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.




Over the past three years dancer/choreographers Shireen Dickson, Carlye Eckert and Jamila Holman have joined with choreographer/director DJ McDonald and Executive Director Greg Miller to present guerilla dancers and ensembles as part of the annual Dance Parade and DanceFest, the world’s largest single-day public dance event, in community centers, public parks and schools across the metro area, and in outdoor performances in collaboration with the Lincoln Square BID. The Collective’s deeper roots lie in Dancing Through the Light, which McDonald and Miller created, alongside co-producer Steven Estroff.  It featured 7 different NYC based ensembles reflecting dance from 3 continents, the sub-continent and Hawai’i at numerous sites across Green-Wood Cemetery in Brrooklyn. This year the Collective emerges onto a platform within DanceFest, on stages and sites, by first presenting 3 distinct ensembles from Native American to Contemporary as the nucleus of a professional outgrowth. The aim will be to take its work further into the streets, plazas, piers, sites, neighborhoods, communities, minds and hearts of NYC.

We aim to take over the city. Not all of it, and not all at once; just to bring the artists we work with and among above the threshold of the sensible allowing them to be recognized and validated along with the largely Native American and immigrant communities from which they spring. Working together with communities we engage in resonant sites across the city, we bring a healing hand and heart to sites of historic conflict, trauma and struggle honoring past present and future as we bring dancing to the streets, parks, plazas, piers and sites of NYC.


Shireen Dickson

A professional dancer trained in Horton, Dunham classical modern and fusion styles as exemplified in 2018’s Kara Walker reVERSE-gesture-reVIEW with Thomas F. DeFrantz and SLIPPAGE (video), Shireen has worked in dance and dance education for 17 years. Her art/research focuses on African-American vernacular styles including Tap, Swing, Improvisation, Hip Hop and Traditional Jazz.  She is also knowledgeable in international folk styles – Irish Step, Bhangra, Polynesian and Caribbean dance.

Shireen serves as Artistic Director/Performer with The Okra Dance Company offering performances and residencies to schools, libraries and community centers, primarily in urban and under-served communities, in schools, after-school programs and on the college/professional level. Previously she worked as Education Director with the STREB Lab for Action Mechanics, as Choreographic Assistant to Dianne McIntyre, as Young Adolescent Program Coordinator at the East Harlem Tutoring Program, as a Teaching Artist with the Jazz Drama Program at the Louis Armstrong Middle School and as Arts Educator at Vanguard High School,

Dickson produced both the Parade and DanceFest in 2009 and 2010 and then created Dance Parade’s Community Engagement Program, now overseen by Carlye Eckert before joining the Collective. She iis a graduate of Goucher College, Maryland.


Carlye Eckert

Carlye works as a choreographer, performer, teacher, and in arts programming in New York. She is a graduate of the Juilliard School (Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree, 2009).

As a performer, Eckert has worked and collaborated with Tino Sehgal, Jonah Bokaer, Jack Ferver, Luke Murphy Dance, Yara Travieso, Lucie Baker, Esme Boyce Dance, The Equus Projects, and appeared as a guest dance artist with Aszure Barton & Artists and Keigwin+Company. She. is a member of the Brian Brooks Moving Company and is currently working with Boris Charmatz/Musee de la Danse.

Her choreographic work has been presented in Portland, Oregon at A-WOL and the West Linn Theater; in NYCi at Judson Church, Center for Performance Research, Triskelion, CAVE, CUNY, Dance New Amsterdam, West End Theater, Dixon Place, Location One, DUMBO Dance Festival, Green Space, The Peter Jay Sharp Theater at Lincoln Center, and The Juilliard School.

Ms. Eckert’s work focuses on activating experiences of community and environment, whether through choreography, dance education, or arts programming. In April 2011, she co-established the performance series, STUFFED: Dinner and Dance at Judson Church, a community program which presents dance artists and feeds hungry audiences on a quarterly basis. Carlye teaches dance at Rutgers University in New Jersey.


Jamila Holman

In 2005, Jamila began dancing at Madison Square Garden for the New York Knicks and was chosen to perform in shows in China, with John Legend and Paul McCartney. Currently, Jamila tours arenas nationwide as a choreographer and back-up dancer with R&B star Lisa Lisa of  Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam. Her dance career in NYC began in 2003 with renowned Jazz choreographer Frank Hatchett and soon after was featured in his “VOP” instructional jazz dance DVD as well as assisting Hatchett in numerous dance conventions.

