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Experts say proposed rules could step on some toes.

Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans, longtime foe of unregulated nightlife, is drawing the ire of musicians and restaurateurs with a bill that would forbid licensed restaurants from charging covers or having dance floors larger than 100 square feet. “If a restaurant is not allowed to make the conversion to a music venue late at night, the city will empty out at 11,” says Frederic Harwood, owner of 2K9 and chair of the lobbying group Committee for a Living City.

“If you want to be a nightclub,” Evans says, “get a nightclub license.”

The proposed floor-size restrictions, which would apply to licenses issued after Jan. 1, 2002, are even more stringent than the current 140-square-foot limit on tavern dance floors. “I’m not against fun,” Evans maintains. But how much fun, exactly, can fit in a 10-foot-by-10-foot square? Area dance experts weigh in:

Dance: That dancing you do at rock shows

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Possible on 10×10 floor?: Yes

Comment: “You just have to take turns. It’s the only Christian way to do it.”

Source: Travis Morrison of the Dismemberment Plan

Dance: Eightsome reel, a Scottish party dance

Possible on 10×10 floor?: No

Comment: “I’m not sure it could be done at all. You have to make a circle of the eight people, and it would almost be dangerous.”

Source: Betty Lee Barnes, Scottish-dancing instructor

Dance: Swing

Possible on 10×10 floor?: No

Comment: “It’s like the Beltway—you need room to maneuver.”

Source: Donna Barker, dance instructor

Dance: Flamenco

Possible on 10×10 floor?: Yes

Comment: “In many situations, it is danced in very small venues.”

Source: Douglas Yeuell, executive director of the Joy of Motion Dance Center

Dance: African dance

Possible on 10×10 floor?: No

Comment: “The bare skeleton amount is four dancers, three drummers, and a stilt-walker.”

Source: Bonita Cacho, director of Andrew Cacho African Drummers and Dancers

Dance: Ballet

Possible on 10×10 floor?: Maybe

Comment: “It might be an interesting challenge to restrict the choreography not to travel in space.”

Source: Septime Webre, artistic director of the Washington Ballet

Dance: The Electric Slide

Possible on 10×10 floor?: Yes

Comment: “Possibly five lines of seven people—maybe you could have 35 people. It’s not gonna be the world’s best Electric Slide.”

Source: Bill Davis, president of Davis Deejays

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