Dance Safety / Policies

 

​We want to create a safe and friendly environment. Please be aware of the following guidelines:

 

Guidelines

  • Try to dance with each person once until you’ve danced with everyone in the room (wherever possible). Make sure everyone at social dancing has the chance to be included and enjoy their time at dance. Generally you don’t have consent to assume a second or third dance. 

  • Never teach or give feedback on the social floor or during classes. Your goal is to provide your partner with a fun dance, not to give them a lecture or talk them through patterns. There are always revision sessions available after class and during social dancing where you can seek advice.

  • Be cautious of your partner’s physical comfort and limitations when dancing. Consider how recovering injuries, dance experience, height or other factors might influence what your partner can do. Make sure not to rest your thumb on your partner’s hand, to pull too hard on your partner’s arm or to lower the follower’s arm as they turn underarm, as these can cause injury. Folds and ducks are potentially dangerous if forced or if your partner is injured. 

  • Consent is important. If at any time you don’t wish to dance, you can say “No thanks”, with no further explanation. If someone says this to you, don’t be offended or try and talk them into dancing. Just move along without offence. If you are asking someone to dance, ask for their consent clearly (e.g. ‘Hey, would you like to dance?’) and make sure they give clear consent to dance with you (e.g. ‘Yes, I would love to’), rather than grabbing people. 

  • Dance West Coast Swing (WCS).  We generally like to stick to WCS on the social dance floor, but if you would like to dance to another style you must ask your partner before the dance. Teaching your partner moves from another dance style while on the social floor is a double offense! 

  • Feel free to choose whatever dance role you prefer. We invite everyone to choose their own role, lead or follow, but if you’re a beginner, we recommend you stick to one role for the first few months while learning.  We expect people to dance with leaders/followers of any gender without bias. 

  • Respect people’s boundaries. Remember that dance is a vulnerable place, and everyone enjoys themselves best when they feel physically comfortable and safe with their dance partners. We do not tolerate any kind of verbal or physical harassment of our dancers.

Behaviours that might make your partner uncomfortable include:

  • Physical contact that is unnecessary and inappropriate to the social dance or social class. Sometimes mistakes happen and that’s ok - just make sure you apologise to your dance partner and give them their personal space afterwards;

  • Inappropriate comments/jokes about people, clothing, dance lyrics, dance style or otherwise;

  • Sexually suggestive dance moves;

  • Pursuing a dancer for multiple dances, before you have danced with everyone else in the room or after they have declined an offer to dance with you;

  • Using leads that are uncomfortable and dangerous or overly familiar (like neck or head leads);

  • Contacting someone on social media with unsolicited and explicit advances;

 

How to report a problem

  • If someone makes you feel uncomfortable in any way, or you see something which appears inappropriate, we would like you to report it. This can be done in strict confidence. No specific level of inappropriate behaviour needs to be met.  

  • You can also ‘message’ Street Swing on Facebook, or ‘email’ dance@streetswing.co.nz. 

  • Our designated contacts for harassment issues are Raechel Allen-Jones and Alison Gibson, but you can contact any crew member you feel comfortable talking to.  

 

Further Help / Support Services

You may want to talk to an independent professional for advice/support. Here are a couple of great options that are free to use.

 

Need to Talk 

Confidential help from a trained counsellor or peer support worker anytime, 24 hours a day.

Freephone or Text: 1737

 

Safe to Talk
Harassment/Sexual Harm support from trained specialists anytime, 24 hours a day.

Freephone: 0800 004 334 Text: 4334