Swing dance events and lessons spaces are places of joy, exploration, sociability, and inclusivity.
Rhythm City makes it a priority to ensure that all participants feel welcome, safe, included, and valued.
Jazz music and Jazz dances are cultural products of Black experience. This includes and incorporates Black experiences of today, yesterday, and generations ago. As practitioners of and students of Jazz dances (including the Swing Jazz dances of Lindy hop, Vernacular Solo Jazz) we must recognize and explicitly speak of Black experience: from the past through to today.
Following are some guidelines and standards that everyone attending must be respectful of.
In consideration of COVID and each participant’s safety and comfort, until further notice, effective masks are required at all classes and dances, properly worn over mouth and nose. We appreciate each participant’s respect for each other as we all navigate different comfort levels with dancing inside and sharing space together again. Effective and regular hand-washing and/or use of hand sanitizer is also required.
Rhythm City class and dance spaces are for everyone regardless of gender/gