11/27/2013 05:27 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Holiday Special: Celebrate With Dance and Culture

Happy holidays to all New Yorkers!

As we ring in the holidays this year, I invite you to engage in dance and culture. There is magic all around us in New York City during this season, with its spirit of togetherness, remembrance, and hope. Much of the magic we are feeling is created by artists and arts organizations, which are offering meaningful holiday experiences and reasons to celebrate, foster our collective imagination, and carry cultural histories forward.

There is, as always, a healthy dose of dance on the calendar. The holiday ballet The Nutcracker is an occasion to bring families to theaters in droves, as documented annually by Dance/USA, the national service organization for professional dance. Variations of this classic happening in New York are too many to count here, but include productions by New York City Ballet (in which I danced as a child), American Ballet Theatre, New York Theatre Ballet, Dances Patrelle, and Brighton Ballet Theater, to name a few.

This season, I encourage you to go see many Nutcrackers. With the latest iteration of a NEW YORKERS FOR DANCE video campaign launched this summer, the organization I run, Dance/NYC, is also inviting you to explore other holiday dance activities.

The first in this series spotlights Maria Hanley, former member of the Dance/NYC Junior Committee, who helps youngsters at the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan celebrate with Hanukkah dances.


I say: try this at home.

Forthcoming videos include Abdel Salaam of the Kwanzaa Celebration at the Apollo Theater, the Bang Group team behind Nut/Cracked, and Afaliah Tribune and her students at El Puente, home of an annual Three Kings Day Celebration. (You may also remember the Rockettes released this video when announcing their auditions this summer.)

It is an ideal time to engage in dance and culture by seeing shows and taking classes of all kinds. Why not make it a resolution to get out and try something different? Tell your friends what you are doing, and invite them to experience New York City at its best.

It is also a time to offer thanks and to give. As you consider your year-end contributions, I invite you to give to your favorite dance artists and organizations. Please give at any level and as big as you can to show your thanks and lift our City up.