What Has Over 20,000 Legs And 20,000 Arms That Can Be Artistically Expressive In Over 75 Unique Ways?

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Question: What has over 20,000 legs and 20,000 arms that can be artistically expressive in 75 unique ways?

Answer: The 8th Annual Dance Parade and Festival!

That’s right, over 10,000 dancers showcasing 75 unique styles of dance and culture are registered to participate on Saturday May 17th 2014, starting at 1:00pm. Click here for a Video Preview

Over 150 dance groups will be responding to the theme “BE THE MOMENTUM” and dancing in 75 unique styles of dance, making the 8th Annual Dance Parade, already the largest,  the most diverse single-day dance event in the world.

The Parade unites dancers of all genres and ages throughout New York City and beyond under the 2014 theme Be the Momentum.  Ancient styles and social forms from  Africa to Estonia, Japan and Korea along the Silk Road to the Middle East and on across Europa and the Americas to Hawaii and Tahiti  fall in with modern innovations such as tap,swing, urban fol k and contemporary,, to hip-hop.

It all begins at 1pm on 21st Street and Broadway, moves south through Union Square and down University Place to 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. , a four-hour program of free dance performances on four stages with lessons, experience dance booths, aerial dancing and site specific and social dancing throughout the Park.

The Iskra Ukrainian Dance Ensemble leads out the parade in recognition of the strife taking place in  in their homeland .  Percussion bands, DJs on 60 decorated floats, vehicles and Burning-Man style art-cars will provide the music for over 150 vibrant dance troupes.
Tony Award winner and  world renowned tapper Savion Glover will be aboard the TapUnity float which seeks to host NYPD officers tapping with inner-city youth to “Bridge the Gap with Tap” between Cops and Kids.  On May 18th, the day following Dance Parade, TapUnity will offer free workshops in all 5 NYC Boroughs.

Bessie-winning Grand Marshal Jawole Zollar will be featured along with Urban Bush Women, the dance company she founded, alongside  Fusha Dance Company and live African drummers. Elders from Dance Parade’s Ageless Action program,   which provides free dance opportunities to seniors in centers in Brooklyn and Manhattan will join them.
Grand Marshal and Grammy Award winning DJ/Producer Hex Hector will be holding down House music beats along the parade route as well as playing at DanceFest in Tompkins Square Park at the conclusion of the parade.

This year’s Parade will also feature 200 youth performing dance routines produced through a five-week education program 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 in Brooklyn, and Inwood and East Harlem, Manhattan.

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!’”

Other parade groups include: the Paul Taylor Dance Company Teens, Momz ‘n da Hood, a posse of Mothers over 50 who break dance, Saung Budaya of indonesia, Navatman and Kathakas of India, American Swiss Ballet of Zurich and New York Red Silk Dancers of China and Sol Dance of Sacco, Maine, alongside a half dozen Bolivian and Colombian companies from the NYC area and Fairfax County, VA.     House Music legend Barbara Tucker will be featured on the BSTAR Music Float with underground club style, Voguing, Waacking, Poppin & Freestyle. Ms. Tucker will join Hex in the park for the Dance Jam portion. The house for the homeless Choir was put together by Barbara Tucker for the soul purpose of raising awareness and funds for the Transitional Living Community Shelter for the Mentally Challenged Homeless Women in Brooklyn.

A Swing Dance float to honor the 100th anniversary of Frankie Manning’s  birth will feature the Glenn Crytzer Band and lindy hop dancers.  The House Coalition Float will pay a tribute to Frankie Knuckles by featuring Manny Ward as their DJ, a direct disciple of his legendary predecessor.  Other highlights include a double decker bus from The Electric Daisy Carnival, as well as floats featuring , Shushi Armenian Dance Ensemble, Michael Jackson’s “Thrill The World” dancers and The 5 Rhythms, The TOAD Armada, Blackbird Squadron and The Hoop Movement.  The parade will end with a float sposnsored by  Pacha, New York’s largest nightclub, headlined by  internationally acclaimed DJ Erick Morillo.


At the terminus of the parade in Tompkins Square Park, DanceFest will begin at 3pm and go until 7. Two stages will present the cream of the crop from the parade and feature groups such as The Paul Taylor Teen Ensemble (contemporary), Princess Lockerooo Waacking, Columbia University’s first Latino dance troupe “Sabor”, the Korean Institute for Music and Dance, Mexican Carnival (Mazarte), Lei Pasifica (Polynesia) Classical In-Manhattan Andaaz (Bollywood) and Xianik Barrera, a Flamenco troupe.

A 2-hour live broadcast featuring interviews from Dance Celebrities and Organizers of various styles of dance will air live on WBAI 99.5fm from 4-6pm.   www.wbai.org

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

“Dance feels good and you can see that in all the smiling faces from one culture to the next,” says 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.“