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Let's Dance NYC

Despite the 2017 repeal of the racist 1926 Cabaret Law that restricted dance to licenced venues, NYC's zoning laws still do not allow dance in any venue under 200 patrons. And venues above a 200 person capacity can exist only in high density commercial and manufacturing distrcts.

Tell City Council and Mayor Adams to stop regulating dance! Our goal is to collect 10,000 signatures from New Yorkers to coincide with a major publicity campaign.

Dance Police, Cabaret Law & Historic Injustice:


Media Coverage: 1987 - 2023

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Let's Dance NYC "Beyond the Zone"

The history of regulating dance in New York City reflects the change in our culture over the past century. Now that the Cabaret Law was partially repealed on October 30, 2017, outdated land use laws do not permit dancing in any New York City establishments with less than 200 patrons. Dance is an important form of expression for many immigrant cultures and is identified as a human right not subject to zoning or any form of regulation.  In the Cabaret Law's 91 year history of the supression of dance and culture, it was found nearly impossible to define what consititues dancing--Rhythmic swaying, foot tapping or striking a pose as with "voguing" are movements and can represent even the absense of movement.

Dancing should not only be permited in Industrial and high density commercial districts (Check out the NYC Department of Planning's ZoLa Tool to see how a particular building is currently zoned.) This outdated requirement unnecessarily affects small businesses and their patrons who want to dance.


Members of LegalizeDance.Org want the word "dance" removed from zoning codes of NYC law. We maintain that nightlife (and daylife) in "Entertainment establishments" should be regulated by venue capacity not whether or not people are dancing.  We maintain that social dancing is a healthy activity and a 1st Amendment Freedom. There is a long list of city and state ordinances that regulate "Entertainment establishments" and New York carries some of the strictess noise and fire safety laws in the country.  And as an activity, dancing contributes to a human communal spirit and has the capacity to create a more vibrant and equitable society.


Creative Protests from the 90's:

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