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Internet Archive's Wayback Machine
Internet Archive's Wayback Machine

The Deluxe Line Dance, McDonald's Attempt at an Arch Deluxe Dance Craze

Internet Archive's Wayback Machine
Internet Archive's Wayback Machine

In 1996, McDonald’s introduced a new line of sandwiches in an effort to capitalize on an untapped market: urbane, culinary sophisticates. The Arch Deluxe, “the burger with the grown-up taste™,” featured fancier ingredients (“bakery-style roll!”) and a beefed-up price tag. It was an immediate and infamous failure, and the entire line was discontinued shortly after its disastrous and expensive rollout.

McDonald’s' massive marketing campaign reportedly cost some $300 million. Commercials for the Arch Deluxe took a slightly unconventional track and featured children expressing outright disgust with the very product that was being advertised:

McDonald’s also launched a website for the Arch Deluxe, and it can still be accessed thanks to the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. Back in 1996, the fact that you had a website was far more important than whatever you actually put on it, and the Deluxe Line’s barebones Internet presence reflects this. There’s a industrial-looking cross-section of the Arch Deluxe, with descriptions in comic sans (naturally):

Internet Archive's Wayback Machine

Even more intriguing is what lies behind the animated GIF of a gyrating Ronald McDonald. Clicking this brings you to a step-by-step instructional guide for the “Deluxe Line Dance,” because what says “discerning gourmand” better than a dancing clown? According to the brief intro:

People across America are McSteppin' to the beat of the newest dance craze, the Deluxe Line Dance! Created by celebrity choreographer Debbie Allen, the new dance is fun and easy to learn. So put on your dancin' shoes and read on…


Internet Archive's Wayback Machine

According to a Chicago Tribune article from the Arch Deluxe’s launch, McDonald’s intended for the Deluxe Line Dance to capitalize on the popularity of the Macarena, and they spared no expense: “McDonald's McShuttled employees from all around its Oak Brook headquarters campus for ‘Do the Deluxe’ lessons and a pep rally kicked off with a live performance by the Village People in full regalia.”

While you may not be able to purchase an Arch Deluxe anymore, you can still keep the spirit of this marketing disaster alive by doing the Deluxe Line Dance. Don’t skip step 7—“Step forward and form the ‘Golden Arches’ with your arms”—lest you end up looking like a juvenile fool.

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politics
New York City Will Now Allow You to Dance Without a License
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In New York City, there’s a tricky law on the books that requires any business serving food or drinks to acquire what’s known as a Cabaret License in order to allow customers to dance. The mandate stems from a 1926 policy introduced by then-mayor Jimmy Walker to help curb what some residents believed to be “altogether too much running wild” in the Jazz Age clubs of the era. (It's also possible that the law was meant to prevent interracial coupling.) City officials have regularly enforced the law during the proceeding century, with some clubs even cutting off music—or switching to country—when inspectors arrived unannounced.

Now, it appears the outdated restriction has come to an end. According to The New York Times, Brooklyn councilman Rafael Espinal has introduced a bill expected to pass Tuesday that will forever end any and all comparisons to the 1984 Kevin Bacon film Footloose. The repeal comes on the heels of concerns that the prohibition pushes people into attending "underground" dance clubs that exceed (or ignore) fire department capacity limits.

While Espinal is convinced he has the necessary votes to move forward, several proprietors have attempted to challenge the law over the years. In 2014, bar owner and attorney Andrew Muchmore filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court claiming that the restriction was outdated and obtaining the license was a laborious process. To approve an application, the city’s Department of Consumer affairs has to verify a venue has security cameras and owners have to attend regular board conferences. The cost of the license can range from $300 to $1000, depending on the area’s capacity and, for some unfathomable reason, whether it’s an even or odd year.

Espinal's efforts and anticipated success getting rid of the Cabaret Law will cap 91 years of illicit dancing within the city limits. Just don't get too cozy with your partner: thanks to another antiquated regulation, you can still be fined $25 for flirting.

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Animals
Move Over, Goat Yoga: Alpaca Dance Classes Have Arrived
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A surprising number of people want to exercise alongside farm animals. Multiple farms across the U.S. offer yoga with goats, a livestock twist on the trend of doing yoga with cats. And in Canada, you can now learn to dance with alpacas, according to Travel + Leisure.

Anola, Manitoba's 313 Farms launched its all-ages AlpacaZone Dance and Fitness classes this summer, offering hip-hop, barre, pilates, and cardio classes for six weekends.

Sadly, the alpacas aren’t teaching the dances. But the classes do take place outdoors among the merry camelids, who are free to wander into your choreography at any time. Taking a water break during class is so passé; better to take an alpaca-petting break. After class, you get a meet-and-greet with the animals, giving you even more time to pal around. (Take note: One of the alpacas reportedly loves kisses.)

Two adults and several children dance in the midst of an alpaca pasture.
Courtesy 313 Farms

313 Farms owner Ann Patman told Travel + Leisure that she was inspired to start the alpaca dance program when a nearby farm started offering a popular goat yoga series. Patman, a Detroit native who named her farm after her hometown’s area code, had previously worked at a dance studio.

The registration for classes like the hip-hop focused “Poppin’ Pacas” and “Barn Barre” costs a low $10 pre-sale, or $15 the day of. The AlpacaZone classes end on August 19, but the owners may offer more because of high demand. Sounds like it's time for a little alpaca-exercise-induced road trip to rural Canada.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

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