Have Fun & Relax in Safety

We want you to relax, have fun, learn and above all dance your socks off!

We take your safety seriously. Obviously there is no such thing as a 100% safe environment, but at Swingin' the Blues we're doing our best to get as close as we can, particularly because we'll all be in such close quarters for the duration of the event.  We urge you to read this page in full because this event will be a bit different from your standard dance event.

We are aware that this is a residential dance camp and we need to think about a range of safety elements as we will all be staying in the same location as workshops and events. This is a bit different to your typical exchange so we are taking as many measures as possible to ensure the safety of our attendees.

Be assured we are doing our best to provide and maintain safety from a range of angles:

  • Safe dancing
  • Safe personal interactions
  • Safe stay

Safety First

The organisers will consider safety first when deciding the best way to manage or mitigate risks in the specific environment of Swingin’ the Blues.

We will consider any relevant information about applications and may restrict entry for anyone who (based on their previous behaviour at other events) may create a risk to the safety of the event or others.

There are a limited number of places and rooms, we don’t want to have to evict anyone during the camp; so we will be quite strict on entry for anyone who we think creates a risk by attending. Each case will be treated on its merits, however if anyone has been banned or ejected from a Swing or Blues dance event or community they might not want to bother registering.

We will also look into - upon request or becoming aware of the need - safe spaces complaints during the application review process as well as during the camp.

Any person who registers for the ballot and is deemed unsuitable to attend the event will be notified by the team if possible.  Negotiation will not be entered into, because we won’t jeopardise the safety and comfort of the people at our event.

"Dignity, always dignity"

During the event we expect everyone to abide by the Code of Conduct (below) and treat each other with respect and dignity.  If you don't, you may be evicted sans-refund.  We're serious.

The other really important thing is consent.  Ongoing, explicit consent.  Without that you should limit interpersonal activity to the normal boundaries expected by a non-dancer.  There is more detail in the section on consent below.

Code of conduct

Respect

We love that we are part of such a diverse community. Please treat everyone with respect regardless of whether they differ from you in sex, age, sexual preference, dancing experience, cultural background etc. Anyone can ask anyone to dance. Please be mindful of how your actions may be perceived by others and the impact you can have on them.

Respect others’ personal boundaries; they may not be the same as yours.

Consent

When you ask someone to dance (and you should always ask), wait for their acceptance, and respect if someone says no. Within a dance, ask your partner what they are comfortable with, especially with close embrace or different dance styles or moves that are more intimate, physically close or trust based (e.g. weight sharing).

Be aware of verbal and non-verbal signals that you are receiving, before and during the dance. If there is a sense of reluctance don’t assume that it was a definite yes.

Outside of a dance all of these principles still apply.  No means no.

Ask for dances, ask before touching someone, communicate if you want something, if all affected parties consent to something, great! Just remember that consent can be revoked at any time for any reason.

If you have even an inkling of a doubt about what consent is, we recommend this video about how unconscious people don't want tea.

What we expect of you:

Respect Others

On the floor

  • Ask anyone for a dance
  • Meet and dance with new people
  • Consider the dance space and make safe dancing choices
  • Be understanding when someone says no – they don’t need to give you a reason
  • Respect other people’s personal boundaries, especially if they have explicitly stated them
  • Maintain a reasonable level of personal hygiene
  • Don’t do anything that could bring disrepute to the dance scene

Off the floor

  • Be quiet in rooms and in the hallways – you never know when someone will be trying to catch some sleep
  • Respect your neighbours  and your roommates – consider your noise, hygiene and  choices and the impact on others
  • Don’t do anything unlawful including bullying, harassment, physical or verbal abuse, theft, etc.

Seek Consent

On the floor

  • Seek consent for a dance and within a dance.
  • Say no if you don’t want to do something
  • Feel free to change your mind and express that
  • Don’t continue to pursue someone for dancing if they have already clearly indicated your interest is unwelcome

Off the floor

  • Only enter someone’s room if you have been invited by the occupants
  • Seek consent – don’t assume other’s personal boundaries
  • Seek consent again – don’t assume someone’s boundaries  are the same off as on the dance floors (an arm around your for the purpose of dancing may be different to an arm around you off the dance floor)
  • Don’t make unwanted physical contact
  • Don’t use people’s things without their consent
  • Don’t continue to pursue someone socially if they have already clearly indicated your interest is unwelcome

Communicate Appropriately

On the floor

  • Welcome dancers to the scene
  • Use your words and say what you mean.
  • Communicate appropriately with consideration to others and their perspective
  • Don’t use offensive or derogatory language
  • Don’t discriminate against or harass anyone
  • Listen to and consider feedback

Off the floor

  • Meet new people
  • Do you best to make everyone feel welcome
  • Listen to others – what they say and their body language
  • Ask people for what you want or don’t want
  • Tell people where your boundaries are and if they are overstepping them
  • Don’t assume people can read your mind.

