Code of Conduct
Portland Lindy Society – Revised January 12, 2019
Portland Lindy Society is a non-profit, volunteer-run organization. Our purpose is to promote swing dancing and jazz music, and to bring the benefit of dance to our community locally and beyond. We want dancing to be a fun, supportive, comfortable experience for all involved!
This code of conduct establishes principles and describes actions that guide our efforts to conduct fun, safe, and supportive dance events and contribute to the well being of the dance community. The intent is to foster a dance environment where all dancers feel comfortable and safe at social dances, classes, and workshops.
Outlined below are the specifics on how dancers and patrons should conduct themselves at any Portland Lindy Society event:
- We do not permit intimidation, harassment, or abuse of any kind. Harassment includes offensive verbal comments related to gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of workshops or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.
- Air Steps (aerials), lifts, risky dips, trust falls, and trick steps are NOT allowed on the social dance floor.
- Respect everyone’s physical boundaries. Do not engage in inappropriate or unwanted physical contact. Be sensitive to other people’s personal space, including dance floor space and physical proximity. Understand that everyone’s body and comfort level are different. Each dancer comes to the dance floor with her/his own set of preferences, physical limitations, and personal boundaries. Respect the differences and be attentive to how an individual is responding to you, including their body language.
- Be mindful of consent for close dancing. Some dance styles and moves involve a close body connection. However, the follower’s preference determines the allowable degree of closeness. Leads should pay attention to how comfortable their follow is with the level of closeness. Do not pull the follow in too far and do not make head or face contact without asking. If the follow is tensing, pushing, or arching their back, you are too close. This awareness of consent applies to everyone, not just leads. Followers should also pay attention to their dance partner’s body language and respect their boundaries when it comes to close contact.
- Apologize for accidental unwanted physical contact. Accidental contact, ranging from kicks, collisions, and stomped-on feet to butt grabs and boob grabs, does happen on and off the dance floor. Sincerely apologize if it happens and honor the recipients decision about whether to continue the dance.
- Respect the “No”! Honor all requests from your partner not to do a particular move. “Please, no body rolls” or “no dips” means “Absolutely NO body rolls or dips!” The same applies off the dance floor. “No” means No. “I have to go” means No. Silence means No. If you ask someone to dance and they say no, accept their decision and move on. It’s their prerogative. You can say no to a dance too. Also, you have the right to leave a dance at any time, with or without explanation. If at any point you feel uncomfortable in a dance, you have to right to ask to fix the dance — such as asking for “more space” or “less strength” — or to walk away. If at any time, a dance feels unsafe to you, report what happened to a PLS board member.
- Look out for, and report, any manipulative or predatory behavior. It is important for us as a community to watch out for one another and ensure safety from those who have abusive or manipulative tendencies. We take note of, and precautions against, all such individuals, and will take action as listed below.
How to Report
If you are being harassed, or notice that someone else is being harassed, please contact a teacher, DJ, PLS board member, or a venue staff member immediately.
Contact any PLS board member, teacher, or DJ if you’ve noticed or experienced anyone violating this code of conduct, or if you have any other questions or concerns. Even if you feel uncomfortable with a dance but aren’t sure why, please feel free to talk to someone about it.
Actions we may take:
Participants asked to stop any inappropriate or harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.
We reserve the right to impose an appropriate sanction for an infraction, if we feel that there is reason or need to do so. Possible sanctions include, but are not limited to:
- Giving the perpetrator a warning.
- Asking the perpetrator to sign a contract as an agreement to abide by this code of conduct
- Removing the perpetrator from our event or class
- Banning the individual, either temporarily or indefinitely, from the Portland Lindy Exchange or any dance events organized by the Portland Lindy Society.