december 2009

Everyone at Dance Parade NY would like to wish everyone a wonderful holiday and a prosperous New Year filled with lots and lots of dancing!   Mark your calendars!  Dance Parade 2010 is only 5 months away!  Saturday, May 22, 2010!


What is Dance Parade?

On Saturday, May 22, 2010, over ten thousand New Yorkers will once again dance down Broadway to Tompkins Square Park…moving to every kind of dance music under the sun and showcasing New York’s phenomenally diverse forms of dance – world cultural, performance, club and more!!!

In its Fourth Year and amongst dozens of beautifully crafted floats, live bands, and sound systems, Country Western dancers will two-Step while UK Garagers 2Step, Salseros break on two while Bboys break on the pavement, swingers swingout, burners wig out, househeads jack, and partners jack and jill, too!! NewYork City will dance together as never before.Upon arriving in the park, Dance Fest invites New York’s dancers to realize and celebrate our unity with social dance, performances on stage and workshops and lessons—all free to the public.

The New York Dance Parade will draw thousands of participants, and bring fresh, highly positive attention to a vibrant art-form, enriching our City with the goodwill and patronage of millions of thrilled dance enthusiasts in New York and worldwide!

Thank You New York City!

We are thrilled to announce that for the first time, Dance Parade Inc (DPI), a 501©3 non-profit organization, was awarded a grant from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA). In previous years, DPI was granted DCA funding through the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council but this is the first time to receive support directly from the City’s Department of Cultural Affairs. Public support in this manner truley represents a milestone in the successful realization of our charitable venture to promote dance as an expressive form of art. Thank you NYC, the thousands of dancers and a special thanks to Commissioner Kate Levin and her team including Program Specialist Shruti Adhar for their committment to support “One Parade – Many Cultures!” Funding from this program will support DPI’s Educational Program, bringing dance into schools, Parade Gruop Scholarships and support for DanceFest in Tompkins Square Park.

“United We Dance”

Dance Parade remains committed to promoting dance as an expressive and unifying form of art and our official theme this year certainly reflects that. “United We Dance” will also be the title for this monthly article on who’s registered for the Fourth Annual Dance Parade May 22nd 2010. So far approximately 400 Dancers from more than 20 organizations have signed up. There will be 13 unique styles as of press time including: Aerobic, Ballet, Ballroom, Belly Dance, Circus Streetdance, Gospel, Hip-Hop, Japanese, KoreanKorean Contemporary, Modern, Roller Disco, Flagging and Sacred.

To participate in the upcoming 2010 Parade, sign up today

Letter From The Board

Albert Einstein once said, “Dancers are the athletes of god.”

As we reflect on a year of challenges for our city and our nation, these words resonate. They remind us of the power, potential and joy that dance brings to us all, regardless of wealth, health or ethnicity.

Joy – a fundamental human need throughout cultures around the world – is especially meaningful during times of national challenges. It stirs hope. But it also nurtures gratitude. Never has this been truer than this year at the New York City Dance Parade.

Whether dancers, schools, dance studios, social service agencies, choreographers, artists or friends like you, community partners helped make this one of our most exciting years yet. We shared ideas, creative inspiration, expertise, and celebrated the cultural richness of dance. What we’ve accomplished, working together, has been magical and profound.

Partnerships presented us with inspiring ways express the unity of dance and share this most democratic of art forms with tens of thousands.

Our work with partners continues as we prepare to embark on our most ambitious Dance Parade yet. This year our all-volunteer team is already hard at work to double parade participation in 2010. Our outreach team is already in the communities that you will see in this year’s parade.
When Dance Parade was established in 2006, we made a commitment to promote dance as an expressive and unifying art form by showcasing all forms of dance.

This year we set a record. For the first time in history 60 styles of dance celebrated dance openly, freely and joyously down Broadway.

This year’s Parade and Festival was chock-full of sun-kissed dancers, from a busload of dancers from Kansas City to an astounding aerial dance troupe in Tompkins Square Park.  In showcasing this broad, international spectrum of dance we are fulfilling our promise as one of the broadest reaching and readily accessible dance organizations in the country. For three years now we have reached out to partners, and you have reached back. In fact, only through partnership — both participation and support — has the dream of a national dance parade become a reality.

Today, we extend a hand to you. We ask for your financial support, but also — equally important — we extend a hand inviting you to join us, join the parade this year, share the excitement. With your tax-deductable contribution dance will impact the lives of several thousands. Every single dollar makes a huge difference. Be a part of this history. One Parade, Many Cultures. As partners, we can do amazing things!

Thank you for your support and participation. We hope to see you at this year’s parade!

– Dance Parade Board of Directors

Volunteer Spotlight!!

