No one in a nightclub can stand up and dance at their table or at the bar. Nor can people dance in an aisle, as they walk to or from the restroom or anywhere else in the club besides whatever small zone has been specially taped-off and designated strictly for dancing.
These rules date back many years and come from the Maui County Department of Liquor Control, instead of, say, the Fire Department, which enforces capacity restrictions for establishments that don’t have liquor licenses. Though club-goers have long criticized these rules, the LC never really did anything about it because people rarely complained to them directly. Now that’s changed.
Ramoda Anand, confined to a wheelchair because of severe Cerebral Palsy, and his friend Anthony Simmons have slowly but steadily been agitating the LC on the issue of dancing. During the Oct. 11, 2006 Liquor Commission hearing, both men asked the commissioners—who approve all the county’s liquor laws—if they could explain what exactly the LC considered “dancing.”
Not really satisified with the answer given them by LC Director Franklyn Silva—“you know it when you see it”—they set up a modest webpage linking to a few news articles and letters at www.myspace.com/mauidanceadvocates and began calling for a public hearing on potentially changing the rules governing dancing. In March, the LC agreed.
The Liquor Commission will discuss changing the dancing rules sometime near the end of their next hearing, which begins at 9 a.m. on Wednesday,April 11. The commissioners meet in the Room 107 conference room of the Trask Building, which is located at 2145 Kaohu St. in Wailuku. Anyone wanting more information can call the LC at 243-7753.
“I want as many people as I can get to show up,” Anand emailed me on Mar. 26. “[I]t would be great if the room was packed.”