New York City Council Repeals ‘No Dancing Law’

DJ First Choice
DJ First Choice at The Anthony in New York City. (Photo source: Facebook)

New York City Council members voted Tuesday to repeal the city’s controversial Cabaret Law. The bill still has to be signed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, but he has already expressed support for it, according to the New York Times.

Established in 1926, the “no dancing law” prohibits dancing in public venues that don’t have a license. As DJcity previously reported, fewer than 100 of the city’s 25,000 eligible establishments have one due to how difficult it is to get.

Critics of the law, like Thump, for example, have argued that it has a racist legacy. Councilman Rafael L. Espinal, Jr., who introduced the proposal in June, called the law “historically racist.” He said it also was being used to target small business owners.

After the vote, Espinal spoke to a crowd of supporters at City Hall, according to the Times.

“If you’re Latino, if you’re black, if you’re from the LGBTQ community, you all have been impacted by this law,” he said. “It is time we right this historical wrong and remove New York’s inappropriate and arbitrarily enforced dancing licensing.”

In September, Mayor de Blasio signed another one of Espinal’s bills into action. It will establish an “Office of Nightlife” and “Nightlife Mayor.” Its purpose will be to promote “a safe and vibrant nightlife scene” for businesses and residents.

The passing of both bills could transform New York City’s nightlife scene. More venues would be able to host dance parties without fear of getting shut down, which could lead to more gig opportunities for DJs.

Related: New York City Council Member Introduces Bill to Repeal ‘No Dancing Law’