Dana Humphrey is an agent of culture, people gatherer and parade expert, celebrating dancing in the streets with Dance Parade New York, and she also the instigator of the Rockaway Dog Parade. As a multi- passionate entrepreneur, Dana is a life coach, death doula, author, consultant and a hot yoga instructor among other things. Humphrey moved to New York from California in 2018, and has chosen Queens, the most diverse place in the world, as her home all these years, from Astoria to Woodside and now Rockaway Park. She currently acts as the chair for “Rockaway Creates,” a local non-profit which aims to bring the peninsula of Rockaway together through creativity, community and action.
Pawlacio Pets recently presented the 2nd Annual Rockaway Dog Parade on Sunday, Sept 24th, and there will be another one May 18, 2024.
Dana enjoys life as a cat mama to Chance and Sassy and lives in Rockaway Park, on the beach in Queens. Learn more at www.danahumphrey.com.
NB: How does Queens inspire you? What are some of your favorite places to be inspired in Queens?
DH: I love going to Flushing Meadows Park, the last time I was there I was deeply inspired by a dance performance I saw with Dancing Matters by Mo Mix at the Queens Theater. I’ve also been inspired by the Carnyvale Dance troop who rehearses out of Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning.
NB: What advice do you have for readers who are hoping to live a more creative and fulfilling life?
DH: Be creative! Be the change you wish to see. I love spending time outside in nature and Queens has a lot to offer.
NB: What do you wish more people knew about gathering people (as a “people gatherer”)?
DH: Organizing and gathering people together involves being open and accepting of all human emotions. Sometimes people feel called to share the “not-so-posh and pulled-together” parts of themselves with me.
I try to listen with an open heart and an open mind, without judgment.
I try to be as inclusive as I can with all types of people and personalities.
In addition to growing my personal permission field for joy, I desire to be present with folks I encounter.
NB: What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? What is something you wish you knew a decade ago? Two decades ago?
DH: Some of the best advice I received is around entrepreneurship.
If you are going to hustle and do a really good job making things happen, it might as well be for yourself and your own bottom line!
Learn to say “no”!
Two decades ago I wish I believed that I was enough.
NB: Who are some of your favorite “agents of culture” or “people gatherers” who have a Queens connection?
DH: I am re-inspired most days by my favorite yoga mentor Anita Ruderman, she owns Hot Yoga Rockaway Beach in Queens and magnetizes people to her hot yoga classes on a regular basis.
NB: If you could choose only one venue to represent Queens, what would it be and why?
DH: Forest Hills Stadium comes to mind as it’s versatile and large, yet intimate.
NB: What is something you wish I had asked? Please let me know what that question is, and answer it. Thank you.
DH: I am a parade expert and am looking forward to the upcoming Rockaway Dog Parade and the 18th annual Dance Parade and DanceFest on Saturday May 18th 2024! danceparade.org/
I wrote and published a memoir about my life a few years ago, its called “May All Beings Be Fed: Playing with Consciousness” (Amazon.com).
NB: Can you tell us more about Rockaway Creates?
DH: Yes, Rockaway Creates is a non profit that I run in Rockaway geared to bring people together for fun, friendship and connection. (rockawaycreates.org.)
NB: What are your favorite Queens restaurants?
DH: I love the Jackson Diner in Jackson Heights, it recently moved across the street. My partner lives in this neighborhood so we like to enjoy some delicious local Dosas and Indian food.
I spent 35 days in India earlier this year. Locally, in Rockaway, I am a big fan of Oasis Ramen House too.
For the complete story, visit QGazette.com.