We are passionate about creating safe, inclusive, equitable, loving, and diverse environments. If you participate in SD Westie events, we expect you to conduct yourself in ways that nurture this culture. This code of conduct is meant to outline ways we can work together to keep everyone safe and happy. It also ensures that we have communicated what we consider acceptable behavior.
How to be safe and popular at dance functions
*Be respectful of those around you on the dance floor.
If you bump into someone, apologize. If you hurt someone, apologize, find them assistance if they need help, and try to figure out how to make sure it doesn’t happen again. This might mean not dancing with them again or getting help from a trusted teacher.
*Respect other people’s boundaries
We can do some crazy things around here, but just because you see someone do something with someone else doesn’t mean they will want to do it with you! This applies to everything from close dance holds to moves like dips, flirty conversations, or just agreeing to dance. If you aren’t sure of someone’s boundaries, or can’t tell from their nonverbal cues, then ask them. If you misjudge, and they ask you to stop, either verbally or nonverbally (such as with a facial expression or a body language cue), then stop.
*Ask and respond respectfully
People around here usually happily accept an invitation to dance, but it is also okay to say “no.” When asking for a dance, don’t assume a role based on gender. Inquire if your partner would like to lead, follow, or switch. If you are turned down for a dance, please respect that decision and find someone else to dance with instead. If at any point in a dance you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, you can tell your partner that you are uncomfortable, ask for any adjustments you need, or stop the dance before the song ends without explanation. Requests for your own safety and comfort are respectful of your partner as your ally in creating fun for everyone, and are not the same as offering someone unsolicited feedback on their dance skills (which is generally considered rude). If you are often uncomfortable in dances or often the recipient of these kinds of requests for adjustments, you should consider reaching out to a teacher or trusted ally for help.
*Let the teachers do the teaching
Regardless of your best intentions, unsolicited feedback on the dance floor implies judgment and is never welcomed. Please refrain from teaching, helping, or correcting your partner during social dancing unless someone’s safety is at stake.
*Remember that alcohol and other substances can make it harder to judge boundaries accurately.
Please be mindful of your limits so that you can be mindful of others.
*No harassment of any kind.
This environment is for everyone regardless of race, age, level of dance, sexual orientation, gender/gender identity, disability, physical appearance, religion, or anything else. We do not tolerate harassment or threats of any kind. Any situation which makes another person feel unsafe or uncomfortable to the point of being unable to enjoy the event is unacceptable and can be considered harassment. If you harass or threaten someone, you may be asked to leave.
What to do if you witness or are subjected to unacceptable or harassing behavior:
Please watch out for each other and help us to take care of you. If you aren’t sure if someone else is okay, please take a closer look: ask them for a dance to draw them away from the situation, or ask, in a friendly way, if they need help. If you are subjected to harassing behavior, notice that someone else is being subjected to unsafe or unacceptable behavior, or have other concerns along these lines, you can seek out any SD Westie staff member for help. You can find staff on duty at the registration desk, or at the DJ booth when registration is closed, or you can directly text or call one of the people listed below. We promise to listen and to treat you with respect and confidentiality.
Consequences of unacceptable behavior:
Anyone asked to stop unacceptable or harassing behavior is expected to do so immediately. Actions that compromise the safe and respectful environment of these events are not acceptable from any member of our community: attendees, teachers, judges, performers, volunteers or staff. Depending on the severity, event organizers’ interventions in response to a problem may range from talking to the offending person and asking them to do or not do something or to asking them to leave the venue immediately without warning, compensation or refund. Those conversations or actions may take place in private if that seems appropriate to the situation. If you see additional problems after you or someone else spoke with us initially, we’d like to hear about them too. If negative behavior persists repeatedly, we will ask you to take a break from attending SD Westie events until we can schedule time for you to talk to members of our leadership team. We want to assume the best of people and believe that education is key to creating a safe space. We reserve the right to permanently ban participants who refuse to make adjustments in their harmful behaviors. We want this to be a place everyone can enjoy. We are grateful for your help and commitment to making our shared environment safe for everyone.
SD Westie Leadership Team
Demetre Souliotes 858-888-1358
Brandi Guild 619-677-4530
*add other members names/numbers with permission*
This document is adapted from the stellar work of Kay Newhouse and Dave Moldover for Dance Jam Productions. We thank them for their generosity.