Safer Spaces

It’s important to us that everyone feels they can have an awesome time when they’re dancing, and that means feeling comfortable and safe.

A Code of Conduct makes sure we have a shared understanding of what that means. Please take a moment to read it, as we expect everyone, teachers and students alike, to follow it.

The Edinburgh Swing Dance Society is dedicated to providing a safe and enjoyable social dance experience for everyone regardless of dance ability, dance background, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, religion or any other characteristic or trait.  We do not tolerate harassment in any form.  Individuals violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the venue at the discretion of the Society organisers.

While there is always some risk associated with any physical activity, we are committed to preventing injuries before they happen.  Unsafe dancing is any movement that puts anyone at an increased risk of physical injury.  This includes, but is not limited to, yanking or jerking your partner around or unnecessarily forceful movement when leading or following (risk of shoulder, arm, and upper back injuries), bending over your partner during a dip when leading (risk of lower back injuries), sudden weight sharing when following (don’t dip yourself), any lift where both of your partner’s feet go above your knees, or any dip where your partner’s head goes below knee level.  If you are unsure if a move is a safe move then it is best to refrain from using it.

Please be respectful of your partner’s comfort level.  Different partners have different personal boundaries regarding close embrace connection and non-traditional connection points.  If you’re not sure of your partner’s comfort level, ask them!  Likewise, ask for consent before attempting moves that compromise your partner’s balance.  This may include but is not limited to lifts and/or dips.  If your partner has expressed discomfort with certain moves or connection types please refrain from leading or using them as repeated requests or pressure to dance in that style may be considered harassment.

We encourage everyone to be open and inclusive in dancing with other members of the community.  However, you have the right to decline a dance at any time, and have your decision respected.  If someone consistently applies pressure on you to dance when you have declined, please contact the class or event organiser, as this may be considered harassment.

The Edinburgh Swing Dance Society Community supports the idea that dance roles (lead and follow) are not tied to gender.  We encourage all dancers to dance their preferred role.  We encourage all dancers to avoid assumptions regarding dance roles and to check in with their partners about their preferred role.

If a participant engages in harassing or unsafe behaviour, the class/event organiser may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender or expulsion from the class/event with no refund.

Harassment includes verbal comments that reinforce social structures of domination related to any of the above listed characteristics or traits, deliberate intimidation, sustained disruption of events, stalking, following, unwelcome or inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.  When asked to stop any harassing behaviour participants are expected to comply immediately.

If you believe you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact one of the class/event organisers immediately.  Your concerns will be kept confidential.

Our main safer spaces contact is Rhona Davies. Please contact her if you have any concerns. She will keep anything you say confidential, unless you say otherwise (or if you tell her that someone is at risk of significant harm, she may have to pass that information on).

Any violations of this Code of Conduct can be reported in person as above, or by emailing us at safespaces@hopscotch-swing.co.uk.  Anonymous reports will be accepted.

We appreciate your assistance in keeping our events and venues safe and welcoming for everyone.

 

This code of conduct has been adapted from the code of conduct of Sundown Blues, with permission.  The SDBS Code of Conduct is licensed under Creative Commons public domain license  so you’re welcome to use it in anyway you see fit.  Our CoC is based on the conference anti-harassment policy on the Geek Feminist Wiki.

Edinburgh Swing Dance Society committee members and teachers can be identified by our orange nametags on Thursday nights, and gold wristbands at events. If you need help with anything at any time, please ask one of us.

Dancefloor Etiquette

Swing Patrol have created an excellent graphic that shows how we can keep the floor safe and fun for everyone. This is all simple but important stuff, so please have a read!