Washington Square Park in New York City is the home to the popular NYC Jam Sessions. With music blaring and a huge growing audience, organiser Chris Naish and friends love to entertain the audience. The regular jam sessions are a great way to meet new dancers and musicians and create a social hangout. The group, which includes dancers from many genres, felt there would be no better way to improve their dancing because most of the steps done in the park are improvised. The dancers all learn from one another and trade new moves. The have benefited from the interaction with the public and their response and feedback. As Chris explains “This is Manhattan! We started off without a clue and piece of plywood and gradually learn’t how to make a successful street performance”. But perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of these jam sessions is what is going on behind the scenes and with an array of potential new projects and collaborations being discussed between these talented performing artists.
The Jams can also be used to raise awareness, for example the session we did for Newtown’s Sandy Hook school relief fund. They can also lead to opportunities as we saw when dancing as the Sneaky Steppers back in 2010, when CBS News asked us to feature in a ‘US Tennis Open’ segment called ‘Take the Stage’ with worldwide exposure.
Check out these links for more Park Jams clips:
Park Jam NYC- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhIP9IlO6Ow
Irish Dance Improvisation- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XhdqOUUtsU