Each year, Dance Parade selects various individuals from all corners of the Dance Community to honour for their perseverance, impact, contribution and uniqueness they have represented and supplied throughout their formidable careers.   These recognized individuals are chosen by Dance Parade for their contribution to a particular genre of dance. Catch one of our grand marshals on a float in the parade, on stage at DanceFest or at our official after party!


2024 Grand Marshal Brenda Bufalino

Brenda Bufalino is a mixed genre artist: dancer, choreographer, and author. As a soloist, and choreographer/director of The American Tap Dance Orchestra, Ms. Bufalino has performed and taught Internationally for over 30 years. Her collaborations with her partner and mentor the great Charles ‘Honi’ Coles, and her many performances with Gregory Hines, The Nicholas Brothers, and the many giants of tap dance has infused her with the essence of the form that she now shares with her stories, teaching, and dances. {Read more...}

2024 Grand Marshal Charles “Lil Buck” Riley

Charles 'Lil Buck' Riley is a world-renowned and award-winning performing artist, entrepreneur, and advocate for the arts and humanities. Lil Buck’s dance repertoire includes a multitude of styles including Memphis Jookin’,  ballet, hip-hop, and modern, just to name a few. Over the course of his career, he has performed and collaborated with some of the world’s finest artists and brands including Yo-Yo Ma, Madonna, Alicia Keys, Janelle Monáe, Lizzo, Nike, Chanel, Versace, Louis Vuitton, Apple, Jordan, Lexus, Gap, and many others. {Read more...}


2024 Grand Marshal Martha Zarate-Alvarez

Martha Zarate-Alvarez, founder and Artistic Director of Mazarte Dance Company Inc. has actively participated in Mexican folkloric dance throughout the Americas and Europe for over 35 years. In 2013, she founded Mazarte Dance Company, to fulfill her vision of creating a tangible union between dance, research, and authentic indigenous art. Through Mazarte, a nonprofit organization, Martha aims to create awareness about Mexican cultural heritage while also preserving artistic techniques that are in danger of being forgotten and lost. {Read more...}

2024 Grand Marshal Norman Siegel

Norman Siegel is a civil rights and civil liberties lawyer. [Starting in 1968] with the American Civil Liberties Union's Southern Justice and Voting Law Project, Norman's immersion in civil rights and civil liberties helped forge his abiding commitment to ensure the rights guaranteed in the United States Constitution extend to all Americans, regardless of race, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or gender. Norman's continued work has put him on the frontline in some of New York City's most critical civil rights and civil liberties struggles, including advocating with co-council NYU law Professor Paul Chevigny for dancer's rights in the Festa vs NYC Department of Consumer Affairs case against the notorious Cabaret Law which was repealed in 2017 with the help of Dance Parade and other advocates. {Read more...}

2023 Grand Marshal Ronald K. Brown

Norman Siegel is a civil rights and civil liberties lawyer. [Starting in 1968] with the American Civil Liberties Union's Southern Justice and Voting Law Project, Norman's immersion in civil rights and civil liberties helped forge his abiding commitment to ensure the rights guaranteed in the United States Constitution extend to all Americans, regardless of race, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or gender. Norman's continued work has put him on the frontline in some of New York City's most critical civil rights and civil liberties struggles, including advocating with co-council NYU law Professor Paul Chevigny for dancer's rights in the Festa vs NYC Department of Consumer Affairs case against the notorious Cabaret Law which was repealed in 2017 with the help of Dance Parade and other advocates. {Read more...}

2023 Grand Marshal Elizabeth Streb

MacArthur “Genius” Award-winner, Elizabeth Streb has dived through glass, allowed a ton of dirt to fall on her head, walked down (the outside of) London’s City Hall, and set herself on fire, among other feats of extreme action. Her popular book, STREB: How to Become an Extreme Action Hero (Feminist Press), was made into a hit documentary, Born to Fly directed by Catherine Gund (Aubin Pictures), which premiered at SXSW and received an extended run at The Film Forum in New York City in 2014. Streb founded the STREB Extreme Action Company in 1979. In 2003, she established SLAM, the STREB Lab for Action Mechanics, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. SLAM’s garage doors are always open: anyone and everyone can come in, watch rehearsals, take classes, and learn to fly.  {Read more...}

2023 Grand Marshal Natasha Diggs

Natasha Diggs has become known as one of the most versatile and well respected djs in the world making a career out of sharing her deep knowledge of music and skills as a mixologist to crowds across the globe in cities such as New York, Tokyo, Berlin, Prague, Sydney and Beijing. {Read more...}

2022 Grand Marshal Eduardo Vilaro


Eduardo Vilaro is the Artistic Director & CEO of Ballet Hispánico (BH). He was named BH's Artistic Director in 2009, becoming only the second person to head the company since its founding in 1970, and in 2015 was also named Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Vilaro has infused Ballet Hispánico’s legacy with a bold brand of contemporary dance that reflects America’s changing cultural landscape.

Mr. Vilaro’s philosophy of dance stems from a basic belief in the power of the arts to change lives, reflect and impact culture, and strengthen community. He considers dance to be a liberating, non-verbal language through which students, dancers and audiences of all walks of life and diverse backgrounds, can initiate ongoing conversations about the arts, expression, identity and the meaning of community. {Read more...}

2022 Grand Marshal Heidi Latsky


Heidi Latsky, a committed leader in the physically integrated dance field, began Heidi Latsky Dance (HLD) in 2001. The company has toured internationally and been presented at institutions like Peak Performances, Kennedy Center, American Dance Festival, Joyce Theater, Whitney Museum, Cooper Hewitt, National Portrait Gallery, ICA Boston, and annually at Lincoln Center since 2015. HLD has received support from funders like NEA, NYSCA, Ford Foundation, Creative Capital and the MAP Foundation. Latsky has presented at TEDxWOMEN, a feature on her work GIMP (2008) was nominated for an Emmy, and she has spoken at Harvard University, Maxine Green Institute, Chicago Humanities Festival and the Seventh International Conference on Movement and Computing. As HLD is dedicated to disrupting space, dismantling normal and redefining beauty in a broad way, the company has a portfolio of educational toolkits. She was the Head of the Movement Department at the School for Film and Television for7 years, on faculty at STEPS and American Dance Festival and has served as an adjudicator of dance numerous times. {Read more...}

2022 Grand Marshal Rich Medina


Rich Medina is an elite international DJ who, in the thirty-plus years since he spun his first record, has turned his young love for music into a celebrated career as a platinum-selling record producer, recording artist, poet, journalist, and Ivy League lecturer.

Rich is, first and foremost, the quintessential DJ-in-residence. His legendary Lil’ Ricky’s Rib Shack began its unprecedented nine-year run at APT in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District in 2001, quickly becoming a destination for the likes of Puff Daddy, Lord Sear, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Prince, and music heads from around the world. In the midst of APT’s heyday, Rich was courted by Q-Tip (A Tribe Called Quest) to partner on a new Friday night weekly at Santos Party House. That partnership, Open, launched in 2005 and played to capacity crowds throughout its four-year run. Rich has been on a non-stop world tour ever since, establishing outposts from New York to Miami, Pittsburgh to Paris, and a host of international cities in between. {Read more...}

2021 Grand Marshal Lisa Lisa


One of the greatest Latin Hip Hop/Freestyle/Pop divas to come out of the 1980’s music scene is the legendary Lisa Velez also known as Lisa Lisa of the 80’s supergroup Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam. Produced by Full Force, the group shot straight up the charts and went platinum several times over their first few albums. Their freshman album “Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam with Full Force”, had her break out hits “I wonder If I Take You Home” and “Can You Feel The Beat”. Those two songs alone helped to launch the underground genre of “Freestyle music” into mainstream. {Read more...}



2021 Grand Marshal Virginia Johnson


Virginia Johnson, now Dance Theatre of Harlem Artistic Director, was a founding member and principal dancer with the company for more than twenty years. Born in Washington, DC, she graduated from the Academy of the Washington School of Ballet and briefly attended the School of the Arts at New York University as a University Scholar before joining DTH in 1969. {Read more...}

2021 Grand Marshals H.T. Chen & Dian Dong


H.T. Chen is Artistic Director/Founder of Chen Dance Center, comprised of H.T. Chen & Dancers, School and Theater in Chinatown, NY. As a choreographer, he has been a positive voice for his community and created a body of work that address themes of Chinese- American labor, immigration and acculturation. H.T. Chen’s professional credits include choreographing and performing in Off-Broadway productions, television, and the concert stage. H.T. Chen has been the recipient of numerous awards, including three Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts; a New York State CAPS grant; a Jerome Foundation grant; and a Meet the Composer grant.

Dian Dong is a graduate of The Juilliard School. Dian Dong studied with Shirley Ubell, Vladimir Doukodovsky, Alfredo Corvino and Doris Rudko. Ms. Dong organizes and designs the education programs for H.T. Chen & Dancers residency and educational programs, and most recently participated in the DEL FIT program. She and H.T. Chen are the proud recipients of the 2012 Mid-Career Award from the Martha Hill Dance Fund. {Read more...}


2020 Grand Marshal David Dorfman


Choreographer and Dance Activist David Dorfman has been making movement-based dance theater since 1981. In 1987 he founded David Dorfman Dance (DDD) with the intention of creating politically and socially relevant work. Whether he is celebrating the prophetic possibilities of music and dance in his Sly & the Family Stone-inspired “Prophets of Funk,” exploring the principles of political activism in “underground” or sharing the stage with local athletes in “The Athlete's Project,” David and his dancers radiate a genuine belief that we can achieve a more just and loving society through movement. DDD has performed at The Brooklyn Academy of Music, Bates Dance Festival, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and toured throughout the South through South Arts Dance Touring Initiative.  {Read more...}



