5Rhythms - Dance Parade NYC 2013
The annual Dance Parade has become a symbol of personal renewal for me. Each year, after the excitement, energy and exhilaration of the parade are over, rather than feel exhausted, I find myself in a state of mind to live life in a more active, involved and well…connected way. If I didn't experience it firsthand, I wouldn't believe the profound effect this parade could have on me. More specifically, it's the incredible, positive energy from my friends of the 5 Rythms tribe. The enthusiasm, the sharing of positivity (I've never used that word before!) and their passion for community, connection and commitment is just what I have been longing for ever since moving back to NYC three years ago.
When I first heard the music of the parade as I was in my apartment, my first reaction was to shut the window. Luckily, first impressions are not always correct and I grabbed my camera and went out to see what all the commotion was about. As I turned the corner I heard this driving, weird, strong and sort of out of place with the rest of the music and energy of the other participants. I vividly remember my first thoughts and feelings as this somewhat ragtag group, meandered, I mean danced past me. I was so drawn in, I fell into step with them, in front of them, in the middle and behind, taking pictures and just knowing I had fallen into something very special. How special, I still am learning. I just know through luck, timing or force of destiny that has and is changing an important part of my life.
As a photographer, each parade has presented itself different challenges and opportunities. This year, I imagined I was photographing in 1967
Haight Asbury. I wanted to capture movement in the stills, and of course the passion, connection and joy of all who danced and attended.
To me, the Dance Parade signals start to the new year, a beginning, a renewal.
I never met the founder of 5 Rhythms, Gabrielle Roth. But her presence in spirit and positivity (I really hope this is a word!) were undeniable, rich and transformative.
Time to start dancing!