Sweden will not ditch law against spontaneous dancing

Five out of eight parties in the Swedish parliament have voted against spontaneous dancing at bars as the Liberal Party failed to pass a motion to get rid of dance permits.

If you decide to take a twirl at a Swedish bar or at any other establishments that do not hold a “dance permit”, then the owners could face a hefty fine. Because according to Swedish law, you have to apply for a special permit before arranging dance events. If you do not have such a permit and your guests spontaneously decide to dance, you must ask them to stop.

For a while it looked like Sweden may abolish the dance permit as more and more politicians spoke up against it. The Green Party, for instance, said at their latest party conference that they would fight to get rid of the permit and now they are in government along with the Social Democrats.

But on Friday, only the Left Party and the Sweden Democrats supported a Liberal Party proposal to ditch the dance permit.

Addressing parliament on Friday, Liberal Party MP Mathias Sundin said: “This dance permit was unmodern even when it was introduced a long, long time ago. It should be abolished as soon as possible.”

“Exactly what constitutes dancing? Is it when guests at an establishment start moving a bit to the music? Or is it when they hook arms? Or when they twirl around like so?” Sundin asked, mimicking the movements in an apparent effort to portray the dance permit as an absurd, outdated phenomenon.

Different motions to abolish the dance permit were presented every year between 2007 and 2010, but between 2011 and 2014 a total of 20 proposals were presented by MPs from all parties except the Social Democrats, the Christian Democrats and the Left Party.

But while criticism against the permit is mounting, for now, it looks like Swedes will still need a license to dance.

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