2020 Grand Marshal Princess Lockerooo


Samara Cohen aka Princess Lockerooo is a dancer, producer, educator, and activist. She has been showcased on many of the entertainment industry's leading television platforms (Harry Connick Jr., Wendy Williams, So You Think You Can Dance?,) has worked with iconic pop artists (Madonna, Jody Watley, Icona Pop), and has produced entertainment for numerous events across the world (Lincoln Center, Summerstage, RedBull, Women's Entrepreneurship Day, World Pride). Her events raise funds for LGBTQ & AIDS Orginizations. (Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, LGBTQ Center) Her mission is to encourage women's empowerment, gender equality, & veganism.

2020 Grand Marshal Liquid Todd

Liquid Todd is an award-winning DJ/programmer at SiriusXM Radio known for his influential radio shows, dynamic live performances. He has created critically acclaimed shows – and launched satellite channels – at SiriusXM and on some of the biggest FM radio stations in North America.

Liquid Todd hosts weeknights on BPM (6-11pm EST) and programs an hour of brand-new dance music on his #betaBPM show (Tuesdays, 10pm EST) – nominated for Radio Show of the Year in the 2017 Electronic Music Awards.  {Read more...}

2020 Grand Marshal Sarina Jain

Coined as the "Indian Jane Fonda," Sarina Jain is the creator of the original Masala Bhangra® dance series. She successfully moves, touches and inspires many people around the world with her knowledge and passion for Bhangra and Bollywood. Recognized as a global game changer, Sarina is the first to bring Indian dance to the US fitness industry at an international level. She has 15 workout videos under her belt with Masala Bhangra® classes offered in over 15 countries around the world. In 2020, she will be celebrating 20 years of the inception of Masala Bhangra®!   {Read more...}


2019 Grand Marshal Bill T. Jones


Bill T. Jones (Artistic Director/Co-Founder/Choreographer: Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company; Artistic Director: New York Live Arts) is a multi-talented artist, choreographer, dancer, theater director and writer, has received major honors ranging from the Human Rights Campaign’s 2016 Visibility Award, 2013 National Medal of Arts to a 1994 MacArthur “Genius” Award and Kennedy Center Honors in 2010. Mr. Jones was honored with the 2014 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, recognized as Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government in 2010, inducted into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2009 and named “An Irreplaceable Dance Treasure” by the Dance Heritage Coalition in 2000. His ventures into Broadway theater resulted in a 2010 Tony Award for Best Choreography in the critically acclaimed FELA!, the new musical co-conceived, co-written, directed and choreographed by Mr. Jones {Read more...}



2019 Grand Marshal Baayork Lee


The Tony award winniing American actress, singer, dancer, choreographer, theater director and author, born to an Indian mother and Chinese father, hails from Manhattan's Chinatown. Among her many memorable appearances on Broadway have been those in Flower Drum Song, Bravo Giovanni, Mr. President, Golden Boy, Here's Love and her first three shows as a Michael Bennett dancer: A Joyful Noise; Henry, Sweet Henry, 通过网络参加 Promises, Promises where she became dance captain at age 23. Next, following its theatrical run, came Norman Jewison's film version of Jesus Christ Superstar before Baayork returned to the Broadway stage, dancing with Tommy Tune in Michael Bennett's Seesaw. {Read more...}



2019 Grand Marshal Louis Mofsie


Louis Mofsie is from the Hopi and Winnebago tribes. His father is from Second Mesa, Arizona and his mother is from Winnebago, Nebraska. Louis is a retired art teacher and taught for 35 years at the Meadowbrook Elementary School in East Meadow, New York. He is a founding member of the American Indian Community House and served as the Chairman of the board for over 15 years. He is the current director of the Thunderbird American Indian Dancers a dance company he helped originate in 1963. As an artist he has illustrated 3 children books, "The Hopi Way", "Coyote Tales", and "Folktales of the American Indian" which was written by Dee Brown. He has recorded two albums, "Louis Mofsie Traditional American Indian Songs & Music" and "Dances And Songs of the American Indians". Louis now spends much of his time now touring with the dance company the Thunderbird American Indian Dancers which has performed all over the United States, Japan, and Israel.