Growing up in Springfield, MA, Holman began her training under Hatchett’s principal dancer Kim Norrington and was promoted by choreographers at the Broadway Dance Center and Hunter College. Her training varies in styles from ballet, to jazz, tap, hip-hop and African. As a teacher she has assisted the late Hatchett at conventions such as The Dance Teachers Summit, NADAA, with the New York Knicks Cheering for Children Organization and at New York City’s most popular gyms such as Crunch and David Barton.


DJ McDonald

DJ has been immersed in dance, theater, film/video, music and visual arts, as well as management, production, curation, development, marketing/PR, touring, education and community engaged art activities for more than two decades. Initially this came about in support of his own professional contemporary dance and theater company, and later as co-producer of a professional cabaret and dinner theater, NYC’s annual Dance Parade and Festival, and as Industry Spotlight Coordinator for Asian American Film Lab. Dancing Through The Light: Greenwood Cemetery Celebrates Life, Death, and Culture Through Dance.

Como intérprete, ha trabajado con varios coreógrafos, directores, compañías y proyectos notables, más recientemente como uno de los 6 artistas principales en Nameless Forest Nameless forest created by Dean Moss in collaboration with an international cast of visual, musical and technical artist. DJ continues to publish occasionally and has contributed as a writer for Village Voice and other publications including the blogs Culturebot y City Of Glass.


Greg Miller
Director Ejecutivo

Having worked 14 years in management for Fortune 500 companies (Lehman Brothers, EDS, Bosch, ANA, Revlon and Cablevision, Greg has been serving as an arts administrator to non-profits since 2003 when he co-produced the Fall Collection, a mixed media festival in the Lower East Side.

Drawing on his love of dance and cultural experience in living nine years abroad, Greg founded Dance Parade, Inc. in 2006.  Greg supports and oversees the Collective by bringing his ”One Parade-Many Cultures” vision to it, encouraging as many artistic and vibrant forms of movement and community activist engagement as possible. The Collective nourishes a network of those who will cross generations and cultures to unite and celebrate under the umbrella of dance.

Motivated by the healing qualities of dance, he practices Salsa, Swing, Roller and Gabrielle Roth’s 5 Rhythms, a conscious movement discipline. He was recently the General Manager of Nimbus Dance Works, Jersey City’s preeminent dance company, currently consults for non-profits and serves on the Advisory Board of Neville Dance Theater. Movement of the People Collective represents his most audacious venture.


DanceParade_CommunityEngagement_Seniors             LeonardRosmarin_DanceParade         


Community_Engagement_DanceParadeParade-Pic_DanceParade            DanceParade_E-Newsletter_PeterCai


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:
******Contact Janelle for booking classes, performances, choreography with


The night remained forever young at The New York Dance and Performance Awards, The Bessies, with live performances, videos, tearful and grinning thank you’s, hugs and cheers for this year’s award recipients, and a costume sashay thrown into the wild mix of celebration tonight, October 8, at NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. Installation dance performances took place outside the theater, along with Simone Forti’s Huddle. Ayodele Casel and Shernita Anderson hosted the Awards. A pre-ceremony cocktail party at NYU’s Kimmel Center honored Deborah Sale and Ted Striggles with the 2018 Bessies Angel Award. Following the awards ceremony at NYU Skirball, the night of celebration continued with The Bessies After Party at the legendary Judson Memorial Church.

The evening at NYU Skirball began with New York Dance and Performance Awards Executive Director Lucy Sexton, Managing Director Heather Robles, and former Dance/NYC Director Lane Harwell welcoming the audience of over 800 dance community members. Kitty Lunn, Taylor Mac, Greg Miller, Jennifer Monson, Dean Moss, Dwana Smallwood, Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Dr. Donald J. Rose and Eduardo Vilaro served as presenters. Opening the festive evening was an excerpt from Robert Battle’s “Ella” by the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, with additional performances by Pooh Kaye, and Mariana Valencia. A scrolling list of names in honor of those who passed away during the past year was projected and read by Sylvia Waters, who also spoke about Arthur Mitchell and Donald McKayle while Peter Born, Umechi Born, David Thomson and Okwui Okpokwasili chanted “A Song for Sam”, created by Okpokwasili in honor of Sam Miller. A short video of Paul Taylor was shown following the chant.

