Dance canceled because of ordinance that forbids dancing

A couple dances during the opening day of the annual festival and championship in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012. The two-week long event offers more than 500 free dance lessons, concerts and recitals. Hundreds of professional dancers will compete in the championship and teach many the eight basic steps of the dance in the city where it was born. (AP Photo/Eduardo Di Baia)

HENRYETTA, OK (AP) — A small Oklahoma town is echoing the story line of ’80s movie “Footloose” by canceling a Valentine’s Day dance because of an arcane city ordinance enforcing a strict moral code.

KTUL-TV reports that the organizer canceled the dance in Henryetta because it would have taken place 300 feet from a church, in violation of an ordinance that forbids dancing within 500 feet of a place of worship.

Mayor Jennifer Clason, who was born in Henryetta, says she always knew about the old city ordinance but that it has never been enforced. Police Chief Steve Norman says his department has no interest in doing so.

Clason says city councilors will consider abolishing the ordinance during their Feb. 22 meeting.

The town of 6,500 is 90 miles east of Oklahoma City.

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