2019 Grand Marshal DJ Dara


A member of the infamous Planet of the Drums crew alongside fellow drum ‘n bass pioneers AK1200, Dieselboy, & J Messinian, this Irish transplant has been a dominant figure in the U.S. drum ‘n bass scene since his arrival here in 1994. His discography includes two critically acclaimed full length artist albums, eight DJ mix CDs, as well as numerous singles and remixes for artists such as Freq Nasty, Afrika Bambaata and Keoki. Dara co-founded the nation’s first & largest drum ‘n bass record store, Breakbeat Science, in NYC which doubles as his own imprint, Breakbeat Science Recordings. He has been featured in countless magazine articles and interviews both in the US and worldwide. He previously hosted one of the internet’s most popular drum ‘n bass broadcasts, Velocity, where he regularly interviewed leading drum ‘n bass artists such as Jonny L, Kemistry & Storm, Trace, Ed Rush, Optical, Hype, Andy C, Zinc, and many others. Dara’s long standing relationships with the world’s drum ‘n bass elite gives him access to an astounding amount of new and unreleased material.  His brilliant recording endeavors along with his incessant touring marked by consistently awe-inspiring DJ sets have made him one of the most recognized and well respected DJs in the country. With 2018 being his last year touring as a solo DJ, he is really bringing the heat on every tour stop.




2018 Grand Marshal Camille A. Brown


Choreographer. Educator. Activist. Camille A. Brown’s award-winning choreography reclaims the cultural narrative of African American identity. Her bold work taps into both ancestral stories and contemporary culture to capture a range of deeply personal experiences. Through dance and dialogue, Ms. Brown empowers Black bodies to tell their story in their own language(s). {Read more...}



2018 Grand Marshal Mickela Mallozzi


Mickela Mallozzi is the three-time Emmy® Award-winning Host and Executive Producer of Bare Feet with Mickela Mallozzi, a travel series highlighting the diversity of dance which airs on public television stations nationwide, Amazon, and Dance Network.  A professional dancer and trained musician, Mickela decided to start a journey around the world, taking her camera with her to follow dance in the lives of everyday people wherever she went.  From re-discovering her family’s heritage in Southern Italy to dancing tango on the main stage in Buenos Aires, the series covers Mickela’s adventures as she experiences the world, one dance at a time.  {Read more...}


2018 Grand Marshal Rafael Espinal


A lifelong resident of Brooklyn, Rafael L. Espinal Jr. is the Council Member for the 37th district, proudly serving the vibrant communities of Bushwick, Brownsville, Cypress Hills, and East New York. Council Member Espinal is Chair of the Council’s Committee on Consumer Affairs and Business Licensing, where he has overseen the implementation of NYC’s successful Paid Sick Leave Law, passed consumer protections for women, seniors, and immigrants, and continues to fight for a more fair and vibrant marketplace in NYC. Council Member Espinal recently made history by passing legislation to repeal the antiquated 1926 cabaret law, which required a license to dance. He also led the nation by creating the United States’ first Office of Nightlife to support nightlife businesses and local communities.


2018 Grand Marshal DJ Doc Martin

Spinning records for appreciative admirers for years has been just one of the many blessings in life and music career of our “Resident Mixologist,” DJ Doc Martin. Born and raised inConnecticut and deejaying since high school, Doc simultaneously held it down for many year working various clubs, and gaining a strong following behind the microphone as an announcer for both a college (WRTC-Hartford) and a commercial (WNHC-New Haven) radio station. In
addition, he has been a mobile DJ owner/operator for over 30 years and was the resident DJ at Vibz Uptown (Hartford) for over a decade and half. Although his specialty is Old School R'amp; B/Club music, he has a vast music collection for all demographics and generations. {Read more...}



2017 Grand Marshal Maurice Hines

A star from the start, Maurice Hines has been dancing, singing and acting his way into hearts since the age of five. The tap dance legend has graced Broadway stages for musical hits like Eubie!, Bring Back Birdie, and Sophisticated Ladies. He received a Tony Award nomination as Best Actor in a Musical for his performance in Uptown… It’s Hot!, which he also directed and choreographed. Mr. Hines has also received critical acclaim as a director for music videos, Radio City Music Hall, and his own shows, like Broadway Soul Jam and, most recently, his autobiographical production, Tappin’ Through Life. For more information please visit



2017 Grand Marshal Frankie Bones

J Frankie Bones is a pioneer of techno music and is widely credited with bringing rave music culture to America in the early 90’s. With a discography of dozens of international hits, Bones coined the term “Peace, Love and Unity” which grew into “Peace Love Unity and Respect” (PLUR), a global movement that nourished electronic dance music for three decades. For more information please visit


2017 Grand Marshal João Oliveira Dos Santos “Mestre João Grande”

Brazilian-born Mestre João Grande joins the Dance Parade as a Grand Master of Capoeira Angola, a martial art which blends dance, song and acrobatics and attracts zealous followers from all over the world. Mestre João Grande is renowned and highly-regarded by Capoeira students around the world, having trained directly with the “father of Angola,” Mestra Pastinha. He has taught thousands of students at his New York Academy Capoeira Angola Center of Mestre João Grande, and he has staged innumerable Capoeira Angola performances.
To download a full biography click here

2017 Grand MarshaRosie Mendez

Advocate, lawyer and legislator, the honorable Rosie Mendez has served
12 years as the New York City District 2 Council Member. She has
served as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention, chaired
the New York City Council’s Women’s Caucus, LGBT Caucus, and the
Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus during her tenure in the Council. She
has fought for low income housing rights and has stood up against
questionable police practices; helping to pass the Community Safety
Act and co-sponsoring the Right to Know Act. As a supporter for Arts
and Culture, Rosie has supported the Dance Parade that begins and ends
in her district.

