Billy Siegenfeld

Billy Siegenfeld is a former jazz and rock drummer; a present-day vocal-rhythmic theatre-movement artist; a director of the performance and teaching company, Jump Rhythm®; a faculty member in the Department of Theatre at Northwestern University where he is a Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence; an essayist and playwright; and an environmental activist.  His most recent play, What Do You Want To Be When You Give Up?, has had successful 2019 premieres in New York City at the Mark O’Donnell Theater and in London at the Bathway Theatre.  (See “Reviews” under “What’s Playing.”)  He is the creator of a unique system of voice-and-movement learning for peoples of all backgrounds and abilities called Jump Rhythm®.  Informing every aspect of this technique is the injury-preventive, mind-body healing concept called Standing Down Straight®, or SDS.  SDS uses gravity-guided release into the earth as the source of postural, motional, and spiritual health; of living a more environmentally respectful life; and of offering an unmannered, less-is-more approach to moving, speaking, singing, and simply being, whether in performance or in everyday life.


As a Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence in the Department of Theatre at Northwestern University Billy teaches a variety of communally engaged-in, rhythmically vocalized courses in acting, dancing, and singing in classes open to all students no matter their discipline. Over the trajectory of his teaching and performing career, Billy created two original pedagogical concepts – Standing Down Straight®: an injury-preventive, “less is more” approach to mind-body integration using gravity-directed release as the source of postural and motional health; and, Jump Rhythm®: a community-directed system of body-voice training guided by the African-originated concept of full-bodied rhythm-making called ngoma (“drumming and rhythmic song-dancing”).

Billy’s Publications

Standing Down Straight®

If you’ve been taught that to be strong, confident, or beautiful is by “standing up straight,” Jump Rhythm® Technique will be a shock.


Performing Energy

“Not a bad thing, independence, which is what hooked many of us on art in the first place.”


Jump Rhythm® Technique

Six Action-Ideas


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