The 2018 Bessie Awarded artists are as follows: for Outstanding Performer, Courtney Cook for Sustained achievement with Urban Bush Women, Maria Bauman, and Marguerite Hemmings, Germaine Acogny in Mon élue noire (My Black Chosen One): Sacre #2 by Olivier Dubois at BAM Fisher, Elizabeth DeMent in 17C by Big Dance Theater at BAM Harvey, and Sara Mearns for Sustained Achievement in the work of New York City Ballet, Isadora Duncan, Jodi Melnick, Wang Ramirez and Matthew Bourne. For Outstanding Visual Design, Mimi Lien, Peiyi Wong, Tuçe Yasak, Meena Murugesan, and Richard Forté for Memoirs of a… Unicorn by Marjani Forté-Saunders presented by New York Live Arts at Collapsable Hole. For Outstanding Music Composition or Sound Design, Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste for Sustained achievement in music composition with choreographers Jaamil Olowale Kosoko, Jonathan Gonzalez, André M. Zachery/Renegade Performance Group, and Will Rawls. For Outstanding Revival, 40th Anniversary Retrospective by Jane Comfort & Company at La MaMa. For Outstanding Production, Geoff Sobelle for HOME at BAM Harvey, David Thomson for he his own mythical beast at Performance Space New York; Marjani Forté-Saunders for Memoirs of a… Unicorn presented by New York Live Arts at Collapsable Hole, Nami Yamamoto for Headless Wolf at Roulette. Service to the Field of Dance to Marya Warshaw. Lifetime Achievement in Dance to Simone Forti.

Nominees and awardees alike in the categories of Outstanding Production, Outstanding Performer, Outstanding Revival, Outstanding Music Composition or Sound Design, Outstanding Visual Design, and Outstanding ‘Breakout’ Choreographer will receive a $500 gift made possible by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.


The Bessies were established by David R. White in 1984 at Dance Theater workshop to recognize outstanding work in choreography, performance, music composition and visual design. Nominees are chosen by a Selection Committee comprised of artists, presenters, producers, and writers, which this year is comprised of Ronald Alexander, Elise Bernhardt, Diana Byer, Tymberly Canale, Alexis Convento, Leah Cox, Parijat Desai, Maura Donohue, Boo Froebel, Angela Fatou Gittens, Diane Grumet, Brinda Guha, Joseph Hall, Iréne Hultman, Celia Ipiotis, Koosil-ja, Matthew Lopez, Matthew Lyons, Lydia Mokdessi, Harold Norris, Craig Peterson, Doug Post, Rajika Puri, Susan Reiter, Ali Rosa Salas, Walter Rutledge, George Emílio Sanchez, Andrea Snyder, Carrie Stern, Risa Steinberg, Sally Sommer, Kay Takeda, Catherine Tharin, Muna Tseng, Eleanor K. Wallace, Martin Wechsler, Adrienne Westwood, and William Whitener.

Responsible for setting policy and providing ongoing oversight, the 2018 Bessies Steering Committee is comprised of Cora Cahan, Beverly D’Anne, Lane Harwell, Jeanne Linnes, Stanford Makishi, Nicky Paraiso, Carla Peterson, Paz Tanjuaquio, Laurie Uprichard, and Sylvia Waters.


Presented in July 2018
Kyle Marshall
For exploring important ideas around race and sexuality in dances that embody rather than illustrate complicated issues. For drawing on a variety of movement styles to create accomplished, witty, and immensely engaging choreography.

Presented in July 2018

Mariana Valencia
For seamlessly blending ethnography, memoir, and observation of cross-cultural identities in choreography that engages from start to finish. For a unique vision that uses humor and sadness, reality and imagination, to push dance and performance into new territory.

Deborah Sale and Ted Striggles
For a lifelong commitment to supporting dance
For working to better the lives of dance artists on and off the stage
For warmly gathering and connecting the dance-making community across decades


Courtney Cook
For bringing a powerhouse presence and a soulful strength to every performance
A riveting performer of searing vocal work and sensuous explosive movement, who brings her rich range of dance forms and unique theatrical power to the work of Urban Bush Women, Maria Bauman and Marguerite Hemmings.

