There’s nowhere in the world where there is a culture that doesn’t move to music. This video presents research about the Collective Effervescence of dance and helps explain why there is so much joy in the air when 10,000 dancers come together in the Annual Dance Parade and Festival.

 

This video explains why dance has become a human necessity in the gluing of societies together:

 

 

The French sociologist Émile Durkheim (1858-1917) theorised that ‘collective effervescence’ — moments in which people come together in some form of unifying, excitement-inducing activity — is at the root of what holds groups together. More recently, Dr. Bronwyn Tarr, an evolutionary biologist and psychologist at the University of Oxford who is also a trained dancer, has researched the evolutionary and neurological underpinnings of our innate tendency to bust a move.

Photo credit: Miguel Chavez

 

Drawing on the work of both Durkheim and Tarr, this Aeon Original video explores that unifying feeling of group ‘electricity’ that lifts us up when we’re enthralled by our favourite sports teams, participating in religious rituals, entranced by music – and, yes, dancing together at the Annual Dance Parade New York.

You can read more about Durkheim and his work here and about Dr. Tarr’s work here.

 

 

 

The Annual Dance Parade, with over 100 unique forms of dance, is an accelerator of Collective Effervescence, gluing society together.

 

 

Photo credit: Glenmore-Marshall

One hypothesis is that it provides an opportunity for people to come together, making them move — dance — and in doing so we experience internal hormonal cascades which are made up of ‘feel good’ chemicals. These bursts of chemicals are part of our brain’s pain and pleasure and reward circuitry, and when they are triggered they provide an experience of elation and positive reward. When we get this kick in the presence of others, the result is that of collective joy — positive, shared experiences through which we establish and maintain important social connections with others. Now we feel like we belong to a unified, cohesive whole.

 

Being part of a cohesive social group would have been really important for our ancestors — collaborating with others to find shelter, hunt, rear young would have increased our chances of survival. Music and dance are by no means the only ways we can stimulate these positive social ‘highs’. But they’re really good ways of doing it because it’s an experience that we can share with lots of people at once. In order to understand why that would have given us such a great advantage we need to look at our species in the context of primates.

 

Photo Credit: Chris Fernando

 

 

 

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In each issue of our STEPS! Newsletter we try to cast the Spotlight on one of our awesome team members to find out more about where they came from and to suss out their connection to dance and supporting the Dance Parade team.  In this issue, we put the spotlight on Rebecca Myles.

Hi, Rebecca.  Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk with us.

 

How did you first find out about Dance Parade? 

I first came across DanceFest as it’s held in Tompkins Square Park and I live close by. Performing on stage was a salsa group where this rather senior dancer suddenly flipped his partner upwards and twirled her around his neck. My mouth dropped open in wonder and then admiration at his skill and stamina. I was riveted to the spot, wondering “what is this?” and got hooked into Dance Parade.

 

What is your current role in Dance Parade New York?

Head of Publicity. We aim to make sure as many New Yorkers know about the parade through listings and pre-parade interviews and coverage, and then on the day coverage.

Every year we host a press conference at City Hall during the week leading up to the parade. The upcoming one is Wednesday May 15th at 2pm.  We will receive a Proclamation from the City which declares the coming Saturday as Dance Parade Day. It is a charming tradition and the Proclamation is beautiful. I am always intrigued by the inventive ways the Mayor describes the Parade and DanceFest.

The New York press are very generous to us and we’ve been featured over the years on NY1, New York Times, New York Daily News, New York Post, Wall Street Journal, New Yorker, Time Out, Gothamist, AMNY, The Villager, 1010 WINS, WABC, WBAI, Univision, to name but a few.

 

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

I love watching all kinds of dance because it transports me to a heartfelt space for experiencing an emotional “movement” story. Most recently I attended a lecture by Catherine Turocy, Director of New York Baroque Dance, which included demonstrations of Baroque dance styles. It was exquisite and what struck me was the intimacy of couples dancing and the inevitable poetry of two bodies in motion knitted by hand and eye touches. The evening was organized by NYU’s La Maison Francaise.

The last dancing I did was on Jeannie Hoppers’ Liquid Sound Lounge “Disco” boat. She has another name for it but that’s how I encourage friends to come. My friend Jenny always turns up as she understands the sheer brilliance of dancing on the East River against a backdrop of a New York skyline with Jeannie on the turntables, and live musicians.

 

 

What is your dance background or interest in dance? 

I remember wanting to do ballet as a kid but that didn’t happen. I suspect there was no extra cash. I had lots of excess energy even after climbing trees and biking everywhere so perhaps I saw dance as a channel, a home. I did ballroom dancing in college, and always went clubbing. I loved the free jazz dance floor downstairs at the Rock City in Nottingham. When I got to New York it was off to Nell’s, the Bank, Palladium, Robots…and for a while I took dance lessons in swing, African…but with pairing dances too often I land in trouble wanting to lead all the time.

 

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? 

Bob Fosse – because he understood the erotic and ascendant power dance.

 

 

Last year we celebrated the repeal of the Cabaret Law with the theme “The Cabaret of Life” — What does this year’s theme “Movement of the People ” mean to you? 

It is a potent theme in the 21st Century because it rests with us, the people, to wrest back our power to shape the world we want – fairness to people who need help, economic policies that support all our lives on earth with the other inhabitants, and thoughtful inclusive policies for education and healthcare.

 

 

What dance group or dance style are you most looking forward to seeing this coming year in the parade? 

The Native American Circle Dance that will open the parade reclaiming Mannahatta for the Lenape peoples. Dance, prayer, true thoughtful beauty – can’t beat that.

 

 

 

If you could choose a Grand Marshal for this year’s parade….who would it be? 

Michelle Obama has done so much to address physical fitness with her Let’s Move Initiative when she was First Lady. Just check out this video with the So You Think You Can Dance All Stars! (as Rebecca whips up this video on her phone…)

 

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

Most certainly another country, one with deep rooted culture like Mexico or India — It would be fun to share other world cultures with them.

 

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

It’s family. There are the regulars and it is great to work with the team each year and see our family of photographers turn up on Parade Day. But I’ve noticed that all the new volunteers all have a special magic that makes them fit right in and feel like we’ve known the all along. Then it’s those enthusiastic, brilliant dancers – movement artists – who are all sublime!

Dance Parade is excited to welcome Disney’s Aladdin to the Dance Parade!

The movie will be released May 24th and is a a thrilling and vibrant live-action adaptation of Disney’s animated classic, “Aladdin”–  an exciting tale of the charming street rat Aladdin, the courageous and self-determined Princess Jasmine and the Genie who may be the key to their future.

Directed by Guy Ritchie (“Sherlock Holmes,” “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”), who brings his singular flair for fast-paced, visceral action to the fictitious port city of Agrabah, “Aladdin” is written by John August (“Dark Shadows,” “Big Fish”) and Ritchie based on Disney’s “Aladdin.”

 

The film stars Will Smith (“Ali,” “Men in Black”) as the larger-than-life Genie; Mena Massoud (“Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan”) as the charming scoundrel Aladdin; Naomi Scott (“Power Rangers”) as Jasmine, the beautiful, self-determined princess; Marwan Kenzari (“Murder on the Orient Express”) as Jafar, the powerful sorcerer; Navid Negahban (“Legion”) as the Sultan concerned with his daughter’s future; Nasim Pedrad (“Saturday Night Live”) as Dalia, Princess Jasmine’s free-spirited best friend and confidante; Billy Magnussen (“Into the Woods”) as the handsome and arrogant suitor Prince Anders; and Numan Acar (“The Great Wall”) as Hakim, Jafar’s right-hand man and captain of the palace guards.

 

Naomi Scott as Jasmine and Mena Massoud as Aladdin in Disney’s live-action adaptation of ALADDIN, directed by Guy Ritchie.

Eight-time Academy Award®-winning composer Alan Menken (“Beauty and the Beast,” “The Little Mermaid”) provides the score, which includes new recordings of the original songs written by Menken and Oscar-winning lyricists Howard Ashman (“Little Shop of Horrors”) and Tim Rice (“The Lion King”) and includes two new songs written by Menken and Oscar and Tony Award®-winning songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (“La La Land,” “Dear Evan Hansen”).

 

Aladdin (Mena Massoud) meets the larger-than-life blue Genie (Will Smith) in Disney’s live-action adaptation ALADDIN, directed by Guy Ritchie.

 

Mena Massoud as the street rat with a heart of gold, Aladdin, and Will Smith as the larger-than-life Genie in Disney’s ALADDIN, directed by Guy Ritchie.

Share on Social Media:

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Hashtag: #Aladdin

 

In each issue of our STEPS! Newsletter we try to cast the Spotlight on one of our awesome team members to find out more about where they came from and to suss out their connection to dance and supporting the Dance Parade team. In this issue, we put the spotlight on Mona Freeman.

