Some Queens parents expressed outrage after discovering that their daughters have been taking dance lessons in the same Astoria building that houses an S&M club, the New York Post reported.
“It shouldn’t be in this building at all,” one angry parent of a student at Astoria Fine Arts, the dance studio, told the Post, regarding Bell Academy, an S&M group that hosts fetish-themed parties and workshops in the very same building. “There are children here . . . engaging in wholesome activities,” she said.
The city bans such businesses from operating within 500 feet of schools and residential areas, and the Department of Buildings confirmed to the Post that the location, on 23rd Avenue, was classified as a residential area.
But the owner of Bell Academy said the problem was one of prejudice, not zoning. “We understand it’s not everybody’s cup of tea,” owner Sebastian Bell told the Post. “That’s why we do everything we can to keep this discreet.” [Post]