Volunteer Spotlight – Meet Nikki Creary

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 2015 Parade by clicking here!

Head Shot Nikkie Creary

Hey Nikki, 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?
Well, I’m part of The Burning Man Community. I do a lot of volunteer work, putting fundraisers together and my friends at Kostume Kult told me about the Dance Parade, which celebrates dance. I’ve also known Greg Miller (Dance Parade's Executive Director) for a long time, and he had talked to me about the dance laws that he once tried to liberate (for more info) and the beauty of what dance can bring.

What is your current role in Dance Parade, Inc?
This past year I was a liaison for one of the Grand Marshals (the legendary Carmen de Lavallade), so I was actually FINALLY for the first time on a float, which was pretty amazing. I’m also one of the board members at Dance Parade. I was very excited to be voted in, and I take the role very seriously. I’ve been helping with building sales strategies for getting new sponsors or helping existing sponsors expand their role in Dance Parade. Initially, I started as a producer of both the parade and the festival, which I did for two years. It was an extensive role…not just producing the parade and working with the 10,000 dancers, but also working with the festival and all the stages, and vendors, and dancers, and much of the entertainment.
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What is your dance background or interest in dance?
I’m from Jamaica, and dance is an integral part of our culture. I’m not a professionally trained dancer. I’m more of an organizer. But I do consider myself a dancer, because I like to dance and express myself in any way possible. I think a lot of it is cultural. Being exposed to dance rhythms from the time I was able to walk…Before I knew it, I was dancing. Hahaha!
I guess the rhythm is just part of me.
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?
Living…Rosie Perez.Really?
Oh, definitely. I LOVE Rosie Perez! She’s amazing.What dance group or dance style are you most looking forward to seeing this coming year in the parade?
I love the international flair of of Dance Parade, and I would love seeing different cultures… The Red Silk dancers, they were there this year, and they were just amazing. I would love to see them again. The Korean Dance team, the Bhangra team, the Dancehall Explosions guys, of course…the Jamaican team. Hahaha!
I really love seeing how all the different cultures in NY all come together and dance.
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If you could pick a Grand Marshal for this year’s parade who would it be?
Mikhail Baryshnikov. Let’s get him out here! or Rosie Perez…Let’s work on Rosie too. Haha!

What pitch would you use to attract a new volunteer onto the Dance Parade team?
Well, whenever I talk about Dance Parade I talk about bringing dance to public schools, bringing creativity and expression to students, and then having the dancers participate in the parade, which seems to get people interested in volunteering. Who wouldn’t want to be part of that?If you could pick another country to hold a Dance Parade and Festival….which would it be?
Brazil. Wouldn’t that be awesome? And I’d have to say Jamaica, because I’m Jamaican. Jamaica has so many parades! They have a parade for a parade…I’d really love to see it there. Let’s bring it home. Let’s bring it to Jamaica.

What does this year’s theme (Decade of Dance) mean to you?
It means ‘acceptance’. Accepting ALL. Regardless of race, sexual orientation, how freaky you are, how awesome you are…you’re accepted at the dance.