Safety and Code of Conduct

We believe that the swing dancing world is welcoming, supportive (and awesome!) and that instances of inappropriate behaviour are rare. Our Code of Conduct is designed to acknowledge that we all have a responsibility to build safety into events, and to contribute to the well being of the whole community. We love to dance, and we want you to love it too.

Lancaster Lindy Circle, and the wider swing dance scene in Lancaster, are fully committed to supporting the safety and wellbeing of everyone who attends our events. We have implemented the STEPS (Safety, Trust, Engagement, Prevention, Support) code of conduct for everyone. Part of this entails keep a log of incidents that we have witnessed, or have been reported to us. This is to maintain clear records in case patterns of behaviour are identified. This log is maintained jointly with Bay Balboa.

We encourage anyone who has experienced or witnessed intimidating or inappropriate behaviour to tell an organiser. We reserve the right to take whatever action we feel is appropriate to protect the safety and wellbeing of people in our scene; this may include asking people to leave our classes and events and/or contacting the police. However, we will respond to information in a measured and discrete way and will involve you in the decision-making progress regarding what action we take.

But also, safety people are available for discussion and reassurance, not just formal reports. Worried about not improving in your dancing? Finding things difficult at the moment? Please do tell us about your concerns, even small ones, – we’re here for you!

Within the Lancaster scene suggested points of contact are Chris Arridge at Bay Balboa (chris AT baybalboa.co.uk), Suzi Byrne at Bay Balboa (suzi AT baybalboa.co.uk), or you can simply email steps AT baybalboa.co.uk, and also Jen Lawler and Kate Bloomer at Lancaster Lindy Circle. If you prefer to talk in person, or would prefer to speak to another member of staff, you are welcome to do so at any event throughout the year. If you’d rather speak to someone outside of our immediate group, all of the people listed on the Safety in Swing Dance website here are ready to listen. Safety in Swing Dance organisers and teachers will happily provide support to anyone experiencing problematic behaviours in the Swing dance scene, not just our own dancers and students, see the entire Safety in Swing Dance website for more details.

UNDERSTAND

We understand that following these guidelines ensures a better experience for all. There are consequences of any kind of verbal, physical or sexual abuse.

NICE

We will be nice to everyone and treat all people with respect.

RESPECTFUL

We will be respectful and acknowledge that the personal boundaries of others may not be the same as our own.

INCLUSIVE

We will be inclusive and invite others to dance, and we will be gracious if turned down.

PROMISE

The organisers will promise to treat any reports from dancers from Lancaster, or other scenes, with sensitivity and to keep all details as confidential as is possible.

Full Code of Conduct

The following good people guidelines apply to EVERYONE attending a STEPS Code event, including members of staff, volunteers and visiting teachers:

1. We will be NICE to everyone and treat all people with respect. We will not harass anyone. We will not discriminate according to sex, gender expression or sexual orientation, nor race, religion, or nationality. We will treat everyone equally, regardless of age, ability, physical appearance, lifestyle, dance experience or dance role.

2. We will be INCLUSIVE and invite others to dance, and we will be gracious if turned down. We may say no without giving a reason, but we will be polite when doing so and if we promise to dance later on, we will honour that promise.

3. We will be RESPONSIBLE for our own physical safety and that of others nearby. We will practice safe floor-craft and say sorry if we accidentally bump another person. We will not offer unsolicited advice or instruction, nor perform aerials on the social floor. If we consume alcohol we will do so responsibly, and if we are drunk enough to pose a risk to ourselves or others, we will leave the dance floor and retire to the bar.

4. We will take CARE of our own personal hygiene, and bring towels, spare clothing and extra deodorant if necessary. We will be considerate when choosing our clothing, footwear, and accessories and not we will not wear anything that is potentially hazardous to ourselves or to others.

5. We will be RESPECTFUL and acknowledge that the personal boundaries of others may not be the same as our own. We will be mindful of the appropriateness of language that some may find offensive. We will not touch anyone without consent and we will apologise immediately if we unintentionally touch a person’s private areas.

6. We UNDERSTAND that following the above guidelines ensures a better experience for everyone and that participating in any kind of verbal, physical or sexual abuse will have consequences. This may include, but is not limited to, being asked to leave without refund and exclusion from future events.

7. We, the organisers, PROMISE to treat any reports made, from dancers in our home scenes or elsewhere, with sensitivity and to keep all details as confidential as is possible (however, in the event of a police investigation, all information will become disclosable).

The icons above are derived from icons from Freepik.com and were inspired by a design by Kunnaya Wimooktanon from Manchester Lindy.