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, 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
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!
 
 
Greetings Adele! 

Let’s start at the very begin shall we? 

How did you first find out about Dance Parade?
I first heard of dance parade through my friend Erik. He introduced me to the parade and got me involved the first year as a NYDP officer (New York Dance Police). It was the perfect first experience to ticket people for NOT dancing!

What is your current role in Dance Parade, Inc?
Currently I lead a production team that plans and produces the parade.  I’m here to help make sure the day of the parade runs smoothly.

What is your favorite style of dance to watch? to participate in?
I love watching expressive, modern dance; I love when people can tell a story through dance. I also really enjoy watching couple dance whether it be salsa, samba, swing or modern. The connection of two dancers performing is so captivating.

I participate in non-traditional forms of free form dance… including 5Rhythms. Anywhere there is good music you will find me dancing… whether there is a dance floor or not. I’ve never performed any type of dance routine for a formal audience.

What is your dance background?
After studying business management in college and then working in an office job I knew there was something more to a job. So I quit my business job and went to photo school. After learning all the techniques and the business of photography I moved to NYC to start my career. Along the way I found my passion for photographing babies and children and now specialize in children’s fashion photography as well as photographing newborns and family portraiture. I am available for personal and commercial shoots: adele@adelegodfrey.com. You can check out some of my work at: www.adelegodfrey.com.

What is your interest in dance?
I’ve taken only a handful of formal dance classes, but I grew up belly dancing and salsa dancing within my community. Now I am a regular at 5 rhythms and continue to create uplifting dance energy where ever dancing is appropriate.

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?
Shakira! She’s an amazing dancer and she can rock the hips the way a Lebanese (even half) woman should. She not only dances for her audience and her songs, but I’ve seen some beautiful serene dance sequences she’s be a part of and it’s magic. You can’t help but be mesmerized by her moves.

What does this year’s theme “The Cabaret of Life” mean to you?
Don’t let life hold you down, but find the freedom to dance… even if it’s just in your room by yourself. Dancing releases so much stress and anxiety, it allows us to embrace our connection with our body and feel free, even if just for a few moments. During dance we can put our troubles and pessimistic thoughts aside while our bodies move to find the release and freedom from those damaging thoughts. Many people are afraid to let themselves go to feel the freedom dance allows.  This year’s theme challenges those who may not feel free to let that go and let themselves dance to feel the freedom. It promotes the idea of living free and connecting that with dance! Dance more is my resolution for the new year. I always feel great after a good dance session.

What dance group or dance style are you most looking forward to seeing this coming year in the parade?
I’m looking forward to seeing the performances of the underprivileged kids that dance parade brings classes to. From what I understand there are some kids who are taught a routine that will be showcased in the parade. I thing this is an amazing thing Dance Parade participates in that is a benefits for kids not just on this day, but ongoing. There is also this swing dancing group that I saw last year who were just amazing! They are enjoyable to watch and I look forward to seeing what they are bringing this year.

If you could pick another country to hold a Dance Parade and Festival….which would it be?
Good question! Another country… how about Southern California… ok that’s not a different country, but sometimes it feels like it is. Paris would be my other country pick. Why? It’s pretty and will make pretty backgrounds for photos as people are parading around town. 🙂

Supporting a non profit organization can at times be daunting with limited personnel and limited funding….what is it that keeps you coming back for more and more?
It is frustrating with the limited amount of time I have that I can spend with volunteering. I’m back for the first time and not sure exactly how much is going to be expected from me. I’ll let you know next year why I will return, if I do return…haha 😉
The reason I joined this year is because I feel moved by the awesomeness of the parade and festival (and I’m not the kind of person who usually enjoys parades.) But this parade has such an uplifting energy throughout…it’s not just people solemnly walking or marching, but its an environment where people are smiling, laughing, stylishly moving and connecting all through the love of dance. The love of dance brings together people of all ages, backgrounds, races and colors and it’s just beautiful to witness and experience. This is why I am involved.

Describe a special memory you have from Dance Parade’s past?
Little moments happened last year when I was a dance police (which is the most awesome addition to the parade by the way)…I saw this older gentleman just sitting and watching the parade looking so bored and disinterested, not smiling or anything… I went up to him and said sternly, “You are in violation for not smiling and not dancing!” Right away he perked up smiled and started moving his body, saying “No, no I’m dancing… see?” I gave him a citation anyway but when I left him he was still smiling and continued his dance. Opening the audience to interact with the parade and dance themselves is something special I took with me from Dance Parade.

A little moment from the dance festival that still sits with me: In the middle of a crowd of people dancing and being entertained by a DJ on a main stage I pauses to look around me, I saw people roughly my age shaking it, but I also saw people in their late stages of life getting down, I saw children smiling and moving like they were going to lose their legs, a man grooving with his walker, a younger woman smiling and rocking with a broken foot…the diversity of people around me enjoying the same music and loving energy was a beautiful scene always to be remembered.

What pitch would you use to attract a new volunteer onto the Dance Parade team?
Do you want to be a part of a movement that reaches the biggest diversity of people? Dance parade is a movement that brings people together through the love of dance. An organization that opens the doors for dancers and groups to showcase their talents and hard work and creates a day of dance to share on the streets of Manhattan.  In addition to the actual parade and festival, Dance Parade is active within the community in providing dance classes for people who may not be able to afford to take classes with the goal of performing in dance parade. By volunteering you help sustain a community of dancers and give them opportunities they may not have otherwise.

Thank you Adele!