Germaine Acogny
For her fierce, fearless embrace of the “sacrificial one” in a reimagined Rite of Spring created especially for her. No longer doomed, she performs a powerful solo celebrating her heritages in dance, and women, and black women dancing.
in Mon élue noire (My Black Chosen One): Sacre #2 by Olivier Dubois at BAM Fisher

Elizabeth Dement
For her cool, intelligent presence, exquisite dancing, and ability to move seamlessly between spoken text and virtuosic dance. For a brilliantly nuanced performance, comic and serious and continuously captivating as a 17th century woman and the narrator of the piece.
in 17C by Big Dance Theater
BAM Harvey

Sara Mearns
Sustained Achievement in the work of New York City Ballet, Isadora Duncan, Jodi Melnick, Wang Ramirez and Matthew Bourne
For her work as a mesmerizing ballet dancer and insatiable dance explorer, known for consummate musicality, imagination, and theatricality. For an extraordinary season in which she boldly immersed herself in work by masters of hip hop, classic modern, experimental post modern, and theater ballet.


David Thomson for he his own mythical beast
Performance Space New York
For demolishing the idea of a ‘neutral’ body in a revelatory excavation of his own mythological identity as a dancer, performer, artist, man, person.
For the team creation of an inexhaustible, ecstatic, sweaty swirl of voice and movement addressing race, gender, and the many selves contained within a body.

Geoff Sobelle for HOME
BAM Harvey
For exploring and exploding the relationship between house and home.
For collaborating with a brilliant team using dance, illusion, live music, scenic engineering and audience interaction to create a moving, poignant and zany theatrical work.

Nami Yamamoto for Headless Wolf
For an entertaining and profound journey through the range of human experience.
For interweaving five distinctive performers, a puppet, and yards of paper into a total work of theater, a contemplation of birth and death and all in between.

Marjani Forté-Saunders for Memoirs of a . . . Unicorn
Presented by New York Live Arts at Collapsable Hole
For an installation and performance that digs underground to mine memory and mythology
For conjuring family, friends, and ancestors as she navigates a magical landscape, weaving intersecting tales into a collective memoir.


40th Anniversary Retrospective
by Jane Comfort & Company
La MaMa
For a program highlighting four decades of illuminating work delving into politics, family, friendship, and pure dancing.
For a pivotal exploration of language, music and movement in pieces addressing social issues in ways that continue to have impact in the current moment.


Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste
For mobilizing the technologies of the age to conjure new worlds.
For bringing forth hidden languages and primal presences via layered soundscapes in his own work and in collaborations with Jaamil Olowale Kosoko, André M. Zachery/Renegade Performance Group, Jonathan Gonzalez, and Will Rawls.


Mimi Lien (set), Meena Murugesan (media), Peiyi Wong (installation), Tuçe Yasak (lighting), and Richard Forté (set construction)
Memoirs of a . . . Unicorn by Marjani Forté-Saunders
Presented by New York Live Arts at Collapsable Hole
For creating a mythical, multi-sensory and immersive design in the industrial basement space of Collapsable Hole.
For beautifully integrating all the visual elements in a way that heightened the emotional impact of the choreographer’s journey through time and memory.


Simone Forti
For her revolutionary, fearless, and widely influential approach to movement, pushing the boundaries of what dance could be—–in her dance constructions and improvised work.
For years of investigation into the human body in motion, finding poetry in gravitational forces, the movement of animals, and the natural world.


Marya Warshaw
For her visionary work at the Brooklyn Arts Exchange creating a space for choreographers of all identities and backgrounds, and for students of all ages and incomes.
For finding new and comprehensive ways to support the long process of creation through pioneering residencies and by fostering of a true home for dance artists and innovators.
Recent News

2018 NY Dance and Performance Award Recipients
2018 Bessies Angel Party
2018 Bessies Cocktail Party and Press Conference
The Bessie Podcast is launched!




Contact: Rebecca Myles, 917-326-0802





New York, New York: Have a blast at the 12th Annual Dance Parade, Saturday May 19, a joyous celebration of dance with approximately 10,000 paraders – students and professionals, young and old, with color, costumes, music, and 80 different styles of dance.

“New York rises on the foundation of its diversity and we are proud of our incredible performing arts landscape that incorporates the customs of people from the world,” wrote New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, in a proclamation declaring Saturday “New York Dance Parade Day.”

“Today, our city’s remarkable multiculturalism will be on full display …which brings together professional artists and dance enthusiasts of all ages and backgrounds for a vibrant celebration of the universal art form.”

