Dancing at DC weddings banned, but Parks and Recreation can host dance programs

Some are saying D.C. is starting to bring the plot out of the movie "Footloose" to life. 

No dancing or standing is allowed during a wedding reception, but the nation’s capital is hosting its own dance programs and dance studios can operate with safety guidelines in place. 

Wedding planners and venues are upset about this and want to know why they can’t function the same way? 

READ MORE: New restriction at DC weddings is turning brides and grooms away

Jeanette Taveras, President of Evoke Design and Creative, said they are in their busiest season, but losing money during an already difficult time due to this COVID-19 guideline in D.C. 

"It’s hurting businesses all over. Our industry is really suffering. We have been suffering since March 2020," said Taveras. 

She adds the industry was starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but now couples are cancelling their wedding for the second, third, or even fourth time during this pandemic. Taveras said it is frustrating couples because they don’t want to be limited with how they can celebrate their special day.

READ MORE: DC staying restrictive, neighboring states opening up

"We want to host safe events, but we need to reopen overall. We need to have dancing back. We need to have cocktail hour back. That’s what defines an event," said Taveras.

Mayor Muriel Bowser has promoted activities for seniors including line dancing on Twitter since last year in October during the pandemic and those events are still happening now. On the Department of Recreational Programs website, they have line dancing, cardio dance, and senior cardio dance all listed and those dance classes cater to the most vulnerable population, hit hardest during the pandemic. It is important to note masks are required for those classes and there are a limited number of people in each class.

FOX 5 asked to attend the line dancing class on Thursday, May 6 at 1 p.m. to get video and for an interview to explain the difference between dancing at a studio versus at a wedding, but our request was denied.

We did speak to Terry Chasteen, DanceSport Dupont Circle Dance Instructor, who explained that studios have restrictive rules in place creating a controlled environment and believes those guidelines would be harder to enforce during a wedding.


"At a wedding, you know everybody is seeing people they haven’t seen for a long time and so consequently you want to dance with everybody. There’s no restriction and it’s really dangerous," said Chasteen. "It’s a catch 22, but at the same time it’s for everybody’s safety."

Chasteen teaches couples dances for their weddings, but he told FOX 5 they moved their wedding outside of D.C. to be able to perform their first dance. 

When will people be able to dance again at weddings in D.C.? Well, the mayor’s office said all COVID-19 guidelines will be reevaluated on July 4th. That is two months away. Many couples are deciding to not take the risk with the uncertainty of the future so they are moving their wedding outside of DC to spots like Virginia and Maryland. 

Stay with FOX 5 for updates.