Rhythmically Speaking celebrated 10 years of presenting excellent staged work inspired by jazz and American social dance ideas and created by primarily Minnesota-based artists as a means of building community and encouraging consciousness of the sociocutural histories of and innovations in these forms. Now entering our second decade, we are excited to stretch ourselves and fulfill our mission in innovative new ways by reimagining our annual summer production under the title *Rhythmically Speaking presents . . . The Cohort.

* Submission Form for The Cohort can be found BELOW – please read all text above it to get familiar with this program before submitting.

RS11 Julie2 (Calabay)

Photo of Julie Warder’s performance and choreography in Rhythmically Speaking 2011

For this inaugural year of the program, we are looking for one “Local” (Minnesota-based) choreographer (in addition to RS Artistic Director Erinn Liebhard) to make a new work, and two “Touring” choreographers (based outside Minnesota) to revisit a piece of their repertoire. We will also be casting a group of eight to twelve dancers to learn and perform said works. The project will culminate in a fully produced show August 15-17, 2019 at the Southern Theater in Minneapolis.

This new vision for our annual production will continue our support of new work by local choreographers while providing touring opportunities for choreographers from outside Minnesota. It will also create regular professional performance opportunities for local dancers interested in staged work inspired by jazz and American social dance ideas. We are looking to deepen the engagement of and improve compensation for involved artists and to offer audiences fewer but more substantial works to experience while building community among all of them. For Important Dates and all below program details, please see this PDF Program Description.


Details for potential CHOREOGRAPHERS:


  • Artists at any point in their careers are welcomed to apply. Must 21 and older.
  • Submitted work must explore staging of jazz and American social dance forms: approaches include but not limited to tap and hip-hop styles. Potential applicants encouraged to join our ongoing conversation around “what constitutes jazz and American social dance?” by applying.


  • Submitted pieces must be between 15-22 minutes and for 8 dancers or less. “Local” choreographer submissions must be for making a new work, and “Touring” choreographer submissions must be for remounting a piece of existing repertoire for eight dancers or less. All work to be set on The Cohort’s dancers.
  • Selected choreographers will be asked to teach a master class and do a public showing of their work while in the Twin Cities.
  • Dutiful participation in production week activities and post-program evaluation efforts is expected.


  • Commission includes full rehearsal and presentation support, from the provision of rehearsal space and dancers to the rental of celebrated Twin Cities performance venue The Southern Theater, a full technical staff, and major marketing support from Rhythmically Speaking for the show, as well as an honorarium of at least *$1,500.00.

* Honorarium offered at the same rate for both Local and Touring choreographers, given the former will be in rehearsal more and the later will have travel costs to cover. Homestay available for Touring choreographers during rehearsal periods and production week.

Submission Details:

  • PDF: Complete as PDF file with naming convention “LASTNAME”.
  • SINGLE PAGE: Limit text to amount of space provided on the form.
  • Video sample required: MUST be submitted as ‘UnlistedYouTube link WITHIN Submission Form. “Local” applicants: select one video of an entire past work best representing your aesthetic/ the work you hope to create. “Touring” applicants: provide video of entire work being submitting.
  • Due: To by 5pm CST on Friday, 11/30/18.
  • Choreographer Selection Announced: By Friday, 12/21/18.



Details for potential DANCERS:


  • Artists at any point in their careers are welcomed to audition. Must be 21 or older.
  • Prior experience with jazz and American social dance forms will be beneficial.


  • Full availability for ‘Important Dates’ listed above.
  • Agreement to learn and perform 2-4 of the 4 works programmed onto the show.
  • Dancers are expected to *dutifully participate as movers in rehearsals, public showings and production week activities and post-program evaluation efforts.

* In the event a Choreographer chooses to seek additional creative contribution, dancers can expect to receive appropriate additional recognition in the program and the support of RS staff in defining their developed role as needed.


  • Stipend of at least $1,250.00 (for an average of 100 rehearsal hours (3 pieces + brush-ups) and 25 performance hours at $10 per hour).