Hi, Mona. Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk with us.

How did you first find out about Dance Parade?

I saw a posting on LinkedIN last year and was intrigued by the idea of a dance parade.

I love to create, direct and produce crowd pleasing entertainment and this seemed like a good match.

I sent a connection request to Greg Miller, the Executive Director of the nonprofit that produces Dance Parade, stating that I wanted to know more about the Dance Parade. However, I was not able to be a part of it in 2018.

This season, when the volunteer committee was looking for people to join, I answered the call!

 

 

What is your current role in Dance Parade New York?

I am on the Curation Committee, planning the Dance Festival which will take place in Tompkins Square Park following the parade. I am currently watching through videos of dance performances to decide where they will be placed in the festival. I will then be coordinating the groups who will be presented on the family stage. The family stage will be presenting most of the groups that are made up of youngsters. I have previously presented dozens of performances with a cast of hundreds of children as young as three years old through teens.

 

 

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

Musical Theater and Ballet. When I began my dance training, I was influenced by the Broadway show A Chorus Line and the movie The Turning Point. I’ve studied numerous forms of dance, but ballet is what keeps me coming back because there is always something new to achieve.

 

What is your dance background or interest in dance?

My first formal dance lesson was at the age of thirteen. I was a high school gymnast and joined a ballet class in order to supplement my skills. I soon realized that I enjoyed ballet far more than gymnastics. I studied Dance Education at New York University and established a private dance studio shortly after graduation. I directed and taught students three years old through adults in Ballet, Tap, Jazz for over three decades.

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?

Gene Kelly, he made it look effortless. I would dance with him in the ballet presented at the end of An American In Paris. It’s a classic and doesn’t need any improvement.

 

 

Last year we celebrated the repeal of the Cabaret Law with the theme “The Cabaret of Life” — What does this year’s theme “Movement of the People ” mean to you?

 

Dance has been a means of expression since the beginning of time. For some people it is a cultural experience, for others it is a social experience, and there are those who bring dance to the stage for artistic expression or purely to entertain. With Dance Parade New York, we celebrate all of these dancers.

 

What dance group or dance style are you most looking forward to seeing this coming year in the parade?

I am looking forward to seeing the community engagement groups who will be performing on the family stage.  With these programs in schools and community centers throughout NYC, these youngsters and senior citizens have been exposed to something new. They learn tangible skills in movement and expression as well as intangible ones like confidence and team building. The final project of being in the parade and festival brings all this together. Some of them may be involved in dancing for the first time, or possibly since a long time ago. This is a wonderful experience for them, I want to share their joy!

 

 

If you could choose a Grand Marshal for this year’s parade….who would it be?

I would choose Rhee Gold. He is a source of motivation and encouragement for dance teachers and studio owners in the private sector. Rhee’s mother was a dance teacher. Rhee and his twin brother Rennie grew up in that world. Thousands of students attend dance classes each week where they not only learn dance technique, they learn life’s lessons.

 

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

When you are working on something that has personal meaning for you, the struggle is worth the trouble. I support the mission of Dance Parade: to promote dance as an expressive and unifying art form by showcasing all forms of dance, educating the general public about the opportunities to experience dance, and celebrating diversity of dance in New York City by sponsoring a yearly city-wide dance parade and dance festival.

 

 

What pitch would you use to attract a new volunteer onto the Dance Parade team?

If you love dance and the unbridled freedom of dancing in the streets, you need to join us!

 

Thanks Mona–Folks who want to volunteer can click here to fill out our short form!

 

 

Circle dance is a style of dance done in a circle or semicircle to musical accompaniment, such as rhythm instruments and singing. Circle dancing is probably the oldest known dance formation and was part of community life from when people first started to dance.

 

 

To counter the negativity associated with “walls” and “immigration” we are opening this year’s parade with a Native American Circle Dance. When we honor Native American dance, we acknowledge that we are ALL immigrants.

Led by Grand Marshal Native American Louis Mofsie, the Circle Dance reflects different experiences and ways of being in the world, and comprises a vast range of dance styles and movement vocabularies representative in the Dance Parade. Native dances ultimately remind people of their connection to all living things and unite people with the world around them.

Dancing in a circle is an ancient tradition common to many cultures for marking special occasions, rituals, strengthening community and encouraging togetherness. The dance can also be enjoyed as an uplifting group experience or as part of a meditation. Circle dances are choreographed to many different styles of music and rhythms.

