Safe Spaces & Code of Conduct

Our Safe Space Pledge

At JazzMAD we believe that the swing dancing world is in general a welcoming, supportive (and marvellous!) community and that instances of inappropriate behaviour are rare. However, we wish to be actively involved in fostering a safe and respectful dance culture. We are dedicated to providing a safe and comfortable experience for everyone.

Our classes and events are a SAFE SPACE where we respect each other, regardless of sex, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, ability, physical appearance, race, ethnicity, religion or celebrity. We do not tolerate harassment in any form – verbal, physical, emotional or sexual. Harassment includes offensive verbal comments, offensive posts on social media, sexual imagery in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of classes or events, inappropriate physical contact and unwelcome sexual attention. We do not tolerate the use of misogynist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, or racist language.

We adhere to the STEPS Code of Conduct. This code of conduct is designed to acknowledge that we all have a responsibility to build safety into swing dance classes and events, and to contribute to the well being of the whole community. We expect cooperation of all participants, including staff and students, to help ensure a safe and fun environment for everybody. We will enforce this code at all times and we have a zero tolerance policy. Anyone violating this code will be expelled without refund and banned from future attendance, at the discretion of JazzMAD staff.


JazzMAD Code of Conduct

1. We will be KIND 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, ethnicity, religion, or nationality. We will treat everyone equally, regardless of age, ability, physical appearance, lifestyle, dance experience or dance role. We will be accepting of the diversity of people, values and lifestyles that come with a vibrant dance community.

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. 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 acknowledge that dancing is a form of personal expression, and feedback can be a sensitive issue, so we will not offer unsolicited advice or instruction. We will not perform aerials or acrobatics on the social dance floor. If we consume alcohol we will do so responsibly.

4. We will take CARE of our own personal hygiene, and bring towels, spare clothing and deodorant if necessary. We will be considerate when choosing our clothing, footwear, and accessories and we will not wear anything that is potentially hazardous to ourselves or to others. We will not attend a class or dance with a cold or flu. We will be aware of our own physical needs and limitations.

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 intimate 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 classes or events.

7. JazzMAD staff PROMISE to treat any reports made with sensitivity. We promise to take complaints seriously, and be supportive and non-judgmental. We will handle your concerns with tact and discretion.

We value your attendance and your safety. We love to dance, and we want you to love it too!


Reporting an Incident

If you feel uncomfortable or you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns (no matter how small), please contact a JazzMAD staff member IMMEDIATELY, either in person or by one of the following methods:

Sharon Davis, info@jazzmad.co.uk, 07774446100
Tony Jackson, tony@jazzmad.co.uk

We strongly encourage anyone who has experienced assault or sexual harassment to report it to the police. Call 999 for emergencies, 101 for non-emergencies.

For free, impartial advice, there is also the free 24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247, or the Rape Crisis national freephone helpline on 0808 802 9999 (12-2.30pm and 7-9.30pm every day of the year).



Suggested Reading

The Equality Act of 2010 outlines the definition of sexual harassment under UK law.

Swing Dance Etiquette & Floorcraft by Bobby White at the Swungover blog

A Lindy Hopper’s Etiquette Infographic by our friends at Holy Lindy Land.

 


Support Services

A list of UK support resources for victims of harassment and crimes, provided by SafetyInSwingDance.com

Article about help after rape and sexual assault, provided by the NHS

Victim Support for people affected by crime or traumatic events

The Survivors Trust for victims of rape and sexual abuse

7 Cups of Tea for free, anonymous and confidential online text chat with counselors

Survivors UK for male victims of sexual assault