Safe Space Policy
We strongly recommend that all our new and existing dancers carefully read our Safe Space Policy & Dance etiquette below and we encourage everybody to implement these rules to create a dancing community safe for all.
At SwingdanceUK we are committed to providing a friendly, safe and inclusive environment for all regardless of gender/gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religion, disability or physical appearance. We believe going out should be about fun & freedom and not fear… We want all of our dancers to feel welcomed and comfortable at our classes, workshops and events and try to foster an atmosphere where people can talk and dance with any participant, not just those within their immediate social circle. Our code applies to everyone, whether you are an international teacher, a DJ or a first-time dancer. We are particularly committed to ensuring that dancing experience (or lack of) is not a barrier and that beginners feel encouraged and valued by our more experienced dancers and teachers.
Every dancer plays a role in allowing us to maintain and grow our community and with that in mind we ask that you read the following code of conduct in full to help us keep the space safe for every participant.
Lead and follow roles are not gender specific and dancers are welcome to dance as both leaders and followers.
Swing dancing is a social dance, we expect you to be considerate and respectful of yourself, your partners and others; we expect you to refrain from demeaning, discriminatory or harassing behaviour and speech. Harassment or bullying won’t be tolerated and by attending any of our events in any capacity you agree to this policy.
Be considerate of other dancers on the dance floor. Say sorry if you bump into someone, even if it wasn’t your fault. Aerials and tricks should only be carried out where appropriate and safe to do so, for example in a jam session with a consenting partner and with plenty of space around you. Remember your partner may have an injury that you’re unaware of and even dipping a partner might hurt them. Every interaction at our events, classes or social dances needs to happen with consent from both parties.
At events where alcohol is permitted, please drink sensibly and in moderation. Drinking too much will not be accepted as an excuse for behaving inappropriately.
At SwingdanceUK we pride ourselves on having a welcoming, friendly and inclusive community. You are not obligated to dance with anyone you don’t want to. You don’t need to offer an explanation, just a polite refusal. Similarly, if at any point you wish to stop dancing with someone, you can stop, but remember they have feelings too. Where appropriate please tell your partner if something is uncomfortable or hurts.
Don’t be offended if someone refuses a dance with you, please accept the refusal graciously. There are many reasons why someone may refuse a dance, most of which will have nothing to do with you. When you ask somebody to dance, make sure you leave space for them to agree or turn down your request – and be ok with either answer. Some people prefer to be asked verbally and not only through body language; ask for clarification if your partner’s answer or body language is not clear to you.
What should I do if something’s not right? How should I react?Talk to the person if you feel comfortable doing so or ask somebody else to if you can. Try to speak openly, directly, from your own perspective and to the point addressing the immediate issue. E.g. “I feel pain in my right shoulder when we dance these kinds of movements”, “your clothes are rather wet” or “I feel very uncomfortable when your hand is that low”.
It is absolutely critical that all dancers feel respected and safe at our events. If you experience or witness any behaviour that makes you feel uncomfortable, upset or threatened, please speak to the main teacher or event promotor immediately. They will either help you or direct you to someone in charge.
If you would like to speak to someone at another time, please contact Simon at Simon@swingdanceuk.com or 07932 775 886. We will treat these issues with the strictest confidence and by coming forward you may prevent future incidents from occurring. If the incident has occurred outside of the event please speak to us, even if you are unsure as to whether it is relevant.
Complaints of inappropriate behaviour or harassment will be followed up (either immediately, or at a later time, depending on the nature of the complaint) in consultation with the complainant, directly, with or without your presence. Actions we may take include, upon investigating the complaint, speaking to the accused about their behaviour, asking them to leave the event, banning them from all future SwingdanceUK classes/events, reporting the incident to the police.
Please be aware that while we will deal with all complaints sensitively and confidentially, we are not trained counsellors. Where there is an issue outside of our scope of expertise, we will make you aware of relevant organisations who can help you.
We strongly encourage anyone who has experienced any sexual harassment to report it to the police. The official advice is to dial 999. You can also report a crime online at any time via Police.UK and it can be at any time after the offense has happened.
(Adapted from JiveSwing.com & Swingstep.com)