Unlike line dancing, circle dancers are in physical contact with each other; the connection is made by hand-to-hand, finger-to-finger or hands-on-shoulders. It is a type of dance where anyone can join in without the need of partners. Generally, the participants follow a leader around the dance floor while holding the hand of the dancers beside them. The dance can be gentle or energetic.

Modern circle dance mixes traditional folk dances, mainly from European or Near Eastern sources, with recently choreographed ones to a variety of music both ancient and modern. There is also a growing repertoire of new circle dances to classical music and contemporary songs.

Culture
Modern circle dancing is found in many cultures, including Arabic (Lebanese and Iraqi), Israeli (see Jewish dance and Israeli folk dancing), Assyrian, Kurdish, Turkish, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Maltese, and South Eastern European (i.e. Albanian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Greek and Serbian, to name a few).
Despite its immense reputation in the Middle East and southeast Europe, circle dancing also has a historical prominence in Brittany, Catalonia and Ireland to the west of Europe, and also in South America (Peruvian), Tibet, and with Native Americans (see ghost dance). It is also used, in its more meditative form, in worship within various religious traditions including, the Church of England and the Islamic Haḍra dances.

Western Europe: An-Dro
An Dro, meaning “the turn”, is a Breton circle dance. The dancers link the little fingers in a long line, swinging their arms, whilst moving to their left. The arm movements consist first of two circular motions going up and back followed by one in the opposite direction. The leader (person at the left-hand end of the line) will lead the line into a spiral or double it back on itself to form patterns on the dance floor, and allow the dancers to see each other.

 

 

Thousands of medieval tombstones called “Stecci” were found in Bosnia and Hercegovina and neighboring areas. They dated from the end of the 12th century to the 16th century. They bear inscription and figures which look like dancers in a chain. Men and women are portrayed dancing together holding hands at shoulder level but occasionally the groups consist of only one sex.[4][5]

In Macedonia near the town of Zletovo, the murals on the monastery of Lesnovo (Lesnovo Manastir), which date from the 14th century, show a group of young men linking arms in a round dance. A chronicle from 1344 urges the people of the city of Zadar to sing and dance circle dances for a festival. However, a reference comes from Bulgaria in a manuscript of a 14th-century sermon, which calls chain dances “devilish and damned.”

The hora dance originates in the Balkans but also found in other countries (including Romania and Moldova). The dancers hold each other’s hands and the circle spins, usually counterclockwise, as each participant follows a sequence of three steps forward and one step back. The Hora is popular during wedding celebrations and festivals, and is an essential part of the social entertainment in rural areas. In Bulgaria, it is not necessary to be in a circle; a curving line of people is also acceptable.[22]

Kolo

The kolo is a collective folk dance common in various South Slavic regions, such as Serbia, named after the circle formed by the dancers. It is performed amongst groups of people (usually several dozen, at the very least three) holding each other’s having their hands around each other’s waists (ideally in a circle, hence the name). There is almost no movement above the waist.

Faroese dance
The Faroese dance is the national circle dance of the Faroe Islands. The dance originated from the medieval times, which survived only in the Faroe Islands, while in other European countries it was banned by the church, due to its pagan origin. The dance is danced traditionally in a circle, but when a lot of people take part in the dance they usually let it swing around in various wobbles within the circle. The dance in itself only consists in holding each other’s hands, while the dancers form a circle, dancing two steps to the left and one to the right wirhout crossing the legs. When more and more dancers join the dance ring, the circle starts to bend and forms a new one within itself.

Sacred Circle Dance
The Sacred Circle Dance was brought to the Findhorn Foundation community in Scotland by Bernhard Wosien who brought traditional circle dances that he had gathered from across Eastern Europe.
Colin Harrison and David Roberts took the dances to other parts of the UK where they started regular groups in south east England and Somerset, then across Europe, the US and elsewhere. The network extends also to Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and South America and India.
A small centrepiece of flowers or other objects is often placed at the centre of the circle to help focus the dancers and maintain the circular shape. Much debate goes on within the sacred circle dance network about what is meant by ‘sacred’ in the dance.

