Since the first parade in 2007, the NYDP have ticketed folks walking in the parade or audience members along the parade route not having fun or NOT DANCING. The NYDP formed as a reaction to the New York City Police Department’s Cabaret Task force of the 1990’s and 2000’s in which bars, clubs and restaurants were ticketed or shutdown for having patrons who danced. The 1926 Cabaret License was challenged in 2006 in the State Supreme Court by four groups of dancers who argued that not being able to dance socially infringed on their freedom of speech. The dancers lost their case, but before the appeal took place, Dance Parade began to show through many forms of dance that social dance is indeed expressive. Last year the Cabaret Law was repealed, but there is still more work to do to advocate for dance. The government should not regulate the arts, and our Constitution should protect free expression. For more information about this movement, go to legalizedance.org.
The New York Dance Police (NYDP) ticket folks for NOT dancing, issuing summons to free or discounted dance classes or parties. Volunteers receive a hat, t-shirt, whistle and ticket book and are also asked to distribute programs to audience members along the parade route.
We hope you’ll join us to shake up the city with more dance.