Be Safe

On the floor

  • Tell people if you have an injury or anything you want them to be careful of
  • Give feedback if something is hurting you or you aren’t comfortable with it in any way
  • End a dance if you feel unsafe or uncomfortable
  • Don’t do aerials or dangerous moves on the social dance floor
  • Don’t take drinks or food onto the dance floor (in case of spills)

Off the floor

  • Report Safety concerns to an organiser or key volunteer.
  • Follow Hotel policies, procedures and directions
  • Follow directions from organisers, volunteers or hotel staff in the case of any emergencies or safety situations.

What you can expect of us:

  • We want everyone to have an amazing time, learning, dancing and having fun!
  • We are committed to your safety and the safety of everyone at Swingin’ the Blues.
  • We will have a first aider and a first aid kit. If there is a more serious accident (perish the thought), our volunteers will know where more help is available.
  • We will to listen to any concerns and feedback you raise with us. If it’s important to you, it’s important to us.
  • We will take any concerns you raise with our volunteers or organisers seriously and try our best to address them and find a suitable outcome.
  • We will deal with any issues fairly, with confidentiality and safety foremost in our minds. We will only involve those people necessary to collect relevant information and make decisions, and  we will let you know the steps we will be taking.
  • We will consider any request you have for how you would like the situation to be dealt with and keep this in mind when deciding how best to address the situation.
  • We do, however, have a duty of care for all attendees and we may have to make decisions that we think best address the situation in order to manage risks.
  • We will have Safer Space Representatives at all times and a phone number if you have a safe spaces concern you want to raise with us.

Talk to Us

What happens if someone does something we don’t think is right?

If you experience something or witness something that you think is inappropriate or disrespectful please tell someone.  Tell us, the organisers and key volunteers so we can do something to help.

If you are uncomfortable with something we want to know. It may have been behaviour towards you or towards someone else. Dont assume we already know, if someone doesn’t tell us then it’s pretty hard for us to do anything about  it.

Depending on the situation there are a range of different ways that the organisers might address the situation, this will depend on what the situation is and what the organisers think from discussions with you or others involved will be the best action to keep people safe. Actions might range from having a private conversation about something awkward with the other person, to a plan to provide feedback and agreed monitoring all the way through to an immediate eviction from the camp. We hope there would never be a need to call in police, but they are just across the road if we do need them.

It is important to note that as event organisers we have a duty of care for all of the attendees at our event. If an issue comes to our attention that might pose a risk to other attendees we are obliged to take all necessary and reasonable steps we can to prevent that risk.

 

Capture the Moments

Take care, along with your photos

Swingin’ the Blues is an intimate, immersive event and we want everyone to be as comfortable as possible. Photographs and videos are a fantastic way to record memories of having a great time at an event and we encourage people to take photos of yourselves, your friends, and anyone else who actively, deliberately involves themselves in your photo.

Sometimes, however, taking photographs or video of people can cause discomfort or anxiety for many varied and valid reasons. The comfort of everyone involved in the event is our highest priority, so we ask anyone who is considering taking photos or footage of people they do not know well to abide by the guidelines below.

We will not have official photographers at Swingin’ the Blues, but we ask anyone interested in taking general photos/videos, to register with us before you do so. You will be notified of anyone opting out, and we ask you to respect that. We will also make sure people know who you are, so if they would particularly like their photo taken they may approach you.

For the purposes of this document “photos” refers to both still photographs and moving footage (video).

Guidelines

We ask that you think about and agree to these guidelines when taking photos of the larger group at the event:

  • Register your intention to take photographs (of general attendees, taking photos of your friends is fine) so that we know you have read and agree to these guidelines. If you have not registered your intent and are taking photos outside of your circle of friends we will ask you to stop and have a conversation with us about these guidelines.
  • Do your best not to take photos of people who don't want to be photographed, and if you do so accidentally, don't publish them.
  • Vet your photos before publishing them to avoid displaying embarrassing shots. The best photographers typically publish 1 photo out of 20 or even 100.
  • Agree to take down any photos by request of Swingin’ the Blues organisers, or any of the subjects of the photos
  • Avoid being or appearing intrusive or creepy - the most popular photographers in the dance scene don’t just take the best photos, they don’t disrupt the dance. Find a place to stand or sit where you won’t become a dance floor hazard. You don’t have to be invisible, just don’t get up in people’s faces. We know it’s a tough balance to strike but if you want feedback or clarification we’re always happy to chat about it.

Outcomes

Consequences for breach of our guidelines could include, based on severity:

  • A warning
  • Revoking of photography permissions
  • Not allowed to attend future events organised by us
  • Reported to other events as having breached guidelines
  • Evicted from premises