Group wants Maui dance ban lifted - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Group wants Maui dance ban lifted

Jiva Jive, President of Maui Dance Advocates Jiva Jive, President of Maui Dance Advocates

No dance permit - no dancing.

That's been the rule in Maui County for decades. Critics say the rule has been enforced to the point of being ridiculous. But now some activists may finally get to celebrate a change in the law. Those dance fans are getting a lift from state lawmakers.

It's like modern day “Footloose” on Maui, said President of Maui Dance Advocates Jiva Jive.

The Maui County Liquor Control released a statement to Hawaii News Now saying, “If a liquor licensed business wants music, entertainment and dancing within its premises, a simple permit is required. An area approved for dancing shall have, when utilized, a minimum of one hundred square feet, be a non-consumption area, and shall be clearly designated for dancing.”

Jive said he saw a bouncer confront someone moving to the beat at a bar in south Maui about a decade ago.

"The second time, the bouncer was like, 'Hey man, I'm not gonna tell you again...there's no dancing.' And a few minutes later, the band is rocking and the guy starts dancing and the bouncer comes up, puts him in a head lock...and throws him out!" Jive said.

Jive said the bouncer was just following the County Liquor Control rules. But that's when he realized he wanted to change those rules.

“So if you have a dance floor, you can dance on the dance floor, but only in that quarantine zone, there's no dancing outside of it," Jive said.

"If you're tapping your toe, or bobbing your head, or just shaking your hips a little bit by the bar waiting for your drink, the bartender or the waitress is supposed to come up to you and tell you ‘I'm sorry, there's no dancing.," he said.

Six years ago, Jive started working with Senator Kalani English to craft a bill that will require “county liquor commissions to prescribe regulations on dancing in establishments licensed to serve alcohol through the adoption or amendment of administrative rules.”

Senate Bill 868 has gone farther than it has ever gone before.

Senator Will Espero chairs the committee this bill falls under. He says he supports it.

"I mean we're not talking anything really controversial, or bad or that's bad for you. It's just about dancing. So hopefully the county officials will put on their dancing shoes and try to resolve this problem,” Espero said.

Jive says dancing is a freedom of expression and he's advocating for all Maui residents to be able to move to the groove.

"Where they say OK you can't necessarily dance...but you can bob your head and you can tap your toe and you can move your hips a little bit. If we can get a little bit of wiggle took in life, we're gonna be more happy."

Senator Espero will now have to schedule a conference meeting and the Senate and House both need to agree on it before it can become law.

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