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 Marcia Monteiro
How did you first find out about Dance Parade?
My friend Stephanie and I were close to Washington Square and saw the end of the Parade crossing to Tompkins Square. We just followed it. At the Festival we had classes with Broadway Bodies and we had a lot of fun. We stayed there all afternoon. This was 2010. We came back for the whole Parade in 2011 and I came back by myself in 2012 (Stephi moved to New Jersey). In 2013 I saw the volunteer opportunity and joined the team.
What is your current role in Dance Parade?
NYDP co-captain with Sarah Hannah. It was great!
What is your favorite style of dance to watch? to participate in?
Ethnic dances are great! To me that is a great plus of the Dance Parade: the diversity of ethnic dances we have in NYC: Asian, South American, American, etc.
What is your dance background?
Not much. Working in events (mostly music) I had the opportunity to work with many Brazilian dance Companies (my favorite was Grupo Corpo) and the big Rio Carnival Parade. When I came to NYC I started dancing in small groups with different styles. I like tap dance, modern and hip hop.
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?
Just recently saw M. Baryshnikov video of the Nutcracker and it blew my mind (he was very young at the time). Yeah, I would love to share the stage with him, at that time for him, 2013 for me . Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly were the American dancers we knew better in Brazil and would be in the list. But I would really love to have worked with Bob Fosse.
What does this year’s theme “Momentum” mean to you?
Geeky! Ha! We can engage the audience and groups with the sense of direction, movement and magnitude of the art as art, or workout or cultural/ethnic expression. I keep thinking of ways to convey the influence of the arts in the NYC culture and economy and when I see all the groups operating in the area I know we got something! They seem to have the movement, the direction and the magnitude so Momentum seems just perfect!
What dance group are you most looking forward to seeing this year in the parade?
I would like to see a Local Native American group in the Parade and at the Festival teaching maybe the Buffalo Dance. Or the Knicks Cheeleaders. And, as always, the Broadway Bodies.
If you could pick a Grand Marshall for this year’s parade….who would it be?
Not sure. DJs with a following are best for the spirit of Freestyle dancing (for the fun of it). Needs to be someone that represents the NYC Dance community and is famous enough to be a good endorsement for the event but I have to think more about it.
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?
I worked with Sarah Hannah and she was caring and great.
If you could pick another country to hold a Dance Parade and Festival….which would it be?
Probably Canada. Toronto.
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?
Since I came to NYC I’ve volunteered many many times. Volunteering has different levels and I believe that regardless of the time we commit we are happier when we feel they are part of a “big thing”. Sometimes it is “helping others”, political campaigns, causes, schools, etc… I usually do it when I see there is fun/hard work to be done and the event/occasion/cause is great.
Describe a special memory you have from Dance Parades past?
Dancing Waka Waka with my friends at the Broadway Bodies class at the Festival in 2012, Bangra class surrounded by adults and kids, with no idea what we were doing in 2013. Following the Caporales in the 2010 Parade.
What pitch would you use to attract a new volunteer onto the Dance Parade team?
I am part of many events and activities that bring school groups of volunteers that are proactive and efficient (this September I worked with Million Trees NYC here, in East New York, BK and they had 1,300 vols from NYU with coordinators that manage and supervise the smaller groups and we worked with them). When we are not a cause, “helping people” or political, volunteer open calls need to engage either people with the same interests that want to meet other people with the same interests or people that are used to volunteer in events (they may be sometimes older and not exactly fit for a Parade).
For the Dance Parade I would suggest something like “Come Dance in the Streets with Us! The best volunteer opportunities of the season! Get experienced, win credits and help the most diverse cultural event in New York! Join the team, get in our Chorus Line! Be a part of the Dance Parade!” Stuff like that.