New York City has moved one step closer to repealing an antiquated law that makes dancing technically illegal in most venues. The 1926 New York City Cabaret Law makes it against the law for dancing to happen in any establishment that does not have a Cabaret License, which is notoriously difficult to acquire and ends up affecting clubs that cater to people of color and queer people most.
On Monday, Councilman Rafael Espinal held a hearing at City Hall, where he announced that he would introduce a bill that would repeal the Cabaret Law. "The city will argue that the law is not currently being enforced to regulate dancing, and only to enforce safety requirements. But the stories on the ground will tell you different," Espinal said, according to a report from Gothamist.
Espinal has said in the past that he would like to establish an Office of Nightlife in New York, which would be run by a Night Mayor. Espinal said today that he will be introducing legislation to create that department as well.
"People should be allowed to dance throughout New York City, and across all five boroughs," Espinal said.
According to Dance Liberation Network, Espinal will introduce a bill to repeal Cabaret Law on Wednesday.