Tiny Dancer Stumbles Upon East Village Dance Parade
Child, who last attended when she was two, is astonished by Trinidadian Moko Jumbies and Brooklyn cheerleaders
Laurea and I have watched the Dance Parade on three occasions—all totally by accident.
The first time (before Kina), Laurea and I were wandering through Union Square and saw a group of Bolivian dancers spinning down Broadway, which was a magical superimposition on the city.
The second time was with Kina, when she was barely two; we were strolling up Lafayette and saw Saint Marks blocked off—we walked back past the rest of the parade onto University Place, where Kina spent two hours on my shoulders watching various dance troupes and floats roll past.
The last time was during yesterday’s little heat wave, when we got stuck in traffic headed up Lafayette for the exact same reason. We were on our way to a playground but decided to park the car and stand in the cool shade between the defunct Astor K-Mart and the old Astor Starbucks to watch the parade.
Kina has been taking little dance classes with her friend Sloane for the last year and change, and so we felt she might have a special reaction to the parade this year, and we were right. Kina was transfixed by the costumes, the floats, the music, and the dancers from various immigrant communities in New York—most notably the stilt-dancing Moko Jumbies from NYC’s large Trini community, the San Simon dancers from Bolivia in their elaborate sequined outfits, and two very serviceable cheerleading squads.
Kina danced a bit, waving around a bit of gold ribbon that caught on the fence in front of her, but she mostly just watched, gobsmacked at the notion that you can dance in the middle of the street when it is hot out.
If you see the Dance Parade, summer has begun. Welcome to it.
All I know is that the big rose at the bottom is a crown, and that there are two rainbows. Parade!