2016 Grand MarshaGarth Fagan

Critics have called Garth Fagan “a true original,” “a genuine leader,” and “one of the great reformers of modern dance.” Fagan is the founder and artistic director of the award-winning and internationally acclaimed Garth Fagan Dance, now celebrating its 45th Anniversary season. A Tony and Olivier award winner, Fagan continually renews his own distinctive dance vocabulary, which draws on many sources: sense of weight in modern dance, torso-centered movement and energy of Afro-Caribbean, speed and precision of ballet, and the rule breaking experimentation of the post-moderns. “Originality has always been Mr. Fagan’s strong suit, not least in his transformation of recognizable idioms into a dance language that looks not only fresh but even idiosyncratic,” writes Anna Kisselgoff of The New York Times.

2016 Grand Marshals Kwikstep 通过网络参加 Rokafella

Internationally known Street dance Icons Kwikstep and Rokafella co-founded Full Circle Prod Inc a non profit Hip hop dance company in order to preserve and embrace the ongoing evolution of the urban expression. The duo began by producing short theatrical pieces that grew to include all elements of Hip-hop onstage and offering workshops about the original aesthetic of the dance and its roots. Performances at The New Victory Theater, Kennedy Center and Harlem Stage are among the list of venues their all inclusive Hip-hop theater shows have been presented. Together they have mentored NYC youth to aspire to careers in Hip hop and dance related ventures by offering ongoing open Break dance sessions in community centers and after school programs whose formats have been implemented by many in the dance community. Proving to spark fearless creativity in themselves and others, Full Circle collaborated and produced a film about the Bgirl lifestyle

2015 Grand Marshal Robert Battle

Mr. Battle, is the third artistic director of the world renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, following Alvin Ailey and Judith Jameson. He was honored as one of the “Masters of African-American Choreography” by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and he received the prestigious Statue Award from the Princess Grace Foundation.

2015 Grand Marshal Carmen de Lavallade

Ms. de Lavallade will appear in the middle of the parade on a float with other famed ballet stars and friends who have supported her 65 year career in ballet, which saw her rise to overcome racial barriers and become the first African-American prima ballerina at the Metropolitan Opera.




2015 Grand Marshal Mary Verdi-Fletcher

In 2015 Dance Parade New York celebrates the 25th anniversary of the monumental civil rights legislation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Ms. Verdi-Fletcher, whose physically integrated troupe was the first professional company of its kind in the US to bring the talents of dancers with and without disabilities to the stage, will lead the parade while dancing in her wheelchair. More…

2015 Grand Marsh
all DJ Rekha

DJ Rekha pioneered merging Bhangra and Bollywood sounds with contemporary electronic dance music. DJ Rekha is a producer, curator and educator based in New York City. She is the founder of Basement Bhangra™, Bollywood Disco and co‐founder of Mutiny Club nights. She was named”Ambassador of Bhangra” by the New York Times. Rekha was the sound designer for the TONY award‐winning Broadway Show, “Bridge and Tunnel”,and received a Drama Desk Award nomination for her work on the play “Rafta Rafta” and was the associate producer for the NPR Radio Documentary, “A Feet in Two Worlds.” She has done remixes for artists that range from Meredith Monk to Priyanka Chopra. Her debut album,DJ Rekha presents Basement Bhangra was released on E1 Music. Rekha has received numerous community awards and in 2009, inducted into the New York City’s Peoples’ Hall of Fame. She has curated events for Celebrate Brooklyn, Central Park Summerstage and has performed at the WhiteHouse and internationally. She has taught courses on music history, business, and pop culture at New York University. You can see her live the first Thursdays at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City and hear her weekly podcast Bhangra and Beyond More…


2014 Grand Marshal Savion Glover

Famous tap dancer, choreographer, and actor Savion Glover is the epitome of a living legend. Born in 1973, the tapping marvel has graced the stage since childhood. He set a record as the youngest person ever to receive a scholarship in the Newark Community School of the Arts. Before he was a teenager, Savion made his mark starring in the leading role in the Broadway musical “The Tap Dance Kid”.Savion Glover developed his own dancing style he dubbed “free style hard core.” The Tony Award winning dancer eventually worked with dancing greats Gregory Hines and Sammy Davis, Jr. Among his credits are starring roles in major Broadway productions like “Jelly’s Last Jam”, a role for which he made history as the youngest ever recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant. As a choreographer, Glover’s work has helped maintain tap dancing as an art form in the modern dance world. More…