Audition Details:

  • Come to the audition on 1/6/19 from 6:30-9:30pm (location TBD) prepared to move through a warm-up and phrases the touch on the aesthetic priorities of selected Choreographers.
  • Cast will be announced by the end of the day on 1/14/19.


Questions? Contact We look forward to seeing your work, and thank you for your support of our past efforts and foray into new programming territory!



Rhythmically Speaking 10/2018

Southern Theater, Minneapolis MN
August 16-18, 2018
Featured work by Gabriel Anderson & Laura Selle-Virtucio, Leila Awadallah, Melissa Clark, Brandi Coleman (Dallas, TX), Karla Grotting, Jolene Konkel, Erinn Liebhard (RS Artistic Director) and Emma Marlar
Press Log

Rhythmically Speaking 2017

Illusion Theater, Minneapolis MN
August 17-19, 2017
Featured work by Karla Grotting, O’Calla Joslyn, Erinn Liebhard (RS Artistic Director), Kaleena Miller, Laura Osterhaus, Jeffrey Peterson (PA) and Abigail Whitmore
Press Log

Rhythmically Speaking 2016

Southern Theater, Minneapolis MN
August 18-20, 2016
Featured work by Rush Benson, Rae Charles, Cynthia Gutierrez-Garner (OR), Karla Grotting, Erinn Liebhard (RS Artistic Director), Laura Selle-Virtucio and Pat Taylor/ JazzAntiqua Dance Ensemble (CA)
Press Log

Rhythmically Speaking 2015

Bedlam Lowertown, St. Paul MN
August 20-22, 2015
Featured work by Rush Benson and Brian Evans, Jennifer Glaws, Sarah Jabar, Keane Sense of Rhythm, Erinn Liebhard, Emily Oleson and Kwame Opare (West Virginia/ D.C.) and Clarence Teeters Jr. (reconstructed by Karla Grotting)
Press Log

Rhythmically Speaking 2014

Southern Theater, Minneapolis MN
August 14-16, 2014
Featured work by Michele Dunleavy, Karla Grotting, B-Boy J-Sun, Erinn Liebhard, Christine Maginnis, Joanne Spencer and Voice of Culture
Press Log

Rhythmically Speaking 2013

Southern Theater, Minneapolis MN
August 15-17, 2013
Featured work by Yung-Tsi Bolon & Laura Horn, Emily Broeker, Maura Garcia, Karla Grotting, RS Artistic Director Erinn Liebhard, Christine Maginnis and Darrius Strong
Press Log

2012: Rhythmically Speaking presents . . .

Southern Theater, Minneapolis MN
August 16-18, 2012
Featured work by Deborah Elias, Karla Grotting, Cythnia Gutierrez-Garner, Carrie Lande, RS Artistic Director Erinn Liebhard, Jennifer Mack, Whitney McClusky, J-Sun and Dancin’ Dave and Joanne Spencer
Press Log
KFAI Fresh Air Radio Feature

2011: Rhythmically Speaking presents Groovers & Makers

Southern Theater, Minneapolis MN
August 25-27, 2011
Featured work by Emily Broeker, Jennifer Glaws, Karla Grotting, Jolene Konkel, Carrie Lande, RS Artistic Director Erinn Liebhard, Jeffrey Peterson, Julie Warder and Cathy Wind
Press Log

2010: Rhythmically Speaking presents Principles of Pulse

Bedlam Theater, Minneapolis MN
August 19-21, 2010
Featured work by Jennifer Glaws, Karla Grotting, Cynthia Gutierrez-Garner, Sarah Jabar, Ellen Keane, RS Artistic Director Erinn Liebhard, Jeffrey Peterson, Kenna Sarge and Karis Sloss
Press Log

2009: Rhythmically Speaking

Bedlam Theatre, Minneapolis MN
August 20-22, 2009
Featured work by Karla Grotting, Cynthia Gutierrez-Garner, Jolene Konkel, RS Co-Artistic Director Erinn Liebhard, Kaleena Miller, Karis Sloss, and RS Co-Artistic Director Heather P. Westerlund