Tuesday, April 04, 2006

'Footlose' (sort of) comes to life

Remember the 1984 Kevin Bacon film Footlose, the movie about the big-city kid in a small town who was forbidden from dancing like a white boy by the powers that be. Well, it seems a similar story has taken a big-city twist.

Shall we dance? In New York it depends on where we hear the music. A state judge on Monday dismissed a lawsuit that sought to force the city to allow private, social dancing in restaurants, clubs and bars.

State Supreme Court Justice Michael Stallman found that the city's license requirements for cabarets--places that have food and drink and allow personal recreational dancing--are constitutional.

A group calling itself the Gotham West Coast Swing Club and several people said that because the city's cabaret law barred them from dancing with other people it unconstitutionally infringed on their right of free expression.

The plaintiffs also contended that the city's application of zoning laws was arbitrary and capricious and deprived them of due process. They said they should be allowed to dance in any bar or restaurant they wanted to.

The judge disagreed. He said dancing is not constitutionally protected expression and the city has the right to regulate circumstances under which eating and drinking places can let patrons dance. [AP]
It never ceases to amaze me the power that we have given our government to control the mundane. Must we really regulate swing dancers? Who's next, jitterbugers? Lindy hoppers? Are we going to permit our goverment to add a whole new dimension to the Lambada?

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