Shireen Dickson

Shireen Dickson, this year’s Production Director was chosen for this issue’s Volunteer Spotlight. Shireen and I had a little virtual interview and here it is…

How did you first stumble upon Dance Parade?   How many years have you been involved?I was out of town during the first dance parade, and I said that the next year no matter what I was going to be part of it in some way ( I put it in my calendar to look up the following year).  DP combines two of my favorite things — spectacle and dancing — beyond the volunteering aspect. I figured taking on  a leadership role (and I had the time) would get me directly into the action, and I was right,  hooked for life.

What is your favourite style of dance to watch?  to participate in?

favorite style to watch — authentic, when I can feel the performer in my body

favorite style to participate —  freestyle

If you could share the stage with anyone in history famous or not, living or deceased, a trained dancer or not, performing a routine choreographed by yourself…who would it be?
Katherine Dunham….or Josephine Baker if she wasn’t available

Here’s what Shireen would like to say to prospective volunteers…

for all of those people who like making things happen with other people who like making things happen…people who are passionate about something and self-driven…people who have an open artistic sensibility and adventurous spirit and want that to keep getting fed!

We asked a few Dance Parade members to say a little something about Shireen and her work over the years…here’s what Mel Alvarez, DP’s Managing Director had to share with us…

“I have known Shireen Rowina Dickson for the past two years.  She is a person of intelligence who balances professionalism with keen social skill.  This, coupled with her background in dance and production, makes her a invaulable member of the Dance Parade team.  Personally, I love her no-nonsense approach to getting what needs to be done — done.”

For the full interview please visit our Volunteer  Spotlight Page

After School…Special

We are proud to announce that this year, for the very first time, Dance Parade NY has just launched its brand new Educational Outreach Program which is a mission to deliver Dance into the curriculums of the NYC School Systems.

When America elected its very first Black President, Dance Parade was there to salute The Commander In Chief and the entire country with a patriotic and colorful ad campaign to kick off the Dance Parade season for 2009.

Less than a year later, that salute has paid off well in the form of Susmita Saha, the new DP Educational Outreach Chair. When
President Obama encouraged people to become involved in their community and give back, Susmita answered his call by deciding she was going to volunteer but she didn’t know in what way or what area.

She looked to the internet and magically, Dance Parade appeared!

She recently shared with me, “Watching various parades in the city is always fun because everyone is lively and full of happiness.  I wanted to be part of it somehow.  My love

for dancing, in combination with parade watching, Dance Parade seemed like it would be a good fit for me.”
The Educational Outreach Chair’s role is to bring dance into the K-12 educational curriculum. It also acts as a promotional tool for Dance Parade itself to these schools, children and adults. Susmita’s current project is working on grants to help fund afte
r school dance programs. She is looking forward to collaborating with others in Dance Parade and at the schools to create an enhanced dance curriculum.Since she was a child, dance has been there as an extracurricular activity in her life.  Her mother started her in traditional Indian dance, but as she gets older she finds herself enjoying hip hop more. Susmita is proud of her new position and happily adds that Dance Parade NY is “a parade that strengthens and unites the international diverse community of New York City.” We also look forward to updates concerning her work, progress and overall reception from teachers, parents and especially the students involved in these programs. For information on how to get your school involved, how to volunteerin Susmita’s department or any other questions please visit our website to hopefully find what you’re looking for or email her at

Genre Buzz : Flagging 101

The art of flagging dance sometimes called flag dancing or rag spinning, but more commonly referred to as flagging, is the undulation, spinning and waving of flags in a rhythmic fashion to music. Practitioners of this form of performance art and dance are usually referred to as “flaggers” and “flag dancers”, though until the 1990s this mostly referred to those waving flags to aid transportation professions

The added weights to the otherwise loose fabric made it possible for the new flaggers to spin and move the fabric through the air in ways similar to fan dancing, but with the added maneuverability of a very flexible material. Flags used by these new flaggers can be of almost any fabric, but silk, organza and lamé are preponderant, with silk being the most favored. Silk flags are usually dyed in vibrant, ultraviolet, fluorescent colors, creating an almost hypnotic spectacle when waved rhythmically to music.

One of our registered groups since the very first year of Dance Parade is New York City Flaggers; therefore we did a little reporting on the group and interviewed their pied piper of sorts, Mykel.

For the full article please visit our Genre Buzz page on our website!

The Artist Mykel is currently the Artistic Director of NYC Flaggers.The Flaggers were last seen on stage at Santos House Party for the Lift Off 2010 Dance Registration Kickoff and Fundraiser Event on Sunday, November 8th.  The performance featured Mykel’s signature otherworldly vocals showcasing his dance single “Glossy Pink Nails” accented by a wildly colorful flag dancing display and featuring a guest appearance by Tina Thompson.  Although his songs and performances can have a dark and brooding undertone, there is always an uplifting crescendo present and Mykel feels that by default, the flags are magnificent elevators of feeling and expression during the performance and for the music itself.

