Hi friends,
I wanted to send a huge thank you out to the NYC Dept of City Planning and to all those who testified at the City Planning Commission hearing yesterday, particularly Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson, City Council Member Keith Powers, Jeff Garcia (Office of Nightlife), Robert Bookman (Hospitality Alliance), Candace Thompson-Zachery (Dance/NYC), our own Jerry Goldman (Dance Parade) and many others who spoke out to fix the zoning laws to legalize dance.
We still have work to do to get this codified into law. If you haven't yet, sign the petition and spread the word on legalizedance.org
My testimony is below!
A project by Dance Parade, Inc.
455 FDR Drive, Suite B104
New York, NY 10002

January 24, 2024
City Planning Commission
120 Broadway, 31st Floor
New York, N.Y. 10271
Re: Testimony for the City of Yes Zoning for Economic Opportunity Proposal 9
My name is Greg Miller. I’m here today to speak in support of Zoning for Economic Opportunity, specifically with regard to Proposal 9 about dancing, which is currently prohibited in 80% of New York City. 
Dancing might not mean a lot to those that only dance while drinking at a wedding. But it means a lot to me as a dancer. As a dance advocate working on the issue of legalizing dance for 20 years, it means a lot and to 3,474 who signed our petition in the Dance Free NYC advocacy campaign on legalizedance.org. And as the Director for the 501(c)3 non-profit organization, Dance Parade with its 10,000 dancers and 100 unique styles of dance, it means a lot. 
Dance Parade was created in protest to the Cabaret & Zoning laws that regulated dancing to licensed, over-200-person venues in high density commercial and manufacturing districts. What this means is, smaller venues with marginalized communities aren’t supported. 
Our city thrives when all cultures can express their traditions, including Black, Asian, Arab, Caribbean, LatinX, and LGBTQ+ communities. From Soca and Caribbean in Flatbush to Polka in Greenpoint, salsa, merengue, and bachata in Queens, and hip hop in the Bronx—each should be protected as a 1st amendment activity. Additionally, the expressive forms of Swing, Voguing, House and Waacking in Manhattan, S and throughout the city contribute to this rich mosaic citywide. Zoning restrictions that curtail this diversity erode the essence of who we are as proud New Yorkers.
The Planning Commission needs to understand that if these provisions are minimized as simply nightlife issues, you may unintentionally perpetuate systemic racism instead of eliminating barriers that disproportionately affect marginalized minorities.
We support the proposal to consider dancing as ‘scheduled entertainment’ to allow bars and restaurants to permit poetry, comedy, painting and incidental dancing to be inline with how live music is already permitted as a 1st Amendment Right. Under these provisions, building, noise and fire safety codes, among the most stringent in the nation, would remain in place.
We thank Mayor Adams for his 2020 pledge to fix zoning for dancing and to Commissioner Garodnick  and his talented staff along with the Commission to co-create a better city for all New Yorkers.

Greg Miller
Executive Director
Tel: 267-360-9213, Email: greg@danceparade.org