Black Label Blues has a zero tolerance policy towards harassment and bullying. Any allegation of bullying or harassment towards staff, attendees or other people involved in our events will be treated seriously, whether it is based on race, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation or identity, dance ability, dance background, or any other characteristic or trait.
Everyone at our events is expected to comply immediately if asked to stop any behaviour which may be deemed harassing or inappropriate.
Black Label Blues reserves the right to deny admission to, or to remove from our events any person who is deemed to have breached our Code of Conduct, or who is behaving in an otherwise unsafe or inappropriate manner. We may ban people from other events and, where necessary, the police may be notified.
We welcome all dancers and music lovers regardless of gender/gender identity, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, religion, employment status, dance ability or dance background. We encourage all dancers to have the choice of dance role (leading/ following/both). The choice is completely up to the individual. We encourage you to clarify which role someone would like to take when you ask them to dance.
2. Respect others
Be respectful, don’t be inappropriate.
Remember that no means no.
If you ask someone to dance (or anything else) and they say no, respect their decision and ask someone else. No one is obliged to say yes to your requests. No one should feel obliged to accept a dance if they don’t feel like it.
Do not dance unsafely. Unsafe dancing is any movement that puts you, your partner, or others, at an increased risk of physical injury, including but not limited to: use of unnecessary force, sudden weight sharing, aerials, lifts and drops on a social dance floor. Remember your partner may have an injury that you’re unaware of and even dipping a partner might hurt them. Keep your eyes open on the dance floor and try not to bump into others around you.
Partner dancing can involve close physical contact with others and we must respect each other’s personal space. If someone tells you that you are making them feel uncomfortable, respect their requirement for space. Always respect personal boundaries, your own and those of others.
3. Care for others
Look out for each other. We are a big family and let’s ensure we love every step we take while at the same time looking out for those around us. If you feel harassed or are made to feel uncomfortable please contact the Black Label Blues organisers (Jo and Taryn) immediately. If you see someone who looks uncomfortable or upset, ask if they are ok and if they would like you to report any unwanted behaviour to the event organisers on their behalf.
4. Respect and Care for yourself
You need to take good care of yourself. Take breaks if you need them.
Respect your own personal boundaries and feel comfortable saying no when you need to. If someone asks you to dance and you don’t want to, you can say “no thank you” – you don’t need to offer an explanation.
Don’t take it personally if someone declines your request to dance – it just means in that moment that person didn’t feel like answering yes.
If you feel someone is crossing your boundaries or making you uncomfortable in any way, feel confident that you can tell them. Don’t forget that you can stop dancing with them at any time, even halfway through a song.
If you feel unable to address someone directly but think they are behaving inappropriately/breaching the Code of Conduct, please speak to one of the Black Label Blues organisers (Jo and Taryn).
If Jo or Taryn consider the situation to be more serious than their experience can deal with, they will take appropriate action to refer the issue to appropriate professionals and act on their guidance.
The Equality Act of 2010 outlines the definition of sexual harassment under UK law.
We strongly encourage anyone who has experienced any sexual harassment to report it to the police. The official advice is to dial 999.
This code of conduct has been informed by various codes of conduct and information from other dance events and organisations including: The Spoonful, Swing Patrol, Safer Dance.