Dancing in a club or restaurant on Maui has always been a cozy experience: women in tight tops moving just inches away from guys in knee-length shorts while everyone perspires because the dance floor is, well, tiny. It’s been this way because the Maui County Liquor Commission–the panel of mayoral appointees who meet once a month to approve liquor licenses and the county’s myriad rules for consuming and selling alcohol–want it that way. Those wondering why an agency tasked with liquor regulation has any interest at all in dancing won’t be surprised to find out that there’s not even a hard and fast definition of dancing in the rules.
But now all that’s going to change. Thanks to years of testifying and agitation by Maui residents like Jiva Jive (aka Anthony Simmons) and Ramoda Anand–and the rest of the Maui Dance Advocates–this year the state Legislature finally passed a bill (SB 868) that requires county liquor commissions to define “dancing.” With Governor David Ige’s consent, that bill–now known as Act 136–is the law of the land.
And this Wednesday, Aug, 12, the Maui County Liquor Commission will start discussing it (though their agenda mistakenly lists it as Act 135, which, in fact, deals with real estate seller disclosure). The deadline for the LC to craft a new dancing definition is Oct. 1 of this year.
For those wishing to show up, the meeting starts at 9am and takes place in the David K. Trask Office Building (2145 Kaohu St., Wailuku). I’m sure the commissioners will love to see you.
Click here for a PDF of the Aug. 12 Liquor Commission meeting agenda.
Photo of dancers at Hard Rock Cafe in Lahaina in 2010: MauiTime