2014 Grand Marshal Hex Hector

Beginning back in the late ’70s when his grandmother would play him Salsoul records, Hex Hector devoted his life to New York’s eternally thriving house music community and eventually rose to the top, winning himself a Grammy along with enormous industry clout. Some producers remix one another’s work; others, like Hector, remix the biggest names in the business: Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin, Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, Diana Ross, and more. Yes, Hector was a go-to guy; if a record label wanted one of its pop hits to crossover to the dancefloors, they called up this man. Furthermore, beyond his big-money remixes for pop stars, Hector also thrived as a DJ, spinning at most of New York’s elite clubs. Despite his industry clout, Hector never released too many of his own albums. In the early 2000s, he began releasing mix albums, but still devoted most of his time to remixing, a gift that won him a Grammy in 2001.  More…

2014 Grand MarshaJawole Willa Jo Zollar

From Kansas City, Missouri, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar trained with Joseph Stevenson, a student of the legendary Katherine Dunham. After earning her B.A. in dance from the University of Missouri at Kansas City, she received her M.F.A. in dance from Florida State University. In 1980 Jawole moved to New York City to study with Dianne McIntyre at Sounds in Motion. In 1984 Jawole founded Urban Bush Women (UBW) as a performance ensemble dedicated to exploring the use of cultural expression as a catalyst for social change. In addition to thirty-four works for UBW, she has created works for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Philadanco, University of Maryland, Virginia Commonwealth University and others; and with collaborators including Compagnie Jant-Bi from Senegal and Nora Chipaumire. In 2006 Jawole received a New York Dance and Performance Award (Bessie) for her work as choreographer/creator of Walking With Pearl…Southern Diaries. Featured in the PBS documentary, “Free to Dance,” Jawole was designated a Master of Choreography by the John F. Kennedy Performing Arts Center in 2005. More…

2013 Grand Marshal Jacqulyn Buglisi 

Jacqulyn Buglisi, Artistic Director, Buglisi Dance TheatreIn her four decade long career, Buglisi has made an indelible impact on the field of dance. Creating more than 70 ballets for Buglisi Dance Theatre and commissioned worldwide including: her full-length The Four Elements for the NY Flamenco Festival, LMCC/River to River Festival, Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival, the Martha Graham Dance Company, NCDT, Richmond Ballet, Teatro Danza Contemporanea di Roma, The Juilliard School’s Emerging Modern Masters Series, Alvin Ailey II, and Ice Theatre of NY.Buglisi and Foreman with Capucilli and Dakin, premiered their ballet Runes of the Heart at Lincoln Center in 1994, followed by invitations worldwide to the Kennedy Center, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, the Vail, Prague, and Melbourne International Festivals, among others.During her 30 year association with the Martha Graham Dance Company (1977), Ms. B was a Principal Dancer for 12 years; danced in honor of Graham on the CBS Presentation of the Kennedy Center Honors and in the PBS film An Evening of Dance and Conversation with Martha Graham.

2013 Grand Marshal Dr. Charles "Chuck" Davis

Dr. Charles “Chuck” Davis, artistic director of DanceAfrica (founded at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1977), is one of the foremost teachers and choreographers of traditional African dance in America. Davis founded the Chuck Davis Dance Company in New York in 1968 and the African American Dance Ensemble in Durham, NC, in 1983. He has been a panelist for several programs of the National Endowment for the Arts and is a recipient of the AARP Certificate of Excellence, the North Carolina Dance Alliance Award, the 1990 North Carolina Artist Award, and the North Carolina Order of the Long Leaf Pine. He has served on the board of the North Carolina Arts Council since 1991 and in 1992 he received the North Carolina Award in Fine Arts, the state’s highest honor.In 1996, Davis and the African American Dance Ensemble were awarded a $100,000 grant from the National Dance Residency Program, a three-year initiative launched in 1994 by the New York Foundation for the Arts and funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts. In 1998 he received an honorary doctorate from Medgar Evers College; he has received honorary doctorates from several universities, all of which mean a great deal to him. Most recently, Chuck Davis and DanceAfrica were cited as one of “America’s Irreplaceable Dance Treasures: The First 100” by the Dance Heritage Coalition.

2013 Grand Marshal Louie Vega 

Impossible to pigeonhole and irreplaceable to the scene which he has helped build over more than 20 years, Louie Vega is the quintessential music professional. He’s the ‘DJ’s DJ’, that name constantly thanked on an artist’s album, the one who has influenced and defined countless other DJ-producers, from today’s brightest stars to those still beat-matching in their bedrooms.
Louie Vega is a Grammy winning and four time nominated DJ, producer, songwriter and composer (Masters at Work, Elements of Life). For over two decades, Vega has influenced dance music, and the music world in general. He has worked with artists like Michael Jackson, Madonna, Tito Puente, Black Eyes Peas, and more.
“After years in the studio, clubs and DJing what makes my heart beat on the floor is when I see live and in front the reactions of people when they are dancing,” says Vega.  Breaking down musical barriers and bringing people together through a love of music has always been Vega’s aim; after more than 20 years in the game his contributions continue to positively influence the global House and world music scenes. “Loving what I do as much as when I first laid ears on this music, when I first dj’d as a child at 12 years old, ” as Louie fondly remembers. You can be sure that Louie’s sound will keep evolving and growing while his spirit and love will continue to remain true to the music as it has for the past 20 years. Listen closely as the best has yet to come from Louie Vega!

2012 Grand Marshal Ashley Tuttle 

Ashley Tuttle was invited by Mikhail Baryshnikov to join American Ballet Theatre at the age of 16. As a prima ballerina with ABT, Ms. Tuttle‘s career spanned 17 years and is known for her pure classicism and vivid characterizations. Her repertoire ranges from works by George Balanchine, Martha Graham, Jiri Kylian, Mark Morris, Agnes De Mille, Antony Tudor and William Forsythe.Tuttle joined the acclaimed Twlya Tharp Dance Company in 2000 where Tharp created the hit Broadway show “Movin’ Out” when she earned a TONY Award and Fred Astaire Dance Award nominations. Ms. Tuttle recent credits include Tharp’s “Come Fly Away”, Carmen, guest performances with Dance Theater of Harlem, the Guggenheim Museum’s Works in Process with Pam Tanowitz Dance and Lynne Taylor Corbett.Tuttle has been a volunteer teacher and board member at Groove With Me, a Harlem-based dance school focused on children at risk. Tuttle also teaches ballet at the Mark Morris Dance Group, Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts, and Barnard University. Tuttle was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Wofford College in the spring of 2011.


2012 Grand Marshal Elisa Monte

A professional dancer since age 11, Elisa Monte made her debut at New York’s City Center in the Agnes DeMille revival of Carousel. An alumnus of George Balanchine’s  School of American Ballet, she spent eight years as a principal dancer with the Martha Graham Company, and also danced with Lar Lubovitch and Pilobolus, among others. The late Alvin Ailey championed Monte’s work from its beginnings. He brought her first choreographic work, Treading, into his company’s repertoire and also commissioned Pigs & Fishes. The two companies have maintained a strong link ever since. Judith Jamison’s support of EMD has extended that tradition with the commission of Mneumonic Verse.


2012 Grand MarshaBill Shannon

Bill Shannon, born 1970, has evolved a unique “soul skating” art-form that mixes street dancing on rocker-bottom crutches with 70’s roots skateboarding style.   Notably, Shannon’s rolling-dance is a result of a childhood degenerative hip disease that resulted in his evolving extraordinary crutch balancing skills. The rhythmic musicality of Shannon’s skateboard carves with crutches harkens more to a 1970’s Roller Funk disco dancer lineage than any contemporary notion of an extreme sport.Bill’s numerous acknowledgments include a Wynn Newhouse Award in (2011), John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship (2003), Foundation for Contemporary Art Award (2000). Bill’s Official Website is:


2012 Grand Marshal Jonathan Peters

Jonathan Peters is an American DJ, mixer and producer.  At age 17, “JP” began his extraordinary DJing career as the resident at Cafe Iguana. Peters has been featured at legendary nightclubs including The Sound Factory, Pacha and Webster Hall in New York, as well as at major music festivals in Ibiza and across the globe.  Now a fixture of NYC nightlife for over 25 years, he can be found behind the decks at clubs along the eastern seaboard. He has been awarded Best DJ from DJ Times in 2006 and is consistently among Americas Top 100 DJs. Most recently he is resident DJ Saturday nights at Amnesia NYC.


2011 Grand MarshaCharles Reinhart

Charles L. Reinhart has worked as a producer, manager, festival director, consultant and administrator in the arts since 1955. President of the American Dance Festival (ADF) since 1968, he was Co-Director with the late Stephanie Reinhart from 1993 to 2002. Mr. Reinhart is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Theatre Development Fund (TDF), where he is the Dance Chair. In addition to serving on dance panels for the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation, he was the U.S. representative of the International Theatre Institute’s dance committee. He has produced many dance events in New York City and has written articles for The New York Times, Dance Magazine and the North Carolina Medical Journal. Mr. Reinhart has been the recipient of numerous domestic and international awards for his lifetime achievement in dance, service to the arts and production.



2011 Grand Marshal “Billy Elliot” (Joseph Harrington)

Joseph Harrington has been taking dance classes since he was three years old. When at home in Ohio Joseph trains at the “Just Off Broadway” dance studio in Mt. Carmel, OH and with the Cincinnati Ballet. He is a student at the School of Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA) in downtown Cincinnati. He started performing in Billy Elliot last October and loves all areas of dance, but will usually say that ballet is his favorite.

2011 Grand Marshal Kat Wildish

Kat Wildish is a New York City master ballet and pointe teacher currently on faculty at The Ailey Extension Program. She performed with New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theater, and numerous international companies including Zurich Ballet, Metropolitan Opera Ballet, and The Eglevsky Ballet. She is an ABT® Certified Teacher in Primary through Level 7 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum and has been teaching over 35 years. A Ford Foundation Scholarship winner, Kat is also Artistic Director of the semiannual Performing in NY Showcases & will produce the first annual NYC Festival of Dance Schools June 15-16, 2011.




2010 Grand MarshaAmy Marshall

Performer, choreographer, professor and executive director Amy Marshall’s performance affiliations include Paul Taylor, David Parsons, H. T. Chen and Dancers, Cortez and Company. She founded Amy Marshall Dance Company in 2000. The company’s mission is to embody life’s complexity and the pure elation it imparts to the world.


2010 Grand Marshal DJ Jellybean Benitez

Internationally renowned DJ Jellybean Benitez has produced and/or remixed over one-hundred “Top 10” hits and more than thirty-five #1 records for legendary artists such as Madonna, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson and others. He has composed themes for hit TV programs including The Ricki Lake Show and PBS’s American Family, as well as films Carlito’s Way and Species. Benitez’s weekly syndicated mixshow reaches millions of listeners worldwide. In 2005 he was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame.



2010 Grand Marshal Elizabeth Zimmer

Elizabeth Zimmer writes for Metro, Ballet Review, and other publications. She is the editor of Body Against Body: The Dance and Other Collaborations of Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane (Station Hill Press, 1989). She has studied many forms of dance, and performed in works of Joshua Fried, Jamie Cunningham & Tina Croll, and Christopher Williams. Zimmer has lectured across the U.S., Canada, Taiwan, and in Italy.



2010 Grand Marshal Ellenore Scott

Ellenore Scott most recently won America’s heart and votes with her dynamic performances on SYTYCD. In addition to appearing on the 82nd Annual Academy Awards, she has danced with numerous dance companies including The Von Howard Project. As a choreographer, she assisted Earl Mosley in setting “Saddle Up!” on Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Scott received Honorable Mention from National Foundation for the Advancement of Arts and is an honors graduate from Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School (the “FAME” school).

2009 Grand Marshal Don Campbell “Campbellock”

Representing Urban Dance (“Locking”) The creator and originator of Locking or Campbellocking a dance art form with the improvisational steps called the locks , created in the nightclubs of Los Angeles in the early 1970s. This dance and subculture quickly caught on and was soon the rage of Soul Train. Through out the 70’s this was the most influential group in street dance history.

2009 Grand Marshal Morocco (Carolina Varga Dinicu)

Morocco (Carolina Varga Dinicu) is considered the leading performer & authority in her field. One of the first inducted into the AAMED Mideastern Dance Hall of Fame. In 2005 MECDA voted her their Humanitarian Award for her “body of work” over a lifetime in furthering and enriching Near and Mid-Eastern music a=nd dance & in 2006 the Isis Foundation gave her a Lifetime Achievement Award in Ethnic Dance from the Near and Middle East. Morocco created the Casbah Dance Experience. She’s spent over 48 years trying to find, recover, preserve and present them before they disappear, due to modernization and/or fundamentalism.


2009 Grand Marshal Luis Salgado

Luis Salgado (Choreographer) is the Latin Assistant Choreographer of the Tony Award Broadway Musical, In The Heights. Luis is the founder/director of R. Evolucion Latina — DARE TO GO BEYOND!, a collective of artists and activists committed to empowering the artistic community in order to inspire growth within the Latino Community.

2008 Grand Marshal Luigi

Luigi is sometimes referred to as "father jazz" since he is credited with creating the first formal jazz technique. There are numerous articles about Luigi and at least a couple of amateur films. Since it's several decades "old" and is such a foundational technique, and since there aren't manyqualified teachers it's not as popular today. The strength of the technique is that it imparts the most solid fundamentals from which you can do anything. More...


2007 Grand Marshal DJ Kool Herc

The Legendary DJ Kool Herc is consistently credited as the Founder of Hip-Hop. His mastery at the turntables is known worldwide, as are his positive contribution to the evolution of Hip-Hop culture.  More...