A grandstand at Astor Place gives great viewing for all or part of the Parade, which starts at 1:00pm on Broadway & 21st Street, dances down Broadway, through Union Square and University Place, across 8th Street/Saint Marks, and settles at approximately 3:00pm in Tompkins Square Park, where four stages are set up for free performances by many of the companies, as well as social dancing and free lessons in various styles of dance.

Leading out the parade Tina Thompson, channeling Josephine Baker, and her Skin Dance Company, followed by Fusha Dance Company (African Dance). Among this year’s highlights are American Tap Dance Foundation, Paul Taylor Teen Ensemble, Arthur Murray Dance Studios (Ballroom) Eye Catching Circus (Taiwanese Acrobatic), Rhythm Locura (same sex Salsa/Latin) FogoAzul – Brazilian Drum and Dance, a dozen Chinese Dance groups, dancers doing belly dancing, jazz, hip hop, tango, leg-kicking cheerleaders and majorette groups among them Brooklyn Gatorettes and the Golden Dancerettes, and folk dancing from Niall OLeary School of Dance (Irish), Los Andulleros (Dominican Santiago) Shot of Scotch, (Scottish) Kaisokah Moko Jumbies of Dance (Caribbean carnival) and Slavic Folk Dance, Indian Bhangra, and hypnotic roller bladers Disco Energy in the Middle.

It’s a joyous celebration of dance in all its forms by dancers of all styles and ages who love dance!   Audiences, too, find their dancing feet and move to the rhythms.  In fact, the Dance Parade police will be on hand again to give out summonses to folks for ‘non-moving violations.”

This year’s Grand Marshals are Camille A. Brown, one of today’s most sought-after dancer/choreographers; recipient of a Bessie award, a four-time Princess Grace Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and more; Mickela Mallozzi, a four-time Emmy winner for her delightful  public TV show “Bare Feet” in which she celebrates the diversity of dance around the world; DJ Doc Martin, who has spun records for appreciative admirers for over three decades and host of his popular show on WBLS 107.5 FM; City Council Member Rafael Espinal, who recently made dance history by passing legislation to repeal the antiquated 1926 cabaret law, which required a license to dance.

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: You can check out some of my work at:

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!


Each year Dance Parade attracts hundreds of photographers of all ilks to capture the magic found when 100 unique styles of dance and cultures are all presented in the same place. They love the energy, movement and color found among ancient cultures and highly ambitious artists. This year we will add a new category, “DanceFest” which follows the parade in Tompkins Square Park.  For each category, Dance Parade and DanceFest, we will award 3 winners with a pair of tickets to the hit Broadway musical “The Prom”, t-shrits and other commemorative items.

Entries must be digital in color or can be black and white. If participating in the contest we would like to use your photos for our promotional purposes to present the parade as an art parade and also a participatory experience. Therefore we will need to request you to sign off on using your photos and will credit the photographer’s whenever appropriate.

Procedimientos de entrada:


1. Elige tus mejores tomas Select among your photos to upload up to 5 photos for Dance Parade and up to 5 photos for DanceFest

2.Identificar Name your Photos with your legal name “JaneDoe1.jpg”, “JaneDoe2.jpg” and if possible include the artist name “JaneDoe1_Barishnikov.jpg”

3.Cargar Photos should be high resolution 300dpi between 1MB and 2MB. It would be helpful to us as well if you could also upload low resolution photos so that we can post the best entries into our website’s photo gallery. Upload a maximum of 10 photos to our dropbox link here. (you don’t need a Dropbox account for this upload)

Deadline for Entry & Uploads – May 30th, 2018

4. Revisión del jurado – Un jurado de al menos 5 miembros del Comité Directivo del Desfile de Danza revisará cada foto y le asignará un número del 1 (menor) al 10 (mejor). Las fotos altamente calificadas de la primera etapa pueden aparecer en nuestras páginas de Facebook @danceparadenyc, Twitter @danceparadenyc o Instagram @danceparadenyc para recibir comentarios en las redes sociales. Los 5 mejores fotógrafos con la puntuación más alta serán seleccionados en un período de revisión de semifinalistas y el comité volverá a evaluar y puntuar. Este proceso de selección tendrá una duración de una semana.

5. Anuncio – The winner will be announced June 4th.


¡Gracias y buena suerte!