PITTSBURGH - The ACLU of Pennsylvania and Adams Township reached an agreement today that allows a woman to open a dance-and-fitness studio in the township where she will teach pole dancing and other "sexy" dance techniques.
The ACLU-PA filed a lawsuit against the township last month on behalf of dance instructor Stephanie Babines after the township labeled Babines' dance studio an "adult business," thereby preventing her from opening the studio in its present location. Babines had already leased a space and spent $10,000 renovating it into a dance studio when the township denied her request for an occupancy permit.
The ACLU's suit claimed that township zoning officials' denial of an occupancy permit for her dance studio violated Babines' First Amendment right to teach dance classes to interested students.
"I'm excited and relieved that I'm able to offer classes to help women get in shape and release their inner goddess," Babines said.
"Although pole dancing may sound exotic, it's actually become a very popular form of exercise," said Sara Rose, ACLU-PA staff attorney. "We're delighted that women in Adams Township will have the opportunity to learn the art of pole dancing."
The case will continue to determine damages. In addition to Rose, ACLU-PA Legal Director Witold Walczak and cooperating ACLU attorney Michael Healey, from the law firm Healey & Hornack, are attorneys on the case. The consent order and other documents from the case can be found here.