Tucson Progressive

Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona

Thomas Jefferson says: Stop the ‘War on Dancing’ (video)

Undoubtedly, the US government loves to wage war– besides the obvious wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and now Libya– we have the War on Drugs, the War on Terrorism, the War on Women, and now… drum roll please… the War on Dancing. (Video here.)

Religious groups have been trying to suppress dancing for decades– remember the protests against the jungle rhythms of “Elvis the Pelvis” and the early rockers?

Now the US government has stepped in. Under the auspices of the Patriot Act(!) freedom of expression– including dancing– in not allowed in public places including the Jefferson Memorial.

Come on, Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence!!!!! If anyone would allow people to dance on the smooth marble floor at his memorial, it would be Jefferson.

Check out the attached video above. According to an editorial in Sunday’s Arizona Daily Star by syndicated columnist Leonard J. Pitts, Jr.– Anti-dancing enforcement insults common sense— the first people to be arrested for violating the Patriot Act by dancing at the Jefferson Memorial were a group of interpretive dancers who were free-form floating around the memorial to celebrate the birthday of one of this country’s most progressive thinkers. I can envision spirit of Jefferson saying, “Hey– don’t arrest these people! What happened to the land of the free and home of the brave that I envisioned? Seriously, I don’t mind the dancing!”

As a dancer, a progressive, and a Jefferson groupie, I don’t think we should take this lying down. I think dancers should organize nationwide dancing flash mobs in protest suppression of our freedom under the Patriot Act. Below is a west coast swing flash mob in Chicago. Tucson has a very active West Coast Swing Club. As the song in these videos (below) says, “Dance like it’s the last night of your life.”

Swing City Chicago West Coast Swing Flash Mob 2010

3 comments on “Thomas Jefferson says: Stop the ‘War on Dancing’ (video)

  1. Mark B. Evans
    June 6, 2011

    “Come on, Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence!!!!!”
    There is a website that newsies like called “Overheard in the Newsroom” where working journalists post witticisms and other pithy statements made in newsrooms during the course of a day’s work.
    One of my favorites is this one: Editor to rookie reporter: “You only get to use an exclamation point once in your career; are you sure you want to use it now?”


    • Pamela Powers
      June 6, 2011

      Point well taken. I’m sure my j-school profs would not approve of 5 exclamation points either, but as you often remind me, this is an unpaid blog… not a newspaper. 🙂


  2. leftfield
    June 6, 2011

    I love it!!!!!  I couldn’t tell from the video, but having been there, I know that the place is generally filled and a goodly percentage of the visitors are from other countries.  I guess they have some really good stories to tell when they return home.  Welcome to America!  (No dancing allowed). 

    Police just hate it when someone does not “respect their authority”.   


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This entry was posted on June 6, 2011 by in Arizona, downtown, Free Speech, Tucson, Video and tagged , , , .

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The Tucson Progressive: Pamela Powers Hannley

I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth and the inherent self-worth of all individuals--not just people who agree with me or look like me.

Widespread economic and social injustice prompted me to become a candidate for the Arizona House, representing Legislative District 9 in the 2016 election. My platform focuses on economic reforms to grow Arizona's economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, growlocal small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs. I also stand for equal rights, choice, and paycheck fairness for women. I am running as a progressive and running clean.

My day job is managing editor for the American Journal of Medicine, an academic medicine journal with a worldwide circulation. In addition, my husband and I co-direct Arizonans for a New Economy, Arizona's public banking initiative. I am a member of the national board of the Public Banking Institute, and I am co-chair of the Arizona Democratic Progressive Caucus, the largest caucus of the Arizona Democratic Party.

I am a published author, photographer, videographer, clay artist, mother, nana, and wife. I have a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ohio State University and a masters in public health from the University of Arizona. I grew up in Amherst, Ohio, but I have lived in Tucson, Arizona since 1981. I am a proud member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson and the Public Relations Society of America.

My Tucson Progressive blog and Facebook page feature large doses of liberal ideas, local, state, and national politics, and random bits of humor. I also blog at Blog for Arizona and the Huffington Post.

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