NY Dance Parade is May 19th – Will YOU Be Dancing in the Streets?!

Coming up on Saturday, May 19th is the 6th Annual NY Dance Parade in Manhattan. Beginning on Broadway and 21st street at 1pm, 10,000 dancers will move and groove to 60 unique styles of dance. Yes- TEN THOUSAND DANCERS!!! As live bands, DJ’s, beautiful floats, and costumes entrance you, participants in the parade will be ordered chronologically “honoring the history of dance from ancient to contemporary”. Traditional dances from across the globe from places like Algeria, Korea, Bolivia, Tahiti, Bulgaria, Japan, Brasil, and more. Dance styles both popular and obscure- flamenco, tango, ballroom, ballet, contemporary, samba, roller disco, pole dancing- the list goes on and on. You can also keep your eyes and ears peeled for a big Toad scupture that houses a custom-built 1000 watt sound system, LED lighting, lasers and fog, and is pulled by a bicycle built for 5 people. Better yet, if you’d like to wear a whacky costume and join Kostume Kult in the parade, you can dance alongside the Toad.

The parade cuts left at St. Mark’s Place and ends with a 4-hour celebration called DanceFest at Tompkin’s Square Park. Learn how to do the tango, lindy hop, bellydance, or a handful of other styles for free at the Teaching Stage. Catch performances from a ton of different dance groups at both the Main Stage and Family Stage. Enjoy getting down to electronic beats by Jonathan Peters, Wiseacre, and Nutritious, or chill under a tree and watch aerial performers swing gracefully from silk.

In addition to the celebration of dance, the parade was started after a New York State Supreme Court judge ruled that dance was not considered “expressive activity protected by the 1st amendment clause in the constitution,” in a 2006 attempted repeal of the Cabaret Law. This issue dates back to 1926, when New York City instituted the Cabaret Law that “required establishments serving food or drink to obtain a separate license before permitting any dancing or live music on their premises”. The law successfully restricted the interracial mingling happening in Jazz clubs in Harlem at the time. The Cabaret Law is still in effect and enforced, nearly 100 years later, and the number of legal dance venues has been drastically declining. There were 12,000 Cabaret Licenses in the 1960s throughout the 5 boroughs of New York City, however, by 2008, there were a mere 179 Cabaret Licenses. What is this- Footloose?! When archaic laws exist, no matter how silly or pointless they seem, they still have the power to be enforced; it’s politricks.

If you’d like to learn more about the push to repeal the Cabaret Law click HERE

For more info on the NY Dance Parade click HERE

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