Sure, it rained on their parade. But a little moisture — okay, sometimes a lot — didn’t stop the annual Dance Parade’s approximately 10,000 participants from dancing in streets on their way to Tompkins Square Park from the 6th Avenue and 17th Street starting point.
There were over 130 different dance troupes participating in over 100 different styles. Ballroom, Salsa, Flamenco, Hip-Hop, Asian, Afro-Caribbean, Belly Dance and Bhangra were just a few of the styles performed on May 20.
Despite the rain, the dancers had big smiles and plenty of energy as they stopped to perform their routines for the folks in the grandstand located on Astor Place. Sometimes covered in ponchos or armed with umbrellas, the dance troupes made the best of the 45 second time limit imposed on them by the organizers.
Once they entered the park, many of the groups lined up to perform onstage for the free festival to a crowd that was much smaller than in previous years, but very devoted to the art.
Partway through the 34 main stage performances, the organizers held a ceremony to honor this year’s Grand Marshalls: Ronald K. Brown, Elizabeth Streb and Natasha Diggs.
Dancers sometimes came off the stage to dance with audience members and dance lessons were offered in another section of the park.
While it would have been nice to have had a sunny day, one has to applaud everyone involved in this tremendous event — the organizers, the volunteers and especially the dancers, who had better things to do than worry about getting wet.
Check out danceparade.org for info and check out the Instagram at @danceparadenyc.