What social dance? What social dance—where should I go to the dance? And a social dance can mean either ballet or music. That’s a very general question. It has to go somewhere,” the judge asked, adding: “There is something about music that allows for expression; music lends itself to social dance and to group dance.”
This is the first time that the judge has considered the question of what constitutes social dancing in a court of law.
“The defendant argues that music is expressive and that the plaintiff’s claim is so similar to a claim of expressive conduct that the court should allow the claim of social dance,” he said. “I disagree.”
In the lawsuit, which goes back to December 2006, the plaintiff says that the defendant, a dance company called The Cenote Dance Company, is in breach of the BDA and must be held liable. The dancer alleges that the company “intentionally and willfully violated the Act” by allowing patrons to purchase its dance material and that the defendants “systematically deceived and misled” dance students and staff over their membership in the company.
The Cenote, based in New Brunswick, Ont., says its dance material is performed by students who come from diverse backgrounds and are not affiliated with the defendants.
It’s the first time an individual claim has been made in a case before a court of law in Canada in which social dance is considered. In an e-mailed statement to the Star, The Cenote says the issue the court discussed was whether social dances should be covered by the BDA. “The judgment does not resolve that problem,” the company says.
A separate lawsuit, brought by two dancers who said that they were denied access to the dance company’s “Wet Dance” class, appears scheduled to go to trial next year.
While the Cenote Dance Company describes its material as “non-political” and says its dances involve “cultural and social diversity” and “community-building,” the Star’s review of its website suggests that the company’s social dance classes are far removed from the Cenote’s political orientation.
The site states that the “dance lessons are designed to help students learn new and exciting dance moves and techniques that they can bring out in social situations.” Its dance classes, its website says, are taught “in a variety of styles and styles, including American, Brazilian, European and Japanese.” There is no mention of the BDA.
Among the Cen
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