Swedish Parliament Upholds Ban on Dancing in Public
Many Swedish citizens and business owners saw an upset on March 31st when Parliament voted to maintain a nation-wide ban on dancing in public without a license
Many Swedish citizens and business owners saw an upset on March 31st when Parliament voted to maintain a nation-wide ban on dancing in public without a license.
According to members of Swedish parliament, it is illegal to organize any sort of dancing in a public place without a permit for the premises. Additionally, the law in Sweden recognizes all dancing to be organized in some way. This creates a bit of a nuisance for business owners who cannot or have not obtained dance permits for their building, as a customer spontaneously dancing around in a bar without their permits can result in fines.
However, this decision was quite divided with 5 of 8 parties voting to preserve the law. Members of parliament have been working to nullify the ban on dancing for the last 8 years, introducing an upwards of 20 proposals to repeal it.
Despite these efforts, the general consensus amongst advocates of the ban is that the law be preserved to maintain public safety. According to police, dancing creates disorder and can lead to misconduct and fights. But people pushing the repeal see things differently. In 2012, Swedish nightclub owner Anders Varveus led a large protest with over 1,000 dance advocates giggin' down the street. And now, three years later, he's looking to do it again. "I'm planning to hold a demo at the Pride Parade on August 1st," Varveus tells Swedish news outlet The Local. It would seem that Anders' vision has grown with the opposition, as he estimates around 10,000 people will show up this year. Considering the reasons behind their movement and the ever-growing popularity of dance music, it isn't out of the realm of possibility.
"First, it's a question of personal freedom. How you want to move your own body is not a matter for regulation [...] Finally, it's very hard to keep this law functional. What is the definition of dancing? Once you start moving, how do you know when you've crossed a line? It's funny, really."
Sweden is considered a very free and prosperous country. Naturally, outdated and overly bureaucratic laws are likely to receive opposition from people who seek freedom and prosperity. With that territory comes a desire for freedom of expression, and regulating the way people move their bodies cripples that idea.