Our dance community should be a fun, friendly place, where everyone can enjoy learning, dancing and have a great time. This code of conduct is meant to outline some ways we can work together to keep everyone safe and happy. It also helps explain what is and isn’t okay behavior. It talks a little about things any of us can do when someone’s behavior is unacceptable or not safe for those around them, and some things we as organizers might do to support a safe environment for everyone.
How to be popular and safe at events:
- Be respectful of those around you on the dance floor. If you bump into someone, apologize. If you hurt someone, apologize, and also try to figure out how you can keep it from happening again. This might mean not dancing with them again, or talking to your teacher.
- Respect other people’s boundaries. We can do some crazy things around here, but just because you see someone do something with someone else doesn’t mean they will want to do it with you! This applies to everything from close dance holds to moves like dips, flirty conversations or just agreeing to dance. If you aren’t sure of someone’s boundaries, or can’t tell from their nonverbal cues, then ask them. If you misjudge, and they ask you to stop, either verbally or nonverbally (such as with a facial expression or a body language cue), then stop.
- Ask, and respond, respectfully. People around here usually happily accept an invitation to dance, but it is also okay to say “no.” If you are turned down for a dance, please respect that decision and find someone else to dance with instead. If at any point in a dance you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, you can tell your partner that you are uncomfortable, ask for any adjustments you need, or stop the dance before the song ends without explanation. Requests for your own safety and comfort are respectful of your partner as your ally in creating fun for everyone, and are not the same as offering someone unsolicited feedback on their dance skills (which is generally considered rude). If you are often uncomfortable in dances or often the recipient of these kinds of requests for adjustments, you should
consider reaching out to a teacher or trusted ally for help.
- Remember that alcohol and other substances can make it harder to judge boundaries accurately; please be mindful of your limits so that you can be mindful of others.
This environment is for everyone
of race, age, level of dance, sexual orientation, gender/gender identity, disability, physical appearance, religion, or anything else. We do not tolerate harassment or threats of any kind. Any situation which makes another person feel unsafe or uncomfortable to the point of being unable to enjoy the event is unacceptable and can be considered harassment. If you harass or threaten someone, you may be asked to leave.
What to do if you witness or are subjected to unacceptable or harassing behavior:
Please watch out for each other and help us to take care of you. If you aren’t sure if someone else is okay, please take a closer look: ask them for a dance to draw them away from the situation, or ask, in a friendly way, if they need help. If you are subjected to harassing behavior, notice that someone else is being subjected to unsafe or unacceptable behavior, or have other concerns along these lines, you can seek out any Dance Jam Productions staff member (identified by their official nametags) for help. You can find DJP staff on duty at the event registration desk, or at the DJ booth when registration is closed, or you can directly text or call one of the people listed below; you may also ask the hotel or venue staff to find us.
We promise to listen and to treat you with respect and confidentiality.
Consequences of unacceptable behavior:
Anyone asked to stop unacceptable or harassing behavior is expected to do so immediately. Actions that compromise the safe and respectful environment of this event are not acceptable from any member of our community: attendees, teachers, judges, performers, volunteers or staff. Depending on the severity, event organizers’ interventions in response to a problem may range from talking to the offending person and asking them to do or not do something, to asking them to leave the venue immediately without warning, compensation or refund. Those conversations or actions may take place in private if that seems appropriate to the situation. If you see additional problems after you or someone else spoke with us initially, we’d like to hear about them too. We want this to be a place everyone can enjoy. We are grateful for your help and commitment to making our shared environment safe for everyone.
Suzanne New, Administrator
Kay Newhouse, Events Co-Director
Dave Moldover, Executive Director
This document was developed by Kay Newhouse and Dave Moldover for Dance Jam Productions, with reference to the Prevention Institute’s Spectrum of Prevention and the Association of Corporate Council’s Legal Resources, and modelled on codes of conduct from Mobtown Ballroom, Black Hat, and Charlottesville Swing Dance Society, among others, with help and input from many friends and allies.