Since the opening of Broadway Dance Center in 1984, the studio has been a loud and proud supporter of the LGBTQ+ community. Continuing this legacy of acceptance, BDC will proudly walk in this Sunday’s NYC Pride March, an annual civil rights demonstration since 1970.
Over the years, the Pride March has broadened to include recognition of the fight against AIDS and to remember those who have lost their battle against illness, violence and neglect. Last year, over 450 marching contingents participated – nonprofits, community organizations, corporate partners, small businesses, political candidates and activists. The 2017 March, with over 110 floats traveling down Fifth Avenue, was one of the largest in history. Grand Marshals for the 2018 NYC Pride March are Billie Jean King, Lambda Legal, Tyler Ford and Kenita Placide.
Sydney Magruder, professional dancer and founder of the YouTube series, The Black Swan Diaries, says that the dance and theater industry – and BDC – have always been a safe haven for the LGBTQ community.
“Instead of turning folks away for being different, we actively welcome people of all stripes,” Magruder says. “Our arm of the entertainment industry has long been on the front lines of LGBT inclusion. From the beloved Rent to the more recent Fun Home, I think it’s safe to say that we’ve never kept quiet about where we stand: all are welcome. We are at a critical point in history. We are beyond the horrifying shadows of the AIDS crisis (although many of our brothers and sisters still suffer, and so we continue to care for them), and we are seeing more and more LGBT people advance in positions of power on every platform, but at the same time in this current social and political climate, I believe that it is vital that BDC and other industry institutions renew and revitalize their commitments to being affirming and inclusive to marginalized people of every background.”
April Cook, director of public relations for BDC, adds, “Inequality still exists for members of the LGBTQIA+ community, so this March is an important way to celebrate the community, while at the same time pointing out that there is still so much work to be done. The organizers make it a point to call this a Pride March, not a Parade, because until there is equality, we are still marching for a future where all people have the same rights under the law, without discrimination.”
You can register to walk with BDC and show your pride this Sunday, June 24. Participation in the event is $10 to cover the cost of the official 2018 BDC Pride t-shirt and printing. T-shirts are available for pick-up at BDC.
March lineups begin at noon on Sunday. BDC’s check-in time is 2pm (Section 5), at 15th Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues. A representative from BDC will email all registered participants with updates.
To register, visit www.broadwaydancecenter.com/special-event/2018-nyc-pride-march. To learn more about the NYC Pride March, head to www.nycpride.org.
By Laura Di Orio of Dance Informa.