Anne Lauren Carr's picture
  • Dish
  • 10 April 2017

It might be hard to believe, but it's true - dancing in an establishment that doesn't have a 'cabaret' license is technically illegal in NYC. The law, created in 1926 during Prohibition, technically outlaws more than three people dancing in "any room, place, or space in the city" with "musical entertainment, singing, dancing, or other forms of amusement."

A group of young people are standing up and working to abolish this archaic law. Calling themselves the Dance Liberation Network, they have drafted a petition that has already received nearly 3,000 signatures. They were inspired to work towards ending the law after a tragic fire at a California artist's warehouse in December, claiming that laws like this force smaller dance and music venues to go underground and use spaces that can be dangerous.

The organization believes that the NYPD keeps the law to shut down loud or disruptive clubs. If the bar or club violates the law more than three times, it can be shut down. A license is expensive and time consuming; in fact, out of the 25,100 licensed bars in NYC, only 93 actually hold a cabaret license.

You can follow the group on Facebook @danceliberationnetwork .