Mykel and NYC Flaggers have been a part of Dance Parade since its inception four years ago and his and their involvement has grown with each year, performing at International Dance Day (IDD) prior to last year’s Parade and Mykel hopes the group will be one of the featured acts on the main stage at DanceFest, a festival housed in Tompkins Square Park featuring a wildly eccentric mix of performances by groups representing a healthy rainbow of cultures and styles and forged from an invitation only process that guarantees a diverse lineup made up of Dance Parade veterans as well as newer groups that have registered for the first time.  He plans to space out the group letting the more social

flaggers march down Broadway and the more performance minded members do their thing on stage with him.  Flaggers need room to breathe and flow and that’s why they are a perfect staple in the Annual Parade.

For the full article please visit our Genre Buzz! page on our website

Registration is now open!!

please visit to register as an individual or group!

Join today and look at the fabulous company you will be keeping!!!

*Keep in mind that in order to be considered to perform at DanceFest you must register by January 31, 2010

  • Sisters In Motion
  • Cirkulock
  • Mindful Dance Academy
  • Fitness Doctor
  • Lotus Music and Dance
  • Song Hee Lee Dance Co.
  • Hip Hop Fusion
  • E.R.O. Contemporary Dance Co.
  • Cheongsah Chorung
  • Broadway Bodies
  • Inspirational Dance Company
  • Energy in the Middle
  • PURE (Public Urban Ritual Experiment)
  • Manhattan Movement & Arts Center
  • Dance New Amsterdam
  • Dance Manhattan
  • Carson
  • Yosakoi Dance Project
  • Manhattan Tribal
  • New York City Flaggers

Dance is for everybody. I believe that the dance came from the people and that it should always be delivered back to the people
-Alvin Aile


Our recent Holiday Party was a smashing success and extremely well attended.

Thank you to everyone including Beyonce who braved the cold and shared some holiday cheer!

Special thanks to Cirkulock and NYC Flaggers for performing and Monica Jeremais for DJing.

The next social will take place on Wednesday, January 27th so mark your calendars and bring a friend!  Check out our Social Page on our website for directions and updates!

Our monthly Dance Parade social evenings give us a chance to gather, hang out, catch up, meet new friends and potential volunteer staff members, and welcome back groups who have registered for this year’s parade.
The evening features $5 drink specials, performances, and music provided by one of China 1’s house DJ’s or a DJ connected to the parade.
For more info or to RSVP contact

check out all of our other social networking sites

by clicking on our fancy new buttons!

Interested in Volunteering?

Check out our website to see what we’re about and if you are interested and would like more information please email DJ at

We learn by practice. Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing living, the principles are the same….One becomes in some area an athlete of God
-Martha Graham

Dance is your pulse, your heartbeat, your breathing. It’s the rhythm of your life. It’s the expression in time and movement, in happiness, joy, sadness and envy.

~Jaques D’ambroise

Please join us

to celebrate

New York City’s Fourth Annual

Dance Parade!
Over 10,000 dancers will boogie, salsa and swing
down Broadway
turning East on Saint Marks to

Tompkins Square Park.
Showcasing all forms of dance

from Ballet to Breakdance—you’ll be dazzled by breathtaking performances

at DanceFest,

free dance lessons and a dance party.



or donate

to our non-profit effort at

Greetings and Salutations!

Hello there…I am Chauncey D,
the new editor of STEPS! magazine!  I really hope that you like what you see!  I have been volunteering for Dance Parade since the magical first year and began as one of the original members of the Dance Police. Later on during the very first post parade Festival,  I jumped in and helped with the festival production that year and have been stage managing the Dance Fest performances ever since.
This year, I wanted to get a lot more involved in the planning and promotional process instead of just jumping in head first on the day of the event.  Boy did I get what I asked for in the best way possible!  I am honored to be a part of such a historical and vastly important event here in NYC and am thankful for the opportunity to be responsible for this project and hope this newsletter makes my fellow volunteers proud of their decision to allow me this responsibility…but enough mushy stuff.    You should be dancing!

Before you go…
Have you thought of volunteering with us?  Trust me…it will be one of the best experiences of your life and you get to hold a piece of NYC history in your soul forever!  And we don’t just need help the day of the parade.  There is a tremendous amount of work involved in pulling a production of this magnitude together every year from creative design to outreach to grant writing to cleaning up big messes and of course dancing!   For more info send an email to and tell him Chauncey sent ya!

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