If you haven't heard, NYC is one of the best places to do just about anything at anytime of the day (or night). I personally am either board member, volunteer lead / coordinator / producer for many events that occur in NYC. One I wanted to tell you about, you may not have heard of is the NYC Dance Parade. This parade started back in 2006 as a political protest / response to a law that was passed back in the 1920s.
From 'Danceparade.org About Me' section:
"Our root is social justice. Our rhythm is unity. In the 1800’s, ballroom dancing was deemed devil’s work. In the 1920’s, New York City enacted the Cabaret Law to stem interracial dancing in Harlem Jazz Clubs. Nazi Germany banned “anarchistic” Swing Dancing in the 1930’s. Even recently, in 2006, a New York State Supreme Court ruled that, unlike other forms of art, social dance was not a constitutionally protected form of expression. We stand for all dancers, including you."
Dance is the purest form of expression that was, until recently, a punishable crime. The Cabaret Law from 1926 made it illegal to go into any type of establishment and sing, dance, act, etc. It was believed that this law was initial enacted to target racially mixed Jazz clubs but soon spread to all establishments, regardless of race. Up until Halloween 2017,when the Cabaret Law was finally and officially abolished, NYPD could literally come into any establishment and write you a ticket for expressing yourself. Crazy right?
Dance Parade makes light of the ticket situation by having its own version of 'Dance Police' that flutter up and down the parade route, dressed in their brightest colors, and hand out 'tickets' to all the parade watchers that aren't moving and shaking. (Not to worry, those tickets are actually invites to the Parade after party). There are about 140+ dance acts, mostly from the tri-state areas, some coming from other countries, that dance the entire length of the parade!
The Dance Parade starts at 22nd street and 6th Avenue, goes all the way down to 8th street, and goes across to end at St Marks Place. At the end of the parade route you can then find the Dance Festival. Several acts perform on four strategically placed stages, one in St Marks Place and three more in Tompkins Square Park, offer even more variations of performers starting from 2pm until around 8pm. The parade also has four grand marshals that ride on floats all the way down the parade route, do speeches during the dance festival, and then end their night Djing or just having fun at the parade after party.
The parade uses volunteers for various duties, most of which are either walking (dancing) the parade route, being a liason for the grand marshals and riding on the float with them, or other positions. I have been working with the Dance parade for the past three years. I started as their volunteer coordinator, followed up being a parade marshal liaison to DJ Doc Martin (were i rode on his float with his wife and friends, and hung with him the entire day) and now I'm back as a senior member of the volunteer coordination team! Ready to shake it, shake it? Click the registration link or hit me up with any questions below! Ciao guys!
Image taken from danceparade.org