Launched in 2006, the annual Dance Parade New York is, to my knowledge, the only city parade to honor and celebrate the wide diversity of dance styles, dancers, and companies. This year, however, on May 22, 2021 from 1:00pm – 4:00pm EST, Dance Parade New York is not only going virtual, but it is also going global with the theme Dance Brings Us Together. After what everyone has been through over this past year, this will be a wonderful way for the global community to connect, have fun, move to the music of DJ-lead dance rooms, free dance classes with leading professionals, dance-offs, and house-bound choreographers will be invited to submit their new work to win cash prizes. This interactive online dance festival will include over 1000 dancers in 80+ genres from around the world. If you would like to register, do so HERE.  Suggested donations to participate: $20 or free for artists and low-income guests. To simply watch and enjoy the festivities, click HERE.

“The past year has been really hard on all of us, including the tens of thousands of dancers we serve,” ruminated 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.”

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Dance Parade New York - Photo by Peter Cai - Huzhong Cai

Highlights of the Dance Parade New York and Festival listed Audrey Ross’s press release:

2021 Grand Marshals:  Emcee Shireen Dickson presents this year’s Grand Marshals: H.T. Chen & Dian Dong of Chen Dance Center; Virginia Johnson, Artistic Director of Dance Theatre of Harlem; and Lisa Lisa, the Latina Pop Music Legend.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony: Kicking off the family-friendly event is a ceremony officiated by Emcee Shireen to pay homage to introduce dance celebrity Grand Marshals Lisa Lisa, H.T. Chen & Dian Dong, and Virginia Johnson.  They will cut the ribbon, unleashing dance styles from ballet to breakdance, tango to tap, and Japanese to Scottish!

Home Stage: Latina Pop Music Legend Lisa Lisa will open the Home Stage with a live appearance and medley of her life-long work. DJ Ali Coleman invites all to bring your best moves to the participatory stage! Our scouts go through 1,000 cameras and spotlight those with great energy, costumes, and artistry. Join a dance battle or vote for your favorite as contestants from around the world compete for cash prizes. See the winners of the Dare to Dance Video contest that challenged choreographers to connect to their dancers remotely during this period of isolation and social distancing.

Dare To Dance Challenge: See the winner of the video challenge to house-bound choreographers to create a new work during this period of isolation and social distancing. Thanks to Nancy Steele of STEELE DANCE, three winners will receive cash prizes and will have their one-minute videos premiered at the festival.

Grandstand Performance Stage: Included are performances from artists who have bucked the pandemic to create riveting work in past year, with interviews that give an inside glimpse behind dozens of movement cultures…Contemporary, Hip-Hop, Chinese, African, Bolivian, Mexican, and more.

Dance Film: This year Dance Parade will present portions of its one-hour TV special, The Resilience of Dance Through the Pandemic, due out in June on NYC Life which includes interviews and performances by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Heidi Latsky Dance, Alison Cook Beatty Dance, National Dance Institute, DrumatiX, Buglisi Dance Theatre, Dance Rising and more.

Teaching Stages: Take a free dance lesson from Dance Parade’s best teachers. Learn Body/Mind Exercise Dance, Salsa, Break Dance, African, Hip-Hop, Indonesian, Lit Fit, Latin Boogaloo, Bhangra and others! Ask our teaching artists whatever question you like either live on camera or in the chat

To register to participate on Zoom and check out the complete lineup, click HERE.

Or watch all four stages by clicking HERE.

Tune up your moves by taking free dance lessons prior to the event in Japanese, Mexican, Moving For Life Dance Exercise, Ballroom, Salsa and African at

For more information, click HERE.

Short trailer:

Written and compiled by Jeff Slayton from a press release by Audrey Ross.

Featured image: Dance Parade New York – Photo by Anthony Johnson