Volunteer Spotlight: Meet John, a fascinating Dance Parade personality!

Dance Parade, Inc. is a volunteer supported non-profit organization and it is the dedication, expertise and passion of these individuals that make our events so successful!

In each issue of STEPS!, we choose a different volunteer to spotlight. We ask them a few questions about the magic they help create within the Dance Parade experience.  Check out how you can volunteer for the 2016 Parade by clicking here!

Hey John,
Thanks for taking the time to speak with us about your background and volunteering for Dance Parade!

How did you first find out about Dance Parade?   
I live along the parade route and I noticed people dancing in the streets . The energy of people dancing in the parade is much higher than other parades in the city.
What is your current role in Dance Parade, Inc?
I am helping recruit sponsors for the non-profit events happening each May.

What do you do as a paying job?
I help architects and engineers grow their business and improve their profits as an outsourced CFO.  Click for more information.

What is your favorite style of dance to watch? to participate in?
Well I like a lot of different styles especially ballet and capoira .  I used to practice capoira on 46th street where there’s a studio . Lately I’ve been getting into the Melbourne Shuffle .  Love to join #Shuffle_NYC and various parties around town–It’s a lot of fun!

What is your dance background or interest in dance?
I studied choreography at Columbia University and really enjoyed it, found it liberating. But I’ve always been a fan of watching dance performances ever since I was in high school in Oklahoma City.

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? Being from Oklahoma, I always dreamed of dancing with Maria Tallchief, a Native American and America’s first prima ballerina. We could have Susan Stroman to write a pas de deux for us.

What does this year’s theme “Dance for Peace” mean to you?
Every time I hear the theme I think about the refugees from Allepo — I’m saddened by the violence over there.  I think it’s important to remember what’s going on in the world and I think it’s appropriate to celebrate with consciousness of what’s going on–with people that really aren’t doing a lot of dancing right now.

What dance group or dance style are you most looking forward to seeing this coming year in the parade?
Well I’m a big fan of the hoopers because I love the energy that they bring. You can tell they have so much fun dancing along Saint Mark’s.

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

Iceland – I want to see Dance Parade Reykjvík.  It’s a magical city and they bring so much passion there with everything they do. I lived there and studied the Vikings sagas while I lived there so it’d be cool to see all the forms of dance in the streets juxtoposed with their incredible history.

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.
I like the people involved with the parade — they really love the organization. They love the event. We provide so much joy to the spectators and all the dancers and it’s fun to make all that happen and to be a part of it.
Describe a special memory you have from Dance Parades past?

I remember watching the parade and meeting one of my neighbors who was also watching the parade on Saint Mark’s Place. We had a great time watching all the dancers going past. And we’ve actually have become friends since then and stayed close!