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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

New York’s dancing ban eases slightly

Created On February 19th, 2008 by Skruff

Manhattan saw a 20% increase in venues where dancing is legally permitted last year, though legalise dancing activist Julie Ziff Sint from Metropolis in Motion (MOM) this week dismissed the rise of 69 venues to 83 as irrelevant.

“There was a significant drop before, so this is just a leveling off,” she told the New York Metro this week.

“All around the city is illegal dancing,” she added. “We’ve all done it. I’m not ashamed to say I’ve danced illegally.”

Under the City’s infamous Cabaret Laws, New Yorkers continue to face on the spot fines if they so much as sway to juke boxes or jazz acts anywhere other than the 83 venues, in contrast to the 12,000 (thousand) venues that were licensed cabarets in 1961.

The law was first created in 1926 because “there has been altogether too much running ‘wild’ in some of these night clubs and in the judgment of your Committee, the ‘wild’ stranger and the foolish native should have the check-rein applied a little bit,” MOM explain on their site, with further changes added over the decades.

In 1967, “the law is amended to remove the requirement that musicians playing in clubs ‘be of good character.’ Before this, performers like Miles Davis and Billie Holliday were forbidden to appear in most NYC venues.” Three decades later Rudolph Giuliani revived the law whilst Mayor.

“In 1997, Rudy Guiliani created the multi-agency Nightclub Enforcement Task Force to crack down on clubs as part of his ‘Quality of Life’ campaign,” their TimeLine page notes. “Deputy Mayor Rudy Washington goes on the record stating, ‘We’ve been closing down these little buckets of blood (nightclubs) for about three years and paralysing them.’”