As New York City lifts 91-year-old ban on dancing, Dance Parade celebrates “The Cabaret of Life”

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Contact: Rebecca Myles    
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“The healthy act of dancing should not be regulated but encouraged — We want to inspire all to participate and enjoy culture no matter who you are – Dance Parade is for everyone!”  

~Greg Miller, Executive Director


“We’re thrilled that New York City will finally repeal the 1926 Cabaret Law that has regulated dancing for nearly a century. Let’s Dance New York!“ 

~Mahayana Landowne, Co-Board Chair


New York, October 31, 2017 – Today, the New York City Council voted to approve full repeal of the 1926 Cabaret Law that currently restricts recreational dancing to 97 nightlife establishments. Since the Giuliani administration used the Cabaret law to fine and close dance venues throughout the city, many advocates have fought to overturn the law that has suppressed culture.

In the 2006 State Supreme Court’s Festa Case recreational dancing was cited as an activity that was not expressive enough to be protected as free speech. In protest, the Dance Parade was founded and strives each year to be inclusive of every culture and dance style.

Supporting Andrew Muchmore, a lawyer and bar owner of Muchmore’s who filed a federal suit against the city about the unconstitutionality of the cabaret law, Dance Parade’s emcee and attorney Jerry Goldman filed a myriad of amicus briefs on behalf of Dance Parade artists in 2015.

Then this past Spring. Dance Parade participated in the Let NYC Dance campaign, a partnership with The Dance Liberation Network, the NYC Artists Coalition and LegalizeDance.Org to urge the progressive City Council and de Blasio Administration to fully repeal the law. Council Member Rafael Espinal, Chair of the Consumer Affairs Committee, championed the cause and held two hearings this past Summer.

As a result, the Office of Nightlife was created along with the Mayor’s Office for Media and Entertainment assessment that one in five nightlife establishments have closed in the past 15 years.

Of the 51 Council Members, the Let NYC Dance coalition lobbied the support of 24 co-sponsors to the bill to fully repeal the cabaret law. The bill will be signed into law by Mayor de Blasio within 30 days of today.

The theme of the next Dance Parade “The Cabaret of Life” will celebrate the righting of a longstanding wrong and honor expressive dance by 10,000 dancers moving, grooving and sashaying to 80 unique dance styles making it the most diverse cultural event worldwide. “The Cabaret of Life” is a recognition that the arts enrich us on a daily basis,  honoring both audience and participant.

The annual event kicks off at 21st and Broadway and brings together dancers from around the city and as far away as Japan to showcase dance styles in a multi-cultural, rhythmic-infused magical display of human movement, art and color.

Leading the parade will be over 200 enthusiastic city youth dancing their “debut on Broadway” and having the fun of their lives. The young dancers will have participated in a ten-week education program of dance workshops sponsored by New York City Departments of Parks and Recreation and funded by New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. The workshops are run in recreation centers in Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan.  

Though the cabaret law has been repealed the parade will honor its roots with a presence by the New York Dance Police (NYDP) – a jovial group of uniformed officers inspiring the crowds to dance and celebrate the spirit of Dance Parade. In contrast to the real Dance Police of the Guiliani era, anyone caught not dancing could be cited with a summons to attend a free dance class or party in the city. 

For our Media Kit including high resolution photos and more information about Dance Parade and our education programs please visit: