By Walter Rutledge
Dance Parade New York celebrated the rich diversity of dance on May 21, 2011. Since the first parade in 2006 the event has literally grown by leap and bounds to become an “only in New York style event”. This year 9,000 performers, in 179 different dance groups performed over 70 dance styles.
The parade commenced at Broadway and 21st Street, then south through Union Square, before traveling east onto 8th Street to it’s final destination at Tompkins Square Park in the East Village. The culturally inclusive public offering was filled with colorful costumes, lively music, decorative floats and entertaining street performances. Following the parade was DanceFest; a three-hour event that took place in Thompson Square Park featuring two performance stages, dance lessons, workshops, and dance parties and kids activities.
The international/universal feel of the afternoon would have made Terpsichore proud. Throughout the day a myriad of dance styles were represented including ballet, hip-hop, salsa, belly dancing, marching bands complete with cheerleaders, stilt walkers, aerialists, and folk dance from every corner of the globe. Registration was free for individual dancers, and there was a suggested donation of $50 for dance organizations. In the true spirit of dance, under-resourced groups were given the opportunity to march in the parade and perform in the park without a donation.
“Dance Parade pays homage to the spirit of dance – a tribute to the history, cultures, people, founders and styles of dance that touch millions each day,” says Greg Miller, Founder/Director of Dance Parade New York. “This parade, the only one of its kind, establishes dance as an expressive art form for all ages. It provides an interactive platform on which to educate spectators about various cultures and their unique forms of dance, while inviting them to join the fun and start dancing!”
Dance Parade New York celebrates diversity by showcasing various forms of dance from around the world. Its charitable mission is to promote dance as an expressive and unifying art form, while educating the public about opportunities to experience dance. Additional programs include education outreach and artistic partnerships to aid in increased public awareness of the many facets of dance.
By coming together to celebrate through dance people see that the beauty in our individuality is also our universal and common gift to our humanity. For more information about Dance Parade New York’s programs, volunteer and sponsorship opportunities, or to make a financial contribution, please visit www.danceparade.org.
<iframe src=”http://player.vimeo.com/video/24188369?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0″ width=”400″ height=”225″ frameborder=”0″></iframe><p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/24188369″>Dance Parade 2011</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user1831739″>Quinn Miller-Bedell</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
Photo Credits 1 &4) Ronnie Ginnever 2) Paula Lobo 3) Jessica E. Stack and video credit: Quinn Miller Bedell