Here at the Karitane Blues Retreat we are all about experiencing the joy of Blues dancing in a safe and positive community environment. All participants, volunteers and teachers must agree to abide by our code of conduct. Together we will work towards creating safer spaces for everyone as we enjoy our time together on retreat.
Code of Conduct
On the dance floor:
It’s ok to say “no”. Even on retreat. Dance as much as you like, but no more than that. Be prepared to say “no, thank you” whenever you like, and be prepared for others to say “no, thank you” to you too! No reasons required (even mid-dance) – just be kind and respectful.
Constantly seek consent. Blues dance may include close embrace, but it doesn’t have to. In every dance be mindful of the choices that you and your partner are making with your physical connection. Watch out for non-verbal cues – keep ‘listening in’ to your partner throughout the dance, allowing your partner enough space to change the connection at any time. You can always ask for more connection in your dance as long as you respect your partner’s decision (yes or no). If you feel uncomfortable with the dance connection you can change this at any time.
Clarify roles prior to dancing. Don’t assume someone is a lead or follow because of their gender (or the role they took in class). Take the time to ask your dance partner what their preference is and don’t force someone to change role mid-dance without their permission.
Only offer feedback if asked. Never offer unsolicited feedback on your partner’s dancing, with one exception: if something your partner does hurts you, tell them so they can learn to do the move differently next time (or not at all). If you want technical feedback on your dancing, ask your dance partner before the dance begins.
Be accountable for your mistakes. If you accidentally touch or graze someone’s private areas, apologise immediately. It’s also best to say sorry if you accidentally kick or hit someone while dancing, even if it didn’t seem like your fault.
Maintain good hygiene. With close quarters and close connections it’s even more important to make sure you have plenty of clean, spare clothes (and deodorant) ready to go before each dance activity.
Note: if you have an injury that might impact on your ability to dance certain moves then let your partner know before the dance begins, and never dance against medical advice.
Please refrain from aerials on the social dance floor.
In dance classes:
Dance classes are designed as a safe space for you to try new things and play outside your comfort zone. Your teachers will challenge you with different connections, movements and ideas. However, your safety and wellbeing always comes first. This means that if you need to sit out for some/all of a class for any reason, you may do so. We encourage you to speak with a teacher or our safety team to see if we can assist you to actively participate in the class again.
Note: Please talk to a teacher at the beginning of the class if you have any injury concerns and want to know what will be taught in class.
On the retreat:
Together we are sharing living, dining and dancing spaces. Be respectful of people’s privacy and space at all times; only enter another participant’s room if you have been given a clear invitation.
As most people will be sharing a sleeping space with at least one other person, please respect this shared area by checking any plans with your room-buddy that might affect them. Keep noise levels down after 12am in the accommodation areas to allow those who need rest to sleep.
Constantly seek consent. Not just on the dance floor, but in every interaction with everyone on the retreat.
We do not tolerate verbal or physical misconduct. We reserve the right to remove someone from the retreat (with no refund) if they engage in behaviour that we deem unacceptable.
Unacceptable behaviour includes (but is not limited to): bullying, sexual harassment, intimidation, continual unsafe behaviour (including drunkenness), persistent breaches of the code of conduct, or any other inappropriate, disruptive or unlawful behaviours.
What do I do if…?
If you witness any behaviour that seems abusive, disrespectful, harassing, suspicious, unsafe, or behaviour that makes you or someone else feel uncomfortable for any reason, then you can (and should) do something. Contact one of our safety team representatives who will speak to you in confidence. The safety team will then follow-up with appropriate action.
We take your concerns seriously. We’ll always make time for you and carefully consider any action that needs to be taken.
Thanks for taking the time to read through this code of conduct. Together we will create safer spaces to enjoy each other’s dancing and company over the weekend Retreat!