Since the first parade began 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.
In 2007 the licensing requirement fo the Cabaret Law was repealed, but zoning restrictions still limit dance in most parts of New York City. Specifically no dancing is allowed in venues with less than 200 patrons. Venues over 200 patrons must exist in high density commercial or industrial neighborhoods.
The government should not regulate the art and culture which are vulnerable to the Constitution's garauntee of the ability for free expression. For more information about this movement, visit legalizedance.org and sign the petition.
This year, New York Dance Police (NYDP) have been asked by the members of legalizedance.org to raid bars and clubs to educate their owners and patrons that dance in the city still needs to be liberated from zoning regulations. Volunteers receive a hat, t-shirt, whistle and citation booklet.
We hope you’ll join us on the squad as we have fun and shake up the city with dance!