Dabke

Dabke is popular in Lebanon, Syria, Palestin, Israel, Jordan and Turkey. The most famous type of the dance is the Al-Shamaliyya (الشمالية). It consists of a lawweeh (لويح) at the head of a group of men holding hands and formed in a semicircle. The lawweeh is expected to be particularly skilled in accuracy, ability to improvise, and quickness (generally light on his feet). The dancers develop a synchronized movement and step, and when the singers finish their song the lawweeh breaks from the semicircle to dance on their own. The lawweeh is the most popular and familiar form of dabke danced for happy family celebrations.

Ganggangsullae (강강술래)

 

Ganggangsullae is an ancient Korean dance that was first used to bring about a bountiful harvest and has developed into a cultural symbol for Korea. It incorporates singing, dancing, and playing and is exclusively performed by women.  The dance is mostly performed in the southwestern coastal province of Jeollanam-do. It is often associated with the Chuseok holiday and Daeboreum.

 

The next time you see a Circle Dance, join in — It’s fun and you will be participating in an ancient cultural tradition!

Article Source: Wikipedia (English version)

Dance Parade is a 501(c)3 non-profit supported by a passionate team of dance lovers. In this issue we put the team spotlight on Paul Saltzberg!

What is your current role with Dance Parade?
My current role on the day of Dance Parade is helping to organize 75 floats & vehicles. I usually escort our friends at NYPD Highway Patrol through the lineup to inspect the wacky art cars.
What are you up to when you’re not helping with Dance Parade?
I am an actor, enjoy watching sports and keeping in shape, inline and dance skating and my latest hobby–making big bubbles in Central park for tips.
How did you first find out about Dance Parade?
I first heard of the Dance Parade from my friend Greg Miller who I knew from skate dancing in Central Park.
What is your favorite style of dance to watch? To participate in? 
My favorite (current) style of dance would be break dancing. And   I like to participate in skate-dancing like at the Central Park dance circle.
My dance background is being the brother of professional Ballerina & Gyrotonic Master Trainer Ms. Debra Rose Saltzberg. Our parents took us to Broadway musicals, and my father & I used to sneak into Juillard Nutcracker ballets.

 

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 would share the stage with my nephew Forrest Charles. (Or my 2nd choice is my cousin, Jacob Reiben)

 

There are over 100 groups signed up so far and over 60 unique styles of dance. What dance group or dance style are you most looking forward to seeing this coming May 18th in the parade? 

I am most interested in the dance styles chosen by the children. Then by any dance skaters, break Dancers, and anyone else who wants participate because I will be cheering them on.

 

If you could choose a Grand Marshal for this year’s parade….who would it be? 

If I could choose a Grand Marshall I would nominate my sister Debra Rose, then a
Mr. Alonzo King, Lead Choreographer of “Lines Dance Company (SF, CA). Then Mr. James Singley. (He is accomplished) He helped choreograph on Broadway, in a skate scene.

 

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

I would pick England, Israel, or Germany, Holland, Spain, Switzerland or Australia to hold another dance parade. It’d be fabulous to share multi-culturalism on another continent.

 

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

I come back and volunteer because my time is so precious to me. Every minute someone volunteers is a gift. And I think gifts are what make this world a better place. I am so grateful to have this opportunity.
Just last year it rained and we all got a little wet, (we expected rain & we dressed accordingly) but we all continued & did our best and there were smiles from the start of the parade to the end of the festival.
I do promote the dance parade and I say, ” have you heard about the dance parade, we will be holding our 13th annual on Saturday, May 18th @ 1pm beginning at Broadway & 21st street, etc. Here is our website. We need more good volunteers, I volunteer each year. It’s a lot of fun!”
Thanks Paul for your time and sharing your story!  Dance Praade is just week’s away. Join the team by filling out this short form here.
Dance Parade is a 501(c)3 non-profit supported by a passionate team of dance lovers. In this issue we put the team spotlight on Nhadyr Reyes Cardenas!
What is your current role in Dance Parade, Inc?
I am working with Rebecca Myles in the Media & Promotions Committee. I am very excited to specifically work with the Spanish speaking Press.

 

How did you first find out about Dance Parade?
A year ago in April of 2018, I was searching for dance classes in NYC and my google search came up with Dance Parade New York. I was so interested in taking the workshops in the park and was excited about all the different styles of dance that was offered. Ever since then I have been very curious about how the organization works.
When I met my Bolivian community in NYC, I became aware that some groups participate in the Parade, but I’ve always asked myself why they don’t participate in the Festivals.  I really wanted to know how groups could get to bigger stages.
  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Well, when we talk about dance we are talking about many things… Technique, style, choreography and so on but the most important thing, in my opinion, is the feeling. I don’t really have a favorite style of dance, however, I love seeing when someone is enjoying the dance, if they can make me feel what they feel while dancing, I think they did everything.

About participating, I love my Bolivian rhythms. We have so much variety and what I think I love the most is that every rhythm has its meaning, they all come from ancient times and every movement we do denotes something important.

I don’t think my culture is the best over the world, because every country has a story to tell through their dances. So, I always try to learn as much as I can about other cultures. I could dance from Peruvian music to Polish, if they teach me, without any problem.

 

 

What is your dance background or interest in dance? 

I’ve been involved in music ever since I can remember. My father is a music lover and grew up listening to all kinds of music all the time and as soon as I learned how to stand, I started dancing. I used to dance with my parents at home to all kinds of rhythms, most of all, the Latin-American ones. Then, when I turned 13, I started my folkloric dancing classes and ever since the moment I started, I couldn’t leave those traditions anymore. I’ve been dancing Bolivian folkloric dances for almost 16 years now.

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? 

This is a hard question but I think Michael Jackson is such a complete and multi-talented artist, not only an excellent musician but also an amazing dancer.

 

Last year we celebrated the repeal of the Cabaret Law with the theme “The Cabaret of Life” — What does this year’s theme “Movement of the People ” mean to you? 

I think this year’s theme shows what NYC has to offer. I mean, there are over 1,000 cultural organizations in the five boroughs that show the diversity of culture that defines NYC and close to 200 organizations will be in the parade.

 

What dance group or dance style are you most looking forward to seeing this coming year in the parade? 

Actually, this is going to be my first Parade, so I am excited to see everything and everyone. I understand that there will be over 80 unique styles of dance and I like the idea of the “United Nations of Dance!”

 

If you could choose a Grand Marshal for this year’s parade….who would it be? 

It is very difficult to pick a representative to represent all of dance  but it would be nice to have Major Bill de Blasio make an appearance!  As we’re beginning the parade with a Native American Circle Dance, how nice would it be for him to join the 20 to 30 other representatives from the parade for the celebration of unity and diversity, honoring the indigenous peoples before us and also showing support for immigrant rights.

 

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

Japan! Through my experience with my Bolivian music and dance, I’ve learned that Japanese people are very interested in new culture and rhythms. With my involvement with the Bolivian events, some of them are not only audience members but also are performers in music and dance.

In fact, one of our most representative folkloric group called “Los Kjarkas” has a member that was born in Japan. Makoto ShiShido plays the Charango, which is a native instrument that resembles a smaller version of a guitar with twice as many strings.

Besides Makoto, there are some Orchestras with Japanese musicians that play Bolivian music, they even travel to Bolivia every year to study more about the rhythms and are often accompanied by Japanese dancers doing Bolivian rhythms. One of the directors of these Orchestras is Sho Makino. Sho just finished his master thesis in Bolivian Ethnomusicology in Japan.

Because of these reasons, I would choose Japan to hold a Dance Parade and Festival.

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

Working for a non-profit organization definitely has its challenges, but is very rewarding. There is something besides money that moves us to continue. In my case, the love of culture, music, dance, art, makes me work with so much passion and makes me happy, and for me, that’s more important than financial reward.

Dance Parade, Inc. is a non-profit organization supported by a passionate team of dance lovers! It is the dedication, expertise and rhythm of these hard-working team members that contributes to the success of Dance Parade, DanceFest and the Community Engagement Programs. Want to join the team? Click here! This month we sat down with Julian Sanjivan (Pronouns They/Them/Theirs)

Hey Julian, thanks for taking the time to tell us about yourself.

How did you first find out about Dance Parade?  
I was looking to do something during my free time and stumbled upon the Dance Parade on LinkedIn. I decided to apply for the Parade Production Lead role. So, your current role in Dance Parade, Inc would be? Parade Production Lead. I actually am also the Director of the Pride March. I am enjoying working with Adele Godfrey, a talented producer who has 3 Dance Parades under her belt.

So great to have you on board with the “Boogie down Broadway!” Is there any other non-profit projects you work on?
Oh yeah, I love making a difference. My day job is the Director of  Visitor Services at the LGBT Center. The Center is the heart and home of NYC’s LGBT community, providing programs for health, wellness and community connection. And I also co-founded a non-profit for asylees. 

What is an asylee?

