It might seem absurd, but dancing on a street in Minneapolis is a punishable offense.
If City Councilmember Cam Gordon (2nd Ward) has his way, however, people will be free to bust a move without legal repercussions. He has introduced an amendment that would delete the city's ordinance banning dancing on the streets.
The measure, introduced at the Feb. 24 Council meeting, has been referred to the Council's Transportation and Public Works committee.
Minneapolis Ordinance 427.240 reads: “No person shall dance or engage or participate in any dancing upon any public street or highway in the city; and no person shall provide for, promote or conduct any dance or dancing upon any public street or highway in the city, except at a block party.”
The ordinance has been in effect since 1960.
“I just think it's unnecessary and I also think it makes the city look a little bit silly when it's being used,” Gordon said. “I just want to take it off the books. It seems like if you're going through the crosswalk and you want to dance a little jig, or if you're getting out of your car and you want to click your heels a couple of times, that should be fine.”
The local media has highlighted the ban on street dancing in recent months. In December, Star Tribune columnist Doug Grow wrote about Paul Wicklund, a 45-year-old man who was issued a $112 ticket for dancing near the University of Minnesota campus. In September, WCCO-TV aired a report in about a man cited for dancing on Downtown streets.
Gordon said the man ticketed Downtown was homeless. He said his office is talking with police about revising other city ordinances as well, including misdemeanor offenses like loitering and lurking.
A public hearing on the ordinance is set for May 2.