Max Pollak

Undergraduate Discipline


Native Austrian, a prestigious name on the international tap and world music scene, and the only non-Cuban member of Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, Cuba’s famous Rumba ambassadors, critics and peers worldwide acknowledge his superior musicianship and his highly individual style called RumbaTap. Several of today's top tap dance artists studied with him and work in his touring group. Recipient of a 2011 Hoofer Award, 2011 Bessie Award nomination, 2010 Individual Artist Grant from Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance, and a 2008 Fellowship in Choreography from the New York Foundation of the Arts. His innovative a cappella vocal arrangements of El Guararey de Pastora and Sakura received critical praise in The New York Times. Among others, he worked with Gregory Hines, Chucho Valdés, Lila Downs, Ray Brown, Paquito D'Rivera, Buster Brown, Jimmy Slyde, Manhattan Tap, and Urban Tap. Performed as a soloist with members of the Vienna, Berlin, and New York Philharmonic orchestras, London and Montreal Symphony orchestras, St. Luke’s Chamber Orchestra, Les Violons du Roy, Orchestre Nouvelle Generation, and many more. Several internationally acclaimed composers have written orchestral works expressly for him. Recording artist, published writer, artist-in-residence at American Tap Dance Foundation...and he makes a great apfelstrudel. SLC, 2015–

Current undergraduate courses

Rumba Tap


This class offers students different ways to access their inner rhythm machine and to explore the most immediate and natural physical outlets for the music in their mind. Improvisation will be part of this process. Although some tap technique will be covered and incorporated, the class focuses on body percussion/rhythmic coordination and a general understanding of the earth-shattering power of Afro-Cuban culture, music, and dance.

Related Cross-Discipline Paths