Volunteer Spotlight : Meet Board Chair, Erik Bryan Slavin


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 Erik Bryan Slavin

Greetings Erik…let’s start at the beginning shall we?

How did you first stumble upon Dance Parade?
Greg Miller first told me about Dance Parade several months before the first one in 2007. He had a vision of filling the streets with thousands of dancers in New York City with many forms of expressive dance. He made the Parade a reality and it’s now one of my all time favorite New York City events.

What is your current role in Dance Parade?

I’m honored to serve as Chair on the Board of Directors.

What is your favorite style of dance to watch? to participate in?
5 Rhythms, High vibration waves. It gets me out of my head in a powerful and consistent way.

What is your dance background?
Mostly Russian Jew. I’ve never seriously trained in any form of dance, but I did learn a decent box step for my well reviewed portrayal of Eugene in the west coast regional premiere of Neil Simon’s Broadway Bound.

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?
I’m not sure that my skills as a choreographer would best serve any particular dancer of note, but I’d work with Bill Irwin in a heartbeat.

What does the 2013 Dance Parade theme “Unity Through Dance” mean to you?
Every human being on this planet comes from a culture that celebrates their life through dance. Not everybody expresses Dance in their life (shame, really.), but everyone has been touched by Dance. At some time in our lives, we all dance to the beats of different drums, together.

What dance group are you most looking forward to seeing this year in the parade?
The Burning Man Crews with their twirly hoops, spinning orbs, revealing clothing, wild freedom, magnificent costumes, stilts, glitter and Bubbles.

If you could pick a Grand Marshal for this year’s parade….who would it be?
Madonna. Or John Travolta.

Part of volunteering has a lot to do with strong leadership skills and major teamwork skills….if you were to pick a volunteer of the month…who would you choose?
Phil Ribolow has made outstanding contributions to our non-profit organization–He’s always willing to pitch in wherever possible, doing administrative work, providing meeting space or chipping in financially to help make ends meet.  He’s been a regular attendee of our Board meetings and during our One Billion Rising event, Phil helped bring the 300lb Boom Trike back to the storage facility–he’s amazing.

If you could pick another country to hold a Dance Parade and Festival in which would it be?
Iran. Dance and freedom of expression are inseparable. Or Japan.

Volunteering at a non profit organization can at times be dauntingand frustrating with limited personnel and limited funding….what is it that interests you in the organization?
I’m interested in celebrating dance as a unifying form of expressive arts in the streets of the great cities in the world, including the streets of my home town, best City in the World, New York City.

Describe your most special memory from Dance Parades past?
Dancing in Tompkins square park in 2008 with a few thousand friends. Every year that followed was really great.

What salesman pitch would you use to attract a new volunteer into joining the team at Dance Parade?
Lose weight, meet beautiful friends and support Dance as a celebration of life in New York City. Come join the team at Dance Parade. It will bring joy in to your life!

Click to read previous Volunteer Spotlights and learn more about the team that makes Dance Parade happen