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Law Prohibiting Dancing in NYC Bars Set for Repeal Tuesday

Tuesday Oct 31, 2017

A real-life version of the film "Footloose" is about to take place in the most unlikely of places. On Tuesday, New York's City Council is set to repeal a law that banned dancing in most bars.

For nearly a century, the "city that never sleeps" was also the city that could fine you for dancing in a bar that didn't have a cabaret license. Labeled by many as "racist," the law, which was sporadically enforced had its origins in prohibition era and was designed to stifle the action in Harlem nightclubs.

Already poised to celebrate is nightlife impresario Daniel Nardicio, who is planning a "Dance Off, Pants Off!" at his and actor Alan Cumming's East Village hotspot "Club Cumming" on Tuesday night.

"We can't thank Council Member Rafael Espinal enough for his tenacious efforts to work with the Let NYC Dance Coalition and Mayor de Blasio's administration to create an Office of Nightlife and to sponsor the bill to repeal the licensing requirement," said Nardicio.

Over the course of the law's 91 years on the books, it has served as a political weathervane of sorts. Liberal-leaning mayors have made moves to do away with it. During his three terms as the city's chief executive, Michael Bloomberg made attempts to rewrite or repeal the law. Conversely, Bloomberg's predecessor Mayor Rudolph Giuliani used the law to crackdown on and close nightlife spots. Current NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio has endorsed the bill to repeal the Cabaret Law.

If the law is repealed by the City Council Tuesday and signed by the Mayor as expected, in 120 days, venues, bars, and clubs won't have to jump through numerous hoops to apply for a permit to allow dancing on the premises.

H/T - DNA Info

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