Teaching Artist – TLD
Tanji Harper is a Chicago Native and is proud to be from and still residing on the south side of the city. Born to parents who balanced their artistic skills with their ability to blend into the working-class professional, Tanji has a gift for understanding the power of entertainment, professionalism, and accomplishing overall goals within a specified time frame.
Ms. Harper was technically trained by the Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theater, Chicago Dance Medium, Homer Bryant, Joel Hall, and is a 4-year alumni of The Chicago Academy of the Arts under the instruction of Anna Paskevska, Winifred Haun, Claire Bataille, Roger Turner, and Randy Duncan. (class of “95”)
After high school, Tanji spent some time in both L.A. and New York training, then started dancing for both R&B and Hip Hop mainstream music acts. Her resume includes R. Kelly, Sparkle, Do or Die, Avant, and Busta Rhymes from 1997-1999.
After touring and performing all over the country Ms. Harper came home and began teaching in Chicago. Landing a life-changing position that would grow her into the position of artistic director at the Happiness Club, and piloting dance programs that grew into 4 different Hidef dance Ensemble apprenticeships through After School Matters which are designed for Chicago Public School teens ages 14-18.
Over the past two years, Tanji has put her focus on the young adult gap that is often passed over. The age range of 18-25 is often neglected and still underdeveloped and in need of further assistance to make the necessary adjustments into “adulting”.
A constant mentor and seeker of solutions, Tanji created Blu Rhythm Chicago. Blu rhythm Chicago has both a crew that performs and conducts/hosts workshops and the Collective which creates artistic works that push the boundary of what Chicago artists can produce and perform on a professional level.
Over the last 18 years Tanji Harper has either contributed to the curriculum, implemented programming, and/or partnered with the Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Schools, After School Matters, The Happiness Club, Redmoon Theater, Dance Chicago, the American Rhythm Center, The Taste of Chicago, Broadway in Chicago, Young Chicago Authors, Lollapalooza, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and The White House Easter Egg Roll during the Obama administration. (2012, 2015 &2016)
Ms. Harper continues to use dance, hip hop, and the power of positivity to influence the choices our young creatives in Chicago are faced with making, uplifting the words unity, community, and continuously pushing urban artistry. Tanji Harper also teaches adult beginner level Hip Hop classes at the American Rhythm Center and Hubbard Street Dance Studios, and she is a master at engaging every level of dancer.