NPR

Everybody Dance Now! A Musical Celebration Of New York's Cabaret Law Repeal

A law prohibiting unlicensed dancing in New York City lived long past its original intent. DJ and producer Louie Vega celebrates its repeal with a 91-song playlist, one for each year of its lifetime.
Source: Courtesy of the artist

During one of my first visits to New York in the early '80s, I was invited to a "private party." I was told not tell anyone about it or even reveal where it would be. So — of course — I went, intrigued by the clandestine, members-only vibe.

It was held in a dinky basement somewhere on the Lower East Side, where some guy had set up his home stereo in a corner while drinks were sold in small plastic cups for five bucks (cash only). There was a killer mix of disco (the '80s, remember?) and tracks like Led Zepplin's "Kashmir."

Only many years later did I discover that these ad-hoc party spaces existed because it was against the law to let people dance in commercial establishments without a license, due to the

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