Grand Marshals Announced for 11th Annual Dance Parade and Festival!

Grand Marshals Announced for 11th-Annual Dance Parade as Performers Citywide Prepare to “Dance for Peace” 

Dance Parade New York returns on May 20th helmed by Grand Marshals Mestre João Grande, Maurice Hines, Frankie Bones and Council Member Rosie Mendez. 

April 20, 2017 — New York, NY —Dance Parade New York is pleased to announce details for its 11th-annual event, showcasing over 150 dance groups across 83 unique styles of dance in celebration of peace and unity. Grand Marshals for this year’s Dance Parade are capoeira master, Mestre João Grande; Broadway legend, Maurice Hines; American pioneer of techno music and founder of the Peace, Love, Unity and Respect movement, Frankie Bones; and the honorable Council Member, Rosie Mendez, who has been a committed supporter of Dance Parade since inception. The Grand Marshals will kick off the parade and festival with a ribbon cutting ceremony that begins at 12:45pm on Saturday May 20, 2017

This year, Dance Parade is thrilled to honor four Grand Marshals, who are pillars of the NYC dance and art communities. 

Brazilian-born Mestre João Grande joins the Dance Parade as a Grand Master of Capoeira Angola, a martial art which blends dance, song and acrobatics and attracts zealous followers from all over the world. “I look forward to the parade where thousands are coming together in a common passion for dance and culture!” he said. 

The legendary DJ Frankie Bones is a pioneer of techno music who is widely credited with bringing rave culture to the United States. “Just as my words ‘Peace, Love and Unity’ started the movement in the 90’s, it’s now evolved to a global movement much bigger than we could have ever imagined. Always stand up for what you believe in. Keep the peace and keep dancing!” Bones said.

Advocate, lawyer and legislator, the honorable Rosie Mendez joins Dance Parade as a true leader of the people. “It starts in my district and ends in my district,” said City Councilwoman Mendez. “Dance is a form of expression, it is a form of communication, and irrespective of what language you speak we can all communicate with each other through dance. So if you are sad or happy or in love – you can figure that out when you are dancing. I am thrilled to be an honoree for this year’s Dance Parade.”

Also honored this year is Maurice Hines. A star from the start, Maurice Hines, has been dancing, singing and acting his way into hearts since the age of five. He continues to attract high acclaim for his acting and directing on Broadway and beyond. 

Following the Grand Marshals, Dances of Universal Peace will lead off the parade with sacred music, dance and symbols from throughout the world and throughout history. The ceremony is reflection of this year’s theme, DANCE FOR PEACE, celebrating diversity and culture.

“With all the rhetoric of walls and xenophobia, it’s important that we acknowledge and support cultural treasures that exist across the world and here in New York. This year’s honorees were selected based on their commitment to promoting unity, diversity and humanity in their art and work. Dance is truly a universal language, and this year’s Dance Parade will speak to more dancers and more observers than ever before,” said Greg Miller, Founder and Executive Director of Dance Parade. 

At 1pm on May 20th the parade unfolds with 10,000 dancers who salsa, sashay, 2-step and boogie their way down Broadway from West 21st Street, through Union Square and University Place and across 8th Street/Saint Marks to a Grandstand in Astor Place Plaza where performances take place. 

Ending in Tompkins Square Park, DanceFest comes alive from 3 to 7pm highlighting the artistic excellence and cultural treasures found in the Dance Parade. Festival goers are invited to view the richness of its cultural forms on four stages, participate in social dancing and take dance lessons—all FREE to the public. On the Main Performance Stage, the Grand Marshals will receive awards in recognition of their career contributions presented by New York City elected officials, and members of the Dance Parade board of directors.

To cap off the day, the organizers are celebrating at an After Party at Nublu, headlined by DJ Frankie Bones. Nublu is at 151 Avenue C and is a block away from the Festival in Tompkins Square Park.

To contact Dance Parade’s Publicity Team, write or call:

Rebecca Myles: 917-326-0802  

Teresa Bigelow: 646-223-0402



ABOUT MESTRE JOAO GRANDE: Mestre João Grande is renowned and highly-regarded by Capoeira students around the world, having trained directly with the “father of Angola,” Mestra Pastinha.  He has taught thousands of students at his New York Academy Capoeira Angola Center of Mestre João Grande, and he has staged innumerable Capoeira Angola performances. For more information please visit

ABOUT MAURICE HINES: The tap dance legend has graced Broadway stages for musical hits like Eubie!, Bring Back Birdie, and Sophisticated Ladies. He received a Tony Award nomination as Best Actor in a Musical for his performance in Uptown… It’s Hot!, which he also directed and choreographed. Mr. Hines has also received critical acclaim as a director for music videos, Radio City Music Hall, and his own shows, like Broadway Soul Jam and, most recently, his autobiographical production, Tappin’ Through Life.  

ABOUT FRANKIE BONES: Frankie Bones is a techno and house DJ, who is widely credited with bringing rave culture to the United States in the early 1990s. With a discography of dozens of international hits, Bones coined the term “Peace, Love and Unity” which grew into “Peace Love Unity and Respect” (PLUR), a global movement that nourished electronic dance music for over two decades and counting. 

ABOUT CITY COUNCIL MEMBER ROSIE MENDEZ: Rosie Mendez has served 12 years as the New York City District 2 Council Member.  She’s been a delegate to the Democratic National Convention, and has played an outstanding role in promoting diversity as chair of the New York City Council’s Women’s Caucus, LGBT Caucus, and the Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus during her tenure in the Council. Ms. Mendez has fought for low-income housing rights and has stood up against questionable police practices, helping to pass the Community Safety Act and co-sponsoring the Right to Know Act.  As an advocate for Arts and Culture, Mendez is a long-time supporter of the Dance Parade.

ABOUT DANCE PARADE NEW YORK: Dance Parade is the world’s largest display of the diversity found in the field of dance. The parade covers 1.6 miles and features as many as 10,000 dancers and up to 70 vehicles and floats representing 83 styles of dance. The procession cascades across St. Marks Place at Tompkins Square Park for DanceFest, an outdoor festival at the conclusion of the parade. 

Dance Parade New York is an entity of Dance Parade Inc, a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization whose charitable mission is to promote dance as an expressive and unifying art form, while educating the public about opportunities to experience dance. 

The parade originated as a community response to a 2006 lawsuit seeking to overturn New York City’s 1926 Cabaret License Law, which has been used to restrict unlicensed social dancing in the city’s bars and restaurants. 

For our Media Kit including high resolution photos and more information about Dance Parade and our Education programs please visit: