Historically Racist NYC Law That Prevents Dancing In Bars Is Being Petitioned


We’ve heard of specific dances being made illegal because of the passion and sexual explicitness they exude, but according to the “Let NYC Dance” petition, the act of dancing is illegal in most of New York City’s bars and restaurants. The petition posted to Change.org two weeks ago is asking for 5,000 signatures to repeal NYC’s Cabaret “No Dancing Law.” This piece of legislation prohibits dancing in New York City’s bars and restaurants who do not obtain a Cabaret license. Currently, only 118 bars and restaurants have a license of the more than 25,000 that exist in the city today.

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This law was established 1926 during the Prohibition era. Its purpose was to provide the city with more authority to “crack down on African American jazz clubs.” The regulations that were bundled with the law were racist including the banning of “black” instruments like the saxophone in venues that didn’t obtain the license in question. Since, the regulations have been repealed or found unconstitutional due to their discriminatory implications. But, the Cabaret Law still remains today.

The organizers are collecting signatures and will then send the petition to the NYC council asking them to repeal the ban on dancing. This past Thursday (March 30), there was a Let NYC Dance Event at Market Hotel in Brooklyn. While some list the reasons for signing the petition on the Change.org page, including “it’s an absurd law that makes no sense and has no place in modern society” and more simply “I enjoy dancing indoors,” others took to social media to profess their dedication to the cause.

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