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Jiva Jive (pronounced Jeeva Jeeveh) of the Maui Dance Advocates spoke with Joe Kent to discuss the dancing laws on Maui. The interview was recorded  as part of the Grassroot Institute with Dr. Keli’i Akina, a radio show on KAOI 1110AM Maui and KKNE 940AM Oahu.

“Special conditions A and B state that dancing must take place on a dance floor approved by the director, with a minimum of 100 square feet, non-consumption zone,” began Jiva Jive, explaining Maui’s outdated dancing laws, “Pretty much they have to tape off an area, you can’t have drinks, you can’t have food in that area. If you don’t have that permit, there is no dancing allowed on that premises.”

To understand the law, it is important to know what measures can be taken to enforce it. “The liquor control is not telling me that I cannot dance, they’re telling the restaurants and bars that they can’t allow me to dance,” said Jiva, “So they have to tell their bouncers, these are the rules… you have to enforce it, that’s your job. If you’re an establishment and you don’t enforce the rules, they’ll fine you, or have you go in front of the board and plea your case. But they never really had a definition of dancing, so it was very ambiguous.” To better understand the law, Jiva has been trying to get the government to define dancing, “If you can’t dance, then what is it?” Jiva asked, “Nine years ago we asked them to define dancing… on October 7th [2015], the liquor control had a hearing to define dancing.”

The Maui Brewing Company recently had to enforce the law to prevent legal repercussion. “People that were there told me about this. They were just standing there, physically enjoying the music, and [security] came up to them and told them to stand still,” Jiva explained.

In 2015, the Hawaii legislature updated the definition of dancing, however, the onerous law that prohibits dancing in an establishment without a dancing permit continues on Maui.

Listen to the full interview here: