If you need help, if you are injured and require medical attention, if you fear for your safety or feel threatened, or if you would like to make the organisers aware of inappropriate behaviour, contact a member of the core organising team – Ulrike, Kate, Malte, Anna – (either at the bar, by phone/whatsapp or firstname.lastname@example.org) or approach one of the volunteers, who will tell us.
Don’t hesitate. We have your back.
*This policy is a near-copy of the Safety page of the Swing Dance Sydney website, adapted and amended for the specific context of BCC. We are grateful to Swing Dance Sydney director Sam Carroll for consistently providing best practice examples in this area. Check out http://dogpossum.org/ for excellent, practice-oriented discussions and resources on how to combat sexualised, racialised (and other) forms of bullying and harassment in the dancing scene and beyond.
CODE OF CONDUCT
THERE’S ROOM FOR ALL OF US
We welcome all dancers and lovers of music regardless of gender/gender identity, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, religion, and so on.
YOU ARE PART OF THIS.
In joining us at the castle, or agreeing to work with us as a teacher, DJ, musician, techie, volunteer, performer, vendor, cook, bartender or anything else, you agree to treat all participants with care and respect, and to read and abide by this code of conduct.
WE LOOK OUT FOR EACH OTHER
If you harass someone, you may be asked to leave the castle, you may be banned in future by the organising team, you may be placed on a watch list, the police may be notified. This is at the discretion of the organisers. We don’t have to give you a second chance.
Do not use misogynist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, or racist language.
YOUR BODY IS IMPORTANT
Respect the bodies and persons of other people: do not touch without asking permission, stop if someone asks you to stop touching them, and give others space and time alone if they need it.
BE OK WITH PEOPLE SAYING NO
If you ask someone to dance – or to do anything else with you – and they say “No thank you,” be ok with that. Reply, “Hey, no worries – maybe another time!” and move on to keep enjoying your time at the castle. No one is obliged to dance (or do anything at all) with you.
YOU CAN SAY NO
If someone asks you to dance and you want to, say “YES please!” Nothing is better than enthusiastic consent. If someone asks you to dance and you don’t want to, say “No thank you” and leave it at that. You don’t owe anyone an explanation. This goes for all activities, not just dancing.
Keep in mind that this is a tumble-down old castle; tread lightly, watch your step and your head, and take care of those around you. On the dancefloor: you must have clear verbal consent from every dance partner before you do lifts, drops, or aerials. Off the dancefloor: you must have clear verbal consent from people around you for any joint activities, whatever form they take. And just because you had consent once, doesn’t mean you have it now.
SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY
WHAT IS SEXUAL HARASSMENT?
The European Institute of Gender Equality defines sexual harassment as including:
- unwanted conduct of a sexual nature, including unwanted sexual acts and requests to carry out sexual acts
- physical contact of a sexual nature
- comments of a sexual nature
- unwanted showing or public exhibition of pornographic images
with the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of the person concerned, in particular where it creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment, and:
- intentionally or knowingly asserting or disseminating an untrue fact related to another person, which may defame that person or negatively affect public opinion about that person or endanger that person’s creditworthiness
It can also include any other behaviour that may be considered an offence under criminal law, such as physical assault, indecent exposure, sexual assault, stalking, or obscene communications.
HOW DOES THIS RELATE TO DANCING?
Harassment is unwanted or unwelcome behaviour (sexual or otherwise) which makes a person feel offended, humiliated, or intimidated.
This means it’s ILLEGAL to hold a dance partner very close if they don’t want to be held.
If someone says they don’t want to dance, and you insist, touching them and pulling them, it is harassment.
Avoid ‘creepy lingering hands’ and ‘boob swipes’, touching a partner’s bottom, groin, upper legs, etc. If you accidentally do so, apologise immediately. If you do this repeatedly, you will be warned or ejected from the event.
Sexual harassment does not include mutual and consensual interaction, flirtation, or friendship.
- Happy, consensual dances (no matter how close the position) are OK.
- ‘Hooking up’ (having sex) at a dance event with a consenting adult is also totally OK, provided you do it in an appropriate place (shared dorms and public spaces are not appropriate).
Sexual harassment law applies to workplaces. That means it’s ILLEGAL to sexually harass your dance teacher or student, your DJ or sound engineer, volunteer or musician, event manager, MC, or performer.
We have a legal and moral obligation to actively prevent sexual harassment.
We WILL act immediately on your reports or complaints, and we will warn and/or eject offenders.
Sexual harassment can be obvious or indirect, physical or verbal, repeated or one-off, and perpetrated by males and females against people of any sex.
If you aren’t sure, if you think it’s creepy or makes you feel uncomfortable and you want a second opinion, if you see something and you’ve got a hunch ASK for advice.
HOW DO I AVOID SEXUALLY HARASSING SOMEONE?
ASK FOR CONSENT.
“Would you like to dance?”
“Would you like a drink?”
“Would you like to take a walk?”
“Would you like to have excellent, consensual sex with me?”
WAIT FOR VERBAL CONSENT.
“Yes, I’d love to dance.”
“Yes please, I’d like a drink.”
“Yes, I’d love to take a walk.”
“YES! Excellent, consensual sex with you would be NICE!”
YES TO DANCE does not equal YES TO SEX
Saying yes to a dance, a drink, or kissing doesn’t mean someone is also saying yes to a walk, sex, or air steps.
ALWAYS GET CONSENT
Even if you’ve been given consent before, ask every time, and use your words.
BE OK WITH PEOPLE SAYING NO.
“No thank you” is all the answer they need to give. Nobody owes you an explanation.
AIM FOR ENTHUSIASTIC CONSENT.
“YES! I’d LOVE to dance with you!”
“I’d love to go for a walk!”
“Wow, kissing you would be WONDERFUL!”
IF SOMEONE SAYS “STOP!” OR “NO” YOU MUST STOP IMMEDIATELY.
On or off the dance floor. No excuses, no arguing.
PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR DANCE PARTNERS.
Be careful not to touch them inappropriately (eg on their thighs, groin, bottom, etc) and take all care to avoid hurting them. Like Frankie said, they are the queen of the world (whether they’re a man or a woman, leading or following).