Dance Parade New York 2012

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Photos by Sabina Mollot

On Saturday, participants in Dance Parade New York shimmied, leapt, skated and pirouetted their way through Flatiron, Union Square and the East Village, creating a rainbow effect from their brightly colored costumes as they went.

The event, which has been taking place since 2006, is organized by a nonprofit organization called Dance Parade Inc. Its mission is to promote the diversity of dance, and indeed the event is always very much like a showcase of dances from dozens of cultures.
Organizers said they expected around 200 groups, 9,000 dancers and 75 different dance styles to be involved this year.

The parade started at 20th Street and Broadway with a route heading south and eventually ending up in Tompkins Square Park. The dance troops included those doing ballet, belly dancing, flamenco and more from African, Mexican, Peruvian and Bavarian cultures.

New York Parade 2011

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On Saturday, the New York Dance parade rocked the streets from 21st Street and Broadway, past Union Square, to Tompkins Square Park, where paraders met up for Dance Fest. Throughout the parade, the sun slipped in and out of clouds, drops fell and then disappeared. Despite a wishy-washy day for weather, colorful costumes popped, pirouetted and jumped off the monotone streets and steely barricades.

There were dance groups representing a variety of cultures and different styles of dance (ballet, traditional dance from the Ivory Coast, drum lines and even acrobatics!), but no matter the inspiration, the crowds at Union Square resisted the urge to dance along with them. In case you missed the action, here’s a glimpse.

Photos by Heather Holland