An asylee is what you call someone who seeks asylum. The organization that I co-founded is called “Asylee Designs”  We want to improve how we welcome and learn from newcomers in New York City.

Wow, that kind of work is so needed under the current government climate. Thanks for doing that!

Now, turning to dance. What is your favorite style of dance to watch? to participate in?
Anything contemporary.What is your dance background or interest in dance?
I performed contemporary when I was in college. I still am interested in contemporary. However, I am interested to watch any types of dance.

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?
This may sound cliche but I would probably like to share the stage with Jennifer Lopez, Madonna, or Lady Gaga. 

What does this year’s theme “Movement of the People” mean to you?
The current administration in the White House has been contentious and very divisive. This year’s theme is timely in bringing people together by celebrating something many love: Dance! 

What dance group or dance style are you most looking forward to seeing this coming year in the parade? 
Belly dancing! I would like to see how they are able to do this down the parade route!

If you could pick another country to hold a Dance Parade and Festival….which would it be? 
I am originally from South East Asia. I would naturally be biased in recommending one of the culturally diverse South East Asian countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, or the Philippines. 

Working for a non-profit organization can at times be challenging with limited personnel and limited funding….what is it that keeps you going?
This is my first time with the Dance Parade. So, I can’t really say. However, I have volunteered for other events. The thing that makes me come back for more is the satisfaction of organizing something monumental for the community that thrives from such an event and working with a great team.

 

Dance Parade is pleased to welcome D.Webb Designs to its family of sponsors. D.Webb Designs is the brain child of Designer and Belly Dancer Debbie Cartsos.  D.Webb Designs is a New York City based apparel company that proudly designs and manufactures quality apparel catered to the Dance community.

 

We sat down with Debbie Cartsos, founder and owner of D.Webb Designs and interviewed her about her new venture within the Dance Parade world.

Dance Parade: Why is D.Webb Designs sponsoring the 2019 Dance Parade?

Debbie: “Quite simply, I love this event! As a dancer, I have taken part in at least 5 Dance Parades over the years and each year, I can’t wait to go back and do it all again. I love dancing down the streets of NYC and feeling a unity with other dancers from around the world. It’s a feelgood event where, whether spectator or participant, one can be inspired by dance forms you’ve never been exposed to. It’s an opportunity for artists to showcase their work and genuinely get a vast amount of exposure, which is not easy to find. 

photo by Monzeeki Photography, model Chance

Dance Parade: Can you tell our readers what D.Webb Designs will be doing at the 13th Annual Dance Parade and Festival? 

Debbie: We’ll be dancing in the parade in collaboration with the Dalia Carella Dance Collective, repping our interactive full-length dance theater production, Menagerie d’Arte fusing 1920/30s cabaret styles of Berlin and Paris with contemporary and world dance, avant garde, darkly comedic, bringing human fashion installations to life and merging the worlds of couture and dance.

Dance Parade: Ahh, Dalia Carella–Yes, I heard she’ll be performing at our March 2nd Launch Party as well.

Debbie: Yes! Dalia is a recognized around the world as a master performer and will be doing a solo piece for LIFT OFF at the Taj. By the way, you can all use code DWEBB for 20% off tickets!

Dance Parade: That’s awesome! So tell us, then what happens when you get to the festival in Tompkins Square Park?

Debbie: After we have all danced our way through Manhattan, D.Webb will be meeting you in Tompkins Square Park at our fully stocked experience booth, with mini-dance contests, prizes, photo ops and a meet and greet with the D.Webb crew.

Debbie: And THEN TO THE MAIN STAGE where we are collaborating with Sol Dance Center and some of our D.Webb Ambassadors,under the artistic direction of Dani Albertina, to bring you a dance and fashion filled performance bringing our fashions “from the dance floor to the streets” with hip hop, ballet, belly dance, and more. It’s a full experience of the senses with D.Webb Designs and friends. Don’t miss it!

 

 

Check out D.Webb Designs website and get your new outfit for Dance Parade!

 

Founder of D. Webb Designs, Designer Debbie Cartsos

Debbie’s Bio

Debbie Cartsos donned her first belly dance costume at the age of five from a belly dancer that performed at Zorba’s, a famous Greek night club in Florida. Later on when she moved to Athens, Greece, she continued to shimmy on through her mother’s design studio to the sounds of classic Mediterranean music, surrounded by the vibrant colors and patterns destined to become beautiful gowns for her family’s evening wear boutique. Is it any surprise that dance and fashion were her first loves? They led her to degrees in Fashion and Intimate Apparel Design at the Veloudakis Private Institute of Design in Greece and NYC’s Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), where she also received the Jean Yu Critic Award for Intimate Apparel Design and the Intimate Apparel Council Merit Award. At the same time, Debbie was earning numerous belly dance certifications, performing and, eventually, teaching.

Inevitably, her two loves merged. Her expertise in bra-making and fashion led to costume design and a line of performance wear and so D.Webb Designs was born. She now designs apparel that can be worn in many different ways, “from the studio to the street”, striving to fill a gap in the fashion industry by creating pieces that allow for freedom. Freedom in movement and freedom in style, as non-conforming and individual as the people who wear them.

 

 

 

Dance Parade, Inc. is a non-profit organization supported by a passionate team of dance lovers! It is the dedication, expertise and rhythm of these hard-working team members that contributes to the success of Dance Parade, DanceFest and the Community Engagement Programs. Want to join the team? Click here!

 

What is your current role in Dance Parade, Inc?
I am currently the Dance Parade Programing Lead and have enjoyed working with everyone thus far!

 

How did you first find out about Dance Parade?
I was doing some research on potential jobs on LinkedIN and stumbled upon this role. I originally wasn’t sure exactly what it was but decided to apply… because why not!! Thankfully Greg reached out immediately and the next day I was in Brooklyn at my first DANCE PARADE meeting!!

 

What is your favorite style of dance to watch? to participate in?
Hmmmm this is a tough question! I recently became aware of my lack of favorites in much of anything when it comes to favorites!!! I don’t really have favorites and my opinions change often. I truly do love the art of movement and self expression and I thoroughly enjoy performing Bellydance in all aspects of the ancient art form! I myself am a dancer, performer, teacher, choreographer and connect to so many types of movement on different levels of interest. It’s so exciting having the opportunity to learn an abundance from each group participating in Dance Parade!! EXCITED TO EXPAND and MAYBE FIND A FAVORITE 🙂

What is your dance background or interest in dance?
I feel fortunate to have an extensive dance background, well rounded, and quite diverse!! I am open to learning anything because all movement helps develop my personal style even more. I’ve been lucky enough to train all over the U.S. specializing in multiple genres such as Jazz, tap, contemporary, hip-hop, bollywood, bellydance and more for many years. I graduated from the University of Alabama in 2011 where I obtained my BA in dance choreography and performance. I currently reside in New York City teaching weekly at Broadway Dance Center, Alvin Ailey and Crunch Signature Gyms my signature bellydance, fitness, yoga, and alignment classes. My interest in dance is always expanding and ever so changing from teaching on convention, to working on music videos, to helping to develop artists and their stage presence to simply teaching a soulful yoga class; every experience is unique and gratifying. The connection to people through movement of all kinds is beautiful and that is what interests me the most!

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?
It would be a blast to teach Ariana Grande Bellydance and/or perform with her. I think she is so cute and incredibly talented! Also it would be magical to perform side by side with my teacher Aziza of Birmingham, Alabama. She is just a magical, amazing woman who taught me everything about quality, musicality, meaning, authenticity, and joy through movement. She doesn’t perform but when she teaches she might as well be on a stage because you cannot deny her joy!!! SHARING A STAGE WITH MY MENTOR AZIZA would be unforgettable.

 

What does this year’s theme “Movement of the People” mean to you?
Simply put, we are all one. No matter what style or diaspora. There is no higher or lower form of dance. I pray each day that humans of all backgrounds can be a loving, giving, kind, compassionate unit.

 

What dance group or dance style are you most looking forward to seeing this coming year in the parade?
It’s hard to look forward to any one particular style as there are over 80 unique ones– Seeing the world’s largest display of diversity in dance in culture is what I’m looking forward to!!
If you could pick another country to hold a Dance Parade and Festival….which would it be?
PALESTINE or Dubai — These are the origins of my ancestors and the folkloric style of dance that I love.

Working for a non profit organization can at times be challenging with limited personnel and limited funding….what is it that keeps you coming back for more and more?
Greg, our fabulous Executive Director, has been so fantastic, giving, and easy to work with that he makes it fun and exciting!! The project alone is amazing and speaks to my heart so I enjoy the “work”!

 

**** Janelle’s website with other links to social media and more: www.jbelly.com
******Contact Janelle for booking classes, performances, choreography with Janelleissis@gmail.com