Importance of Dance Arts in New York City Illustrated by
Breakdance, Congo, Hip Hop, Tap and Waacking Dancers
joining Dance Parade organizers and supporters
At New York’s City Hall
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Eva Dilmanian & Rebecca Myles
New York, May 12 Dance Parade New York organizers, supporters and dancers were at City Hall today to share their conviction that dance arts are critical to the well-being of all New York City residents, and to announce highlights of this year’s Dance Parade and Festival happening this Saturday, May 17.
Some of this year’s highlights include: 200 Swing dancers celebrating 100 years of the father of swing, Frankie Manning; Founder of TapUnity, Benjamin Nathan and his Tap with Cops & Kids program; the Iskra Ukrainian Dance Ensemble, and America’s first breakdance group of mothers over 50 – Momz in Da Hood.
Through its Ageless Action Community Engagement Program this year, senior groups were put through their paces in classes across the City. Joining today’s press conference from the New York City Department of Aging, representative XXXXXXXX said, “For seniors the importance of movement is critical to maintaining mental and physical health and the program offered by Dance Parade is unique and vital. And the bonus is the seniors get to dance in the Parade and be part of the larger dance community.”
Joining NYC Dept of Aging, was Funimlayo, Founder of Fusha Dance and originator of the Ageless Action program in senior centers, Lane Harwell, Executive Director of Dance NYC, who spoke on the “State of Dance In New York City,” Ant Boogie, Celebrity Teaching Artist from Broadway Dance Center and Ellen Chappel, Owner of “Bridge for Dance School” spoke about the need for independent schools to be a part of Dance Parade.
“There is an expression, if it feels good, do it, and judging by the smiling faces in our diverse group of dancers and the audience, dance feels very good,” said Greg Miller, Executive Director for Dance Parade, New York.
Joining Greg Miller was Andrij Cybyk, Artistic Director of the Iskra Ukrainian Dance Ensemble, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, founder of Urban Bush Women and Grand Marshal of Dance Parade, and Grammy Award Winning DJ & Producer, Hex Hector also a Grand Marshal.
“We have groups who register to come back year after year – the Bolivan Tinkus, Fusha Dance, Pink Tutu Ballet, then the word spreads, and to date we 9000 dancers registered to dance in 155 different groups doing 77 styles of dance. And that’s not including the single dancers who can still register to dance up to the day of the Parade. It is hugely challenging to organize, but there is nothing like it on the planet,” said, Rifka Lopez, Parade Production Director.
The Parade unites dancers of all genres and ages throughout New York City under the 2014 theme Be the Momentum. It 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. 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.