NYCs 8th Annual Dance Parade + Festival Set for 5/17

NYCs 8th Annual Dance Parade + Festival Set for 5/17

Over 10,000 dancers will participate in the Eighth Annual Dance Parade and Festival in New York City on Saturday May 17th 2014, starting at 1:00pm. This year's parade will feature dancers from countries around the globe, including Ukraine, Bolivia, India, Brazil, Korea, Algeria, Tahiti, Mexico, Japan, Estonia, Jamaica, China, Armenia, Spain and Indonesia. Tony Award winner, tap dancer marvel and choreographer Savion Glover and Bessie-winning founder and artistic director Jawole Willa Jo Zollar of Urban Bush Women will serve as Grand Marshals.

Over 150 dance groups will showcase 75 dance styles and cultures down Broadway in a multi-cultural, rhythm-infused, magical display of movement, art and color. The parade unfolds as a vibrant procession of pageantry and movement embodying the cultural richness that New York reflects as a global dance city. Ancient dance styles from Africa, South America, Europe, the Middle East, the Caribbean and Far East Asia are performed side by side with modern styles like tap, swing, contemporary, urban and hip-hop.

The Parade unites dancers of all genres and ages throughout New York City under the 2014 theme Be the Momentum. It begins at 1:00 pm at the intersection of East 21st Street and Broadway, moves south through Union Square and down University Place to East 8th Street, where each group dances before a Grandstand. Turning east on 8th Street Parade dancers salsa, swing and two-step their way across Saint Marks Place and into Tompkins Square Park in the East Village for DanceFest. The Festival, a four-hour program of free dance performances on four stages with lessons, experience dance booths and site-specific and social dancing throughout the Park.

Parade registration is open to everyone who wants to dance in the Parade, $50 for groups, and free to individuals of all ages and styles of dance. The last day to register for groups is May 7th and individuals can register up until the day of the parade, Saturday, May 17th.

"Dance feels good and you can see that in all the smiling faces of parade dancers from one culture to the next," said Greg Miller, Executive Director of Dance Parade, Inc, the non-profit organization that produces the day's events. "This year's theme, Be The Momentum, is a call to action to celebrate a shared love of dance. We want to inspire folks to take on this fun and healthy activity."

This year's Parade will also feature 200 youth who will perform dance routines produced through a five-week education program of dance workshops sponsored by New York City Departments of Parks and Recreation, and funded by Dance Parade's Board of Directors and a grant from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. The workshops have been running in Jamaica, Queens; Bedford Stuyvesant; Washington Heights and East Harlem.

Shireen Dickson, Dance Parade's Education Coordinator, said, "It's exciting to see so many young people turn up for our dance workshops. The biggest thrill is watching them take classroom exercises into a Parade presentation, and then to watch their minds open as they become part of a larger community of dancers, all while making their 'Broadway debut!'"

Another unique tradition of the Dance Parade is the annual New York Dance Police (NYDP), a volunteer group of "hype" men and women who inspire the crowds to dance and celebrate the spirit of Dance Parade. Giving out "tickets" to audiences who weren't dancing, or who didn't seem to project the vibe of the parade, NYDP sentenced "guilty parties" to dance halls, studios or nightclubs to practice or learn a style of dance.