GENERAL FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
1) What is Dance Parade New York?
Dance Parade New York is the world’s only parade to exclusively celebrate and showcase the diversity of dance. By showcasing various genres, cultures, and styles, the parade and post-parade festival unify the world of dance. It also provides the general public the opportunity to experience and participate in a day of dance.
2) When does Dance Parade New York take place?
Dance Parade New York will take place on Saturday, May 20th, 2023, rain or shine. The parade begins at 12 Noon and culminates at 3:00 PM at Tompkins Square Park. A post-parade festival, DanceFest, will take place in the park from 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM. (Between Avenues A & B and between 7th & 10th Streets).
3) Where does the Dance Parade New York take place?
Dance Parade New York takes place in the borough of Manhattan in New York City.
4) What is the parade route?
In 2023, Dance Parade New York has a new start at West 17th Street and 6th Avenue. Dance Parade ends at St. Mark’s Place and Avenue A. The parade route goes South down 6th Avenue to 8th Street/St. Mark’s Place where it will turn East and spans along 8th Street/St. Mark's Place. Once in Astor Plaza, each parade group briefly pauses to perform before our Grandstand, then continues on to Tompkins Square Park in the East Village. DanceFest will take place on five stages and sites all over Tompkins Square Park.
5) Which streets will be closed during the parade & festival?
6th Ave/Avenue of the Americas between West 18th Street and West 8th Street
West 17th Street between 5th Avenue & 6th Avenue
West 18th Street between 5th Avenue and 7th Avenue
8th Street/St. Marks Place between 6th Avenue and Avenue A
Avenue A between East 7th Street and East 12th Street
Avenue B between East 7th Street and East 10th Street
6) What happens at DanceFest, the post parade festival in Tompkins Park?
The festival presents the best and most unique dances from the parade and will include a myriad of free dance performances, lessons and social dancing on. For 2023, there will be 5 stages: A Performance Stage, Family Friendly Stage, Teaching Stage, Aerial Stage and Social Dance Stage. A program for the festival will be posted closer to the event. For a map and more information, please visit: https://danceparade.org/dancefest/
7) Do I need to purchase tickets to view the parade or the festival?
No. The full day’s events are free to the public and can be seen anywhere along the parade route Noon-3pm or in Tompkins Square Park 3-7pm.
Tickets are available for limited seating in the Grandstand at Astor Plaza at the intersection of University Place and 8th Street. For tickets and more information go to: https://danceparade.org/grandstand
8) What is Dance Parade, Inc.’s mission?
Dance Parade, Inc. is the non-profit organization that organizes the parade, festival, and other activities that fall under its mission. New York City is a birthplace and center for dance and art and Dance Parade, Inc.aims to honor its communities, cultures, and their historical roots. Dance Parade's mission is: 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. For further information, read our "Why We Dance" page.
9) What are the history and activities behind the parade?
The first Dance Parade New York in 2007 was organized in response to a New York State Supreme Court Case against the City of New York in 2006. A judge at the time ruled that social dance was not considered an expressive activity and therefore not protected by the constitution as freedom of speech. Dance Parade New York followed on May 19th, 2007 to showcase as many dance styles as possible with 2,321 participants dancing 37 styles in the inaugural parade. Dance Parade, Inc became a non-profit arts organization in 2008 and launched its Community Engagement education program in the same year. Now in its 17th year, the parade showcases 10,000 individual dancers from 200 dance groups, presenting 100 unique dance styles, 70 floats and vehicles, all seen by 100,000+ parade viewers.
10) How did the New York City Cabaret Laws affect the creation of Dance Parade New York?
The Cabaret Law, which originated in 1926 and was largely forgotten until the early 1990s, was resurrected by Giuliani’s administration to address drug problems in urban nightclubs. However, the law inadvertently caused many legitimate dance oriented establishments to be fined and shuttered. Judge Michael Stallman of the New York Supreme Court ruled in 2006 that social dance could not be differentiated from aerobics and therefore was not considered an expressive form of art. Hence, unlike music, film, theater, poetry, and fine art, social dancing was not protected by the state's Second Amendment Freedom of Expression clause. In an effort to demonstrate that dance was indeed expressive, Greg Miller enlisted civil rights attorney Norman Siegel, former head of the New York Civil Liberty Union, to obtain a parade permit for 75 organizations to celebrate as many celebrate many diverse cultural and movement forms as possible. Dance Parade became a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in 2008 and serves its mission to inspire dance through the celebration of diversity with over 80 styles of dance in each year’s parade.
After 91 years, the Cabaret Law was repealed by City Council on October 31, 2017 due to the leadership of Dance Parade's advocacy and partnership with New City Council members.
DANCER & GROUP PARTICIPANT FAQ:
11) How do people sign up to dance in the parade?
Those interested in joining the parade may register on Dance Parade’s website under the “participate” tab, as either an individual or a group:https://www.danceparade.org/dance-in-the-parade
Groups must register before the April 30th, 2023 deadline. If you’re an individual you can sign up to dance down the parade route with any group accepting dancers up until parade day.
Every individual who participates as a dancer, walker, rider on a float in the parade route and at the festival MUST register ahead of time on Dance Parade NY’s website. There are no exceptions.
12) Is it possible to jump into the parade on the day of the parade?
No. All participants must be registered beforehand in order for the parade to be in accordance with insurance and police regulations.
13) My child is dancing in the parade & festival. Can I walk with my child along the parade route?
Yes. We encourage parents and families to participate with their young dancers!
You must register as an individual at https://danceparade.org/individual-registration/ before Saturday, May 20th in order to join your child along the parade route.
14) What is the line of dance?
The “line of dance” refers to the order in which groups will line up before stepping off into the parade. All participants who are registered for the event will receive specific details as to your call times and formation locations closer to the day of the parade. Floats need to check in between 9:00 AM- 10:00 AM, groups will check in between 10:00 AM-1:00 PM, and dancers should arrive no later than noon. Line up will take place on West 17th street Streets, between 5th and 6th Avenues between 10am-2pm on Saturday, May 20th.
15) What is a Group Coordinator?
Each group registered for the parade will need to name a Group Coordinator and provide the individual’s contact info (email and phone number). Oftentimes, this person is in charge of registering the group online prior to the parade, however a Group Coordinator may be any individual in a group who is willing to be a representative and take on responsibility of coordinating the group’s participation. The Group Coordinator will be the point of contact between Dance Parade NY and their group; receiving information regarding the group’s participation, attending at least one Parade Group Coordinator’s meeting on zoom prior to May 20th, and will be in charge of checking in the group on the day of the parade.
16) How do I find my group once I arrive at the parade line up?
Make sure you have your Group Coordinator’s phone number or coordinate with your group ahead of time to decide on a meeting place for the members of your group. If for some reason you are unable to locate your group at the parade, visit the Dancer Registration at 17th Street and 5th Avenue and speak to a Dance Parade NY staff member.
17) What should I bring with me on May 20th, if I am participating in the parade & festival?
We advise bringing minimal personal items to the parade and only what you can comfortably carry in a pocket or small light-weight pack, ie ID, metrocard, keys, phone, water, light snack. Dance Parade NY does not provide storage or transportation for personal belongings and is not responsible for any personal items that are lost or stolen.
Groups who have vehicles or floats may have the ability to carry belongings for their group’s participants. Speak to your group about coordinating the transportation of excess belongings such as costumes, props, bags, etc.
18) Where can I hydrate and use a restroom?
Water and portasans are available free of charge at three locations: W. 17th Street & 5th Avenue, Astor Plaza, and at Tompkins Square Park.
19) Where can I eat along the parade route?
If you’d like to eat at one of the many restaurants along the parade route we recommend making reservations in advance. There are many restaurants with outdoor seating along the route. You may also reference www.opentable.com or www.menupages.com for restaurant selections in the area.
20) Where is the best place to view the parade?
For best viewing of the parade, we recommend our Grandstand in Astor Plaza. Grandstand seating is primarily available for press, sponsors and donors, however a block of limited tickets are available for purchase by the general public. For tickets and more information go to: https://danceparade.org/grandstand
21) What time should I show up to view the parade?
We recommend you arrive at least 30 minutes prior to start time if you plan to view the parade at the starting point. Depending on weather and traffic the flow of the parade is constantly changing, therefore we recommend you arrive at your preferred viewing spot by the start of the parade.
22) How do I get a Press or Photography pass?
Press and Photography passes can be reserved after filling out a short form on our website: https://danceparade.org/press-pass/ As our events are visited by hundreds of photographers (both ammature and professional) only photographers from legitimate media outlets or those who give us license to use their photos for any purpose are provided a pass to photograph the parade inside parade barricades. A photography contest will award three photographers prizes including Broadway show tickets, t-shirts and a cash prize.
23) Who are the Dance Police?
The New York Dance Police (NYDP) is a playful brigade of uniformed dancers that patrol the parade route and festival ensuring that the public is adequately populated with dancing participants and onlookers. If an NYDP officer catches a spectator not dancing, they will be questioned and possibly cited, with a ticket that serves as a coupon for a local dance school or dance party! The Dance Parade NYDP owes its roots to Mayor Guiliani's administration when a cabaret task force, known as the "Dance Police '' ticketed venues for not having dance licenses.
24) Who sponsors the Parade and Festival?
Our annual events are largely supported by public funding and donations made to the 501(c)3 non-profit that produces the parade and festival. Public funding is derived from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs,, New York State Council on the Arts, The National Endowment on the Arts. Additional support comes from corporate sponsors and dance organizations represented at “Experience Dance Booths” at DanceFest in Tompkins Square Park. Our Media Sponsor is Spectrum News NY1 and Spectrum Notias (en espanol), who has an Experience Dance Booth at the festival to capture the stories from the dance community.
25) What are your Community Engagement Programs?
Throughout the year, Dance Parade New York hires qualified teaching artists and performers from the Parade for events and educational opportunities throughout New York City’s five boroughs. In partnership with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, “Community Kinect” is a program that focuses on aerobic dance-based movement. In schools and community centers, “Cultural Residencies” of up to 10 weeks are offered. And in partnership with the New York City Department of Aging, multi-week residencies called “Ageless Action” are offered, focusing on balance and mobility. All of our programs end with participation in the Dance Parade. Visit www.danceparade.org/education/ for more information.