Petitioning Legalize Dancing in NYC

Legalize Dance NYC: Tell City Council and Mayor de Blasio to stop regulating dance!

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It has been widely reported that on October 31, 2017, The City Council Repealed the Cabaret Law that has banned dance for 91 years.  But did you know it’s STILL illegal to dance in most bars, restaurants and even well established clubs in most neighborhoods of New York City?

In 1926, while liquor was bootlegged and Jazz was shaking things up in Harlem, New York City instituted the Cabaret Law that required establishments serving food or drink to obtain a separate license before permitting any dancing or live music on their premises. This law successfully sought to police and restrict the interracial mixing happening in dance clubs uptown. Almost 100 years later, though times and racial attitudes have changed, the Cabaret Law's zoning text restricts dancing to Use Group 12 (industrial areas of the city!

New York’s restrictive dancing regulations affect not only individual dancers and communities, but businesses too, who suffer under the weight of intransigent bureaucracy, legal costs, irregular enforcement and disproportionate fines.

We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Council Member Rafael Espinal, Chair of the Consumer Affairs Committee for holding hearings and getting rid of the Cabaret Law's administrative code but there is still work to do to fully repeal this archaic law.

We need your support! Please help us repeal the 1926 Cabaret Law and remove the following 7 words from the Zoning Code text: "or establishments of any capacity with dancing." These reforms will have no effect on the applicability or enforcement of any of the numerous noise, fire, safety, alcohol and drug ordinances that keep our persons and venues safe and our neighborhoods livable. Help us free dancing by signing this petition and voting for candidates who support and advocate for it! 

Social dancing should be freely available to anyone and everyone in any venue in the City of New York where it is safe to do so. No neighborhood should be zoned "No Dancing Allowed." Local communities and small businesses should be allowed to dance and flourish. 

To learn more or join the advocacy program, go to www.legalizedance.org

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