Clogging Connection brought Florida sunshine and impressive dance skills to the 11th Annual Dance Parade and Festival in New York City on May 20.
This parade began as a response to a New York Supreme Court case in 2006, which upheld an antiquated Cabaret Law from the 1920s, stating that social dancing is not a protected form of expression. The parade begins with a minute of silence for those around the world who cannot dance. This year's parade theme was "Dance for Peace."
These energetic folks traveled by plane, bus, and their own two feet to be the sole representatives of clogging in the 2017 parade.
Approximately 80 unique styles of dance were showcased by about 167 groups parading down the streets of NYC. (Numbers varied slightly when I researched details, so I'm not sure which source contained the final numbers.)
Parade day was busy! Clogging Connection danced their way through TWO MILES of parade, then performed at the dance festival in Tompkins Square Park.
Clogging Connection reported they enjoyed seeing the colorful costumes of the other dancers, but they didn't really get to watch any other groups.
The weather was better than expected! After practicing in the 90-degree Florida heat and humidity, dancing on a lovely NYC day with temps in the low 60s was a welcome change.
The audience had to work at this parade, too. "Dance Police" patrolled the streets, issuing citations to people who were not dancing or not having fun. Tickets included a summons to attend a free or discounted dance class/dance party!
NTDTV footage of the dance parade is available on YouTube. I spied a brief shot of Clogging Connection dancing through the parade at 44:57, a longer shot of them performing a cappella at 46:12, and an interview with team members Kaley, Kyle, and Jocelyn at 1:14:50.
If you're clogging through two miles of parade, "Rocky Top" needs to show up somewhere! Another YouTube video shows Clogging Connection dancing the national anthem of clogging down the streets of NYC at 17:28.
The parade was even more special for Clogging Connection dancer Maureen Cadle because she got to do this with her friend Kathy. Maureen and Kathy have been clogging together for over 30 years! BOTH have clogging daughters who joined them on the trip.
"I would have never dreamed when I was a kid, that we would be clogging down Broadway with our daughters!"
Way to go, Maureen and Kathy! (And daughters!)
If you aren't tearing up yet, Maureen had more to add:
"My 16-year-old daughter Lauren and I were dance partners in our parade dance. When we began dancing down Broadway together, it literally made my heart swell and my eyes water! What an incredible feeling as we danced by people cheering and clapping for us! I will treasure this mother/daughter memory forever!"
(Go ahead: call your mom, THEN come back to read the rest of this post. You know you want to...)
With only 3 short days in NYC, and one of them being parade day, Clogging Connection worked hard to squeeze in as many quintessential NYC activities as possible:
Gotta have some New York pizza!
Isn't a NYC carriage ride on everybody's bucket list? It's certainly on mine!
The sunset boat tour past the Statue of Liberty was a highlight for Clogging Connection!
Clogging Connection even found the Naked Cowboy! He is an Ohio native, btw.
For any other teams preparing to dance in a parade, Clogging Connection advises that you find out the length of the parade route well in advance. They suggest practicing on a local bike trail or running path to build your stamina.
Thanks for doing an excellent job representing clogging in the Big Apple!
Special thanks to Clogging Connection dancer Maureen Cadle for her contributions to this blog post and to director Kaley Conn. I look forward to the future adventures of Clogging Connection!
Have YOU danced in any parades? What advice would you give to a clogging team preparing for a parade performance?