We believe that the Blues dancing scene is a welcoming and inclusive place to be and that instances of inappropriate behavior are rare. Nevertheless, we are all responsible for the wellbeing of the blues community. By making some unsaid rules explicit, we feel that we are contributing to this responsibility. We love to dance and we want all dancers to feel safe and comfortable. The following guidelines apply to everyone who is attending Bear Blues Exchange including organisers, volunteers and musicians:
Be nice and treat people with respect. We do not tolerate any kind of discrimination according to sex, gender expression, sexual orientation, disability, origin, religious beliefs, nationality, age, physical appearance, lifestyle, dance experience, dance role or any other characteristic. We do not tolerate harassment in any form. This includes offensive verbal comments, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, unwelcome photography or recording, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention. We do in no way tolerate any kind of verbal, physical or sexual abuse.
Invite others to dance. Accept a No, even if it comes with no explanation. If you turn down someone else, be polite in doing so.
The personal boundaries of others may not be the same as your own. It is appropriate to tell someone when they’ve crossed a personal boundary. Do not touch anyone without consent. If you unintentionally touch a person’s private areas, apologize immediately.
You are responsible for your own physical safety and that of others nearby. Unsafe dancing includes (but is not limited to) jerking your partner around, unnecessarily forceful movement, bending over your partner during a dip or dipping yourself. If you bump into another dancer, take a moment to turn around, to smile and say sorry. Don’t perform aerials on the social floor. Don’t offer unsolicited advice or instruction, unless it would correct dangerous or uncomfortable movement.
If you consume alcohol, do it responsibly. If you’re drunk enough to pose a risk to yourself or to others, please leave the dance floor and retire to the bar. We will not tolerate disturbances due to someone being intoxicated by alcohol or other substances.
Care for your own personal hygiene. Please bring spare clothing, towels, mints and deodorant if necessary. Avoid strong personal odors, which includes heavy perfumes. When you choose your clothing, footwear and accessories, make sure that you don’t wear anything that is potentially hazardous to yourself or to others.
If you caught a bad cold or are sick, please keep in mind that you’re not only putting yourself to risk when you dance anyway. Close body contact is a fine transmission path for viruses. You might infect your dance partner.
If you transgress these terms, you will be required to adjust your choices and behavior. Violating these guidelines repeatedly and/or severely will have consequences. This may include, but is not limited to, being asked to leave without refund and exclusion from future events.
We are here for you! We encourage anyone who has experienced or witnessed intimidating or inappropriate behavior to tell the organisers. We will treat any reports with sensitivity and keep all details as confidential as possible. However, in the event of a police investigation, all information will become disclosable.
These guidelines are influenced by the codes of conduct of
- Safety in Swing Dance (https://safetyinswingdance.com/stepscode/)
- Perth Swing Dance Academy (http://perthswingdanceacademy.com/code-of-conduct/)
- Colorado Blues Dance (http://coloradobluesdance.com/code-of-conduct/)
- Sundown Blues (http://www.sundownblues.com/code-of-conduct.html)
- Austin Blues Dance (http://www.austinbluesdance.com/code-of-conduct.html)