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Finally, Spontaneous Dancing Is No Longer Illegal in Sweden

The 1970s ban on dancing without a permit is lifted: the Swedish people are free to be a slave to the rhythm once more.

Photo by flickr user Vladimir Pustovit

This article originally appeared on VICE Sweden

The days of illegal public voguing, daggering, popping and/or locking are now over in Sweden, as the government has finally agreed to abolish the law requiring public places to obtain a license for people to legally bust a move. Swedes are now free to be a slave to the rhythm in public—which mostly boils down to tapping wooden clogs to the beat of ABBA, but still.

Spontaneous dancing had been outlawed in Sweden since the 1970s, when it became a requirement for bar owners, festival organizers, and other public places to apply for a dancing permit from the police. And it wasn't one of those weird lingering laws that never gets exercised—like how it's illegal for women in Liverpool to be topless unless they work in a tropical fish store.

In 2015, two restaurant owners in Uppsala were fined after dancing broke out in t people dancing in their restaurant while there was no dancing permit. Another case of unlawful dancing took place in the town of Ockelbo last year. A market organizer was taken to court because a booth was playing "dance-friendly disco music," according to the Swedish police, because apparently dance-unfriendly disco music is more preferred.

The dance permits have been a way for Swedish police to avoid public disorder that can lead to riots. Which is nonsense, as everybody who has seen Footloose knows. The Swedish government has finally come to see that a spontaneous jitterbug does not necessarily lead to anarchy. The Swedes will celebrate this day by actually taking to the streets to two-step together to the beat of freedom. Congrats Sweden!