Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Politics of Dancing

A girl’s just gotta dance. That’s what we tried to do at the Staples Center the other night at the Fleetwood Mac concert. But, low and behold I was tapped on the shoulder and asked to sit down by the woman behind me. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m stubborn and don’t like to be told what to do, especially when I’m within my rights to do so.

It is not illegal to dance at the Staples Center. At least not according to the several security men who became our personal escorts taking us from one row to another where we were able to dance without pissing off anyone sitting behind us.

According to the Staples Center guest services web page it is against the rules to; Stand on chairs, Drunk and disorderly conduct, Fighting or challenging others to fight, "Mooning" or exposing private body parts, Interference with or delay of the game/event, Violation of STAPLES Center's event policies, Violation of the local, state, and federal laws and statues, Igniting and display of flames, i.e. lighters / matches, in the facility bowl, Attempting to enter the field of play, court, stage or backstage areas without permission, Throw, discharge, or launch any liquid substance or objects, Willfully and maliciously disturbing another Guest / employee with loud and unreasonable noise, Using profanity and/or offensive words, which are likely to provoke a violent reaction from others, Taunting or using offensive language against the players, referees, or performers.

I don’t believe any of that includes shaking your groove thing.

Oddly enough, I have a prior experience with illegal dancing. On Maui, my husband and I were at the Four Seasons lobby enjoying a six o’clock Mai tai while listening to the band and watching the sunset when the band started playing the song I walked down the aisle to at our wedding.

I cajoled Michael into standing near our table and we held each other like teenagers at Prom, gently swaying to the song when we were interrupted by a waiter who said we couldn’t dance because the Four Seasons didn’t have a dance floor license.

Initially I thought Michael gave the guy $10 bucks to get him out of dancing with me; but no, it was true. Just recently the Maui County Liquor Commission upheld the law that only permits dancing on a designated dance floor where no liquor is consumed. So, when you see people dancing in the streets in Maui – it’s not because they’re happy about it, it’s the only place they can legally dance.

Maui Dance Advocates, a group of about 85 people, petitioned the liquor commission to define what movement constitutes ‘dancing’, but the petition was denied. So, lookout all you foot tappers, you might just be breaking the law.

And, it’s not just Maui County either. Manhattan had a similar anti-dance law when Mayor Giuliani started enforcing the ‘cabaret’ laws and fining or shutting down clubs that didn’t have the cabaret license.

It’s ironic that in this year of 2009 some states are fighting to legalize dancing while others are debating legalizing marijuana. Neither of which I believe are gateway drugs.

By the way, the concert was amazing! A group of six went and we had a great time. But what is up with this anti-dancing movement, or non-movement?


  1. Ahhh....the pains of being in love with life!! I am so glad to have a partner in crime like you, Patti V.

  2. Yeah, and we had the bruises to prove it! Looking forward to more criminal fun.