Team Spotlight: Meet Janelle, Parade Programming Lead!

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

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