Safe Spaces Directive
Swing Patrol Festivals are a place for learning new things, meeting new people, challenging ourselves and sharing great dances with friends new and old. We believe in the mixing of diverse groups of people. We believe in the strength of a community that exists with and for the support of the individual. We believe in humour and the power of not taking oneself too seriously. We believe that you are attending so you can see and participate in something real. In order to make this happen we need some help from you.
To put it simply, by attending any of these festivals you agree to being part of this event and to not be a person who will ruin someone else’s experience of the event. To put it into detail, please see this helpful list.
- This environment is for everyone regardless of gender/gender identity, race, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, religion, or whatever. We do not tolerate harassment of any kind. If you harass someone, you will be asked to leave immediately and you may be banned for life from not just from Swing Partol Festivals but all other Swing Patrol classes and events. It is at our discretion, but don’t think we won’t. So don’t do it. If you are on the receiving end of such behaviour please come and tell us.
- In keeping with the above, don’t use misogynist, misandrist, ageist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, racist or any other discriminatory language. It’s not only wrong, it’s embarrassing and in bad taste. If you hear such language, please tell us.
- Don’t treat BBB like a pick-up joint. Blues dancing can be sexy but that is not why our dancers attend, and to expect someone to translate dance chemistry to something more intimate chemistry is unrealistic.
Our dancers are not a large pool of people for you to hit on. They are here to dance. If you engage in this kind of behaviour and make our dancers uncomfortable, we will give you a formal warning about your behaviour, and may just simply show you the door. You also run the risk of being banned from BBB and all other Swing Patrol events.
If someone is putting the moves on you and won’t take no for an answer, please excuse yourself to go to the loo and come and tell us, or tell a friend who can.
- Whether you’re dancing, playing music or chatting to a friend, do not offer unsolicited advice. To anyone. Unsolicited advice is unfair and annoying.
- Please use discretion and manners with regards to your personal actions on and off the dance floor. Massaging a dancer’s shoulders without prior consent is an example. Being shirtless while you change tops in the main room is another example.
- Dancing is an activity that will make you hot and sweaty. You should bring changes of tops, some deodorant, and use them. This will be more pleasant for your fellow dancers to dance with you and near you. No-one ever wants to tell you if you smell, including us. Please, save us this pain.
Should you have any harassment-related complaints, please bring your concerns to any member of the BBB committee. If you’re not sure who is a committee member, ask any BBB volunteer.
We will treat these issues with the strictest confidentiality. Your courage in coming forward can keep incidents from being repeated.
If you are more comfortable reporting incidents to us after the event it makes it harder to take immediate action but is still important. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Safe Spaces Team
These kind folks are the committee members and volunteers we consider to be the most approachable and most emotionally intelligent in stressful incidents. Many of them are on Safe Spaces teams for other events and have experience in helping those who need to report something. They are not afraid of stepping in to assist with something that has been reported, and have authority to remove offending individuals. Please make use of them if something has made you uncomfortable or worse, they are here for you.
Alcohol is served at our venues. If you wish to drink alcohol at our event please do so responsibly. Please help us support our venues by buying a drink (alcoholic or nonalcoholic) at the bar – this keeps our venues happy and means we can come back the following year.
Please remember bar staff cannot and will not serve you if you appear intoxicated. If you get drunk and are putting your fellow dancers at risk we will ask you to take a time out while you get yourself together.
By coming to BBB you agree to never drive a car under the influence. We will gladly call you a cab. Underage drinking at BBB will of course not be tolerated, and will result in immediate and permanent expulsion from the venue. Underage intoxication of any kind will have the same effect. Providing alcohol to a minor is illegal (and often a form of harassment). If you do this you will likewise be banned for life.
Respect for the venues and equipment
Please respect the venues and the equipment and use common sense.
Do not put drinks on the speakers, DJ area, seats or on the floor where it can be kicked over. If you damage something, please own up to it. You may be financially responsible, but we will be very nice about it if you are, and consequences will be less severe than if you try to deny responsibility.
You are not obligated to dance with anyone you don’t want to dance with.
This also means that no one is obligated to dance with you. They do not have to give you a reason—perhaps they are recovering from an injury and your dancing style is more energetic than they can cope with. Perhaps you resemble someone with whom they had a traumatic experience. There are many possible scenarios where someone may not want to dance with you, and may also not want to give you a reason. Most of these scenarios have nothing to do with you. Maybe you just need a mint, who knows.
With this in mind, it is in very poor taste and contrary to the ideals of BBB to refuse dances based on a potential dance partner’s dance ability, gender/gender identity, race, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, religion, or any other form of discrimination.
If you refuse a dance, please do so politely, and certainly do not use any discriminatory language. If you ask someone to dance and they refuse, please accept the refusal graciously and politely as well. If someone says they will find you later, give them space and carry on with your night. If they don’t come and find you, get over it. It’s a busy event and not personal.
If there is a collision of any kind on the dance floor all parties involved should apologise. Be sensible on the dance floor and do not take risks that would endanger you, your partner or other dancers on the dance floor. Dipping your partner may be an example of this.
Hosts and guests
If you are being housed by a local, please be very considerate to your hosts, their flatmates, and other guests.
Hosts make dancing more affordable for all and help to build our community. If you fail to be an excellent guest, your host might not want to host dancers again, which can seriously harm this and other dance events. This means you should do things like clean up after yourself, be very considerate of your noise level, not hog the bathroom, not use or eat things that don’t belong to you without permission, respect your host’s house rules, and be deeply and sincerely thankful to your host for their hospitality.
Both hosts and guests should keep in mind that hosting is a unique social situation with unique power dynamics. Do not abuse the situation in any way, and also keep in mind that interactions which seem harmless to you may be interpreted differently from what you expect because of these power differentials. Just being mindful of this should keep the host/guest relationship positive for everyone.
Music Volume Levels
We strongly recommend to everybody that they wear ear plugs if they find themselves sensitive to music levels. Our trained sound engineers and evening managers monitor the levels to ensure maximum comfort for the entirety of our attendees. If the levels are causing you discomfort, please find the evening manager.
Please keep in mind that we are not able to list every inappropriate or offensive activity that someone might engage in. There may be consequences for your actions, whether or not those actions are mentioned in this policy. These consequences may range from a BBB committee member talking to you about your behaviour to legal action against you. For serious or repeated offences, this may include temporary or permanent ejection from the event without a refund and being banned from future BBBs and Swing Patrol events.