New York City’s annual celebration of dance is going international this year.
On Saturday, May 22, Dance Parade New York will host its interactive online dance festival from 1 to 4 p.m. One thousand dancers from around the world will come together to lead in family-friendly fun, dance rooms, free classes, dance-offs and more.
“The past year has been really hard on all of us, including the tens of thousands of dancers we serve,” said Greg Miller, Executive Director of Dance Parade New York. “As a service to the community, Dance Parade has put together a dynamic event and a television show with lots of content, providing something for everyone! This year we celebrate the theme “Dance Brings Us Together” with dancers from around the world.”
The festival will be led by Emcee Shireen, who will introduce this year’s Grand Marshals: H.T. Chen & Dian Dong of Chen Dance Center; Virginia Johnson, Artistic Director of Dance Theatre of Harlem; and Latina Pop Music Legend Lisa Lisa. The event will kick off with a ribbon-cutting ceremony unleashing dance styles including ballet, tap, tango breakdance, Japanese, and Scottish.
Lisa Lisa will lead the home stage with a live performance with DJ Ali Coleman encouraging participants to bring their best dance moves to the participatory stage. Several performances will be streamed throughout the festival, with many dancers giving viewers a glimpse at creating art during the pandemic. Guests can also join in a dance battle or vote for their favorite dancer who could walk away with a cash prize.
The winner of the Dare to Dance Video Contest, which challenged choreographers to connect to their dancers remotely during this period of isolation and social distancing, will also be announced during the festival. A one-hour TV special “The Resilience of Dance Through the Pandemic” will be presented in portions to audiences during the festival as well.
For those who want to brush up on their dance skills, Dance Parade’s best teachers will offer free lessons in Salsa, Break Dance, Body/Mind dancing, African, Hip-Hop, Indonesian, Lit Fit, Latin Boogaloo, Bhangra and so much more. The lessons will be offered in-person and virtually on the teaching stages.
There is a suggested $20 donation to participate, and it’s free for artists and low-income participants. To register and see a full line-up, visit danceparade.org/register. The livestream show can be viewed on danceparade.org/livestream.