Volunteer Spotlight : Meet Anthony Meyers! #unitythroughdance

Dance Parade, Inc. is a volunteer supported non-profit organization! It is the dedication, expertise and rhythm of these brave few that are solely responsible for the success of the event and all the background work that goes on all year long leading up to the parade and festival. Every month, we choose a different volunteer to spotlight.   We ask them a few questions to let you know who they are, where they’ve come from and where they see themselves in the future.

Meet Anthony Meyers!

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Ok Anthony, Let’s start at the very beginning shall we?  How did you first find out about Dance Parade? 

I learned of Dance Parade New York through the organization’s Publicity Head, Rebecca Myles, who is a long-time friend and colleague.

 

What is your current role in Dance Parade?

This past year, I performed duties for the Marketing and Publicity committees of Dance Parade. This included drafting all publicity materials this year in conjunction with the Publicity Head (press releases and media alerts); gave direction and counsel on print and online marketing materials in conjunction with the marketing committee; editing support for STEPS! Newsletter; offered counsel on photo and video shot lists for the parade in foresight of future sponsorship and promotional outreach; managed registration tables for the 2013 IDD Gala at Dixon Place as well as the Press Registration table at this year’s Grandstand.

 

What is your favorite style of dance to watch? To participate in?


I can’t limit my choices! LOL. Modern/contemporary, Afro-Caribbean, and Salsa.

 

What is your dance background? 

 

I was formally trained in modern dance at Tufts University and had a scholarship at the Dance Complex (both in Massachusetts). I also had a dance scholarship in NYC where I trained at STEPS Dance Studio (Steps on Broadway). I secured a combined visual arts and choreography residency with Space One Eleven and Southern DanceWorks, where I created a multi-media installation entitled “Personal Rites.” I danced with the Arthur Aviles Typical Theater Company in 2001, and taught an Afro-Caribbean dance workshop at The Bronx Museum of the Arts.

 

 

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? 

 

The first person that comes to mind is Cle (Clayton) Douglas. He was a legendary Afro-Caribbean dancer and choreographer in Boston and he was one of the most memorable mentors in dance of my life. Like a spiritual father, he guided me to deepen my understanding of the Katherine Dunham Dance Technique and really helped me understand the connection between dance technique and spirituality. He passed away from AIDS-related illness in November 1995.

 

I still miss him. I would choreograph a dance piece that embraced my Afro-Caribbean dance and modern/contemporary training. The concept of the work would be an exploration of my spiritual journey through Santeria, Catholicism and Japanese Buddhism, the spiritual traditions that have been on my life’s pathway, and how to achieve self-actualization through one’s spirituality. It would be a duet and Cle Douglas would play my father.

 

What does the Dance Parade theme for 2013 “Unity Through Dance” mean to you? 

 

It reminds me of a line in a classic dance song, “House is a Feeling.” Dance and movement are beyond finite understanding for me. It is the physical manifestation of emotion and cognition, which is beyond words. Emotion is experienced by all. Dance unifies the un-language of emotion and Spirit.

 

What dance group were you most looking forward to seeing this year in the parade?

 

To be honest, I was just excited to see the expressions of parade spectators who scream and dance and cheer for the experience of dance and movement in New York City. There was no specific group that I anticipated to see.

 

Did you get a chance to see them?

 

Oh yes! The parade and festival audience and spectators were out in full force. In spite of drizzly rain and cloudy skies, New Yorkers and NYC visitors were out in force on May 18th.

 

If you could pick a Grand Marshall for next year’s parade….who would it be?

 

A few thoughts come to mind:2470257256408407140

 

Zach Woodlee, choreographer from the TV show Glee

Nigel Lythgoe, Executive Producer, So You Think You Can Dance

Actress Christina Applegate

The Next New York City Mayor

NY State Governor Andrew Cuomo

One of the members of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, such as Kerry Washington or George C. Wolfe (click to learn about PCAH)

 

Part of volunteering has a lot to do with strong leadership skills and major teamwork skills….if you were to pick the next Volunteer to Spotlight…who would you choose? 

 

Mel Alvarez has proven himself to be an effective leader whose sense of vision of the bigger picture works in tandem with the day to day organization of logistics, volunteer strengths and weaknesses, and an incredible drive to bring out the best in people.

 

If you could pick another country to hold a Dance Parade and Festival….which would it be?

 

Paris, because I’ve always dreamed of going there, and it represents for me a history of freedom of expression, diversity of arts and cultures and expansive philosophy of thought.

 

Volunteering at a non-profit organization can at times be daunting and frustrating with limited personnel and limited funding….what is it that keeps you coming back for more and more?

 

Dance. An occasional nod of support and thanks from fellow volunteers to feel like I served an important role in this incredible microcosm of dance, culture and Spirit. Also, the hope that with each year, support for the Dance Parade will manifest in greater sponsorship dollars, and that the team will always learn and evolve in planning. And the fact that it’s a fun day!

 

Describe a special memory you have from Dance Parade?

 

My greatest memory of the Dance Parade was the experience of the DJ Louie Vega Dance Party in the Park. I am a native New Yorker (from the Bronx), and the party reminded me of many moments in my life where I’m experiencing one of my most favorite types of music (House), and a spirit of family and communion that’s felt by all on the dance floor. There are no cares. There is no hate. Narcissism is thrown out the door. There is only family love and house.

 

What salesman pitch would you use to attract a new volunteer onto The Dance Parade Team?

Do it for the love of Dance. Other objectives can come out of it, but it is not guaranteed. You will join an incredible group of people who are joined together by the love of dance. And it will be an experience you will never forget.  

 

Thank you Anthony!   We will see you next year!

Interested in becoming a Dance Parade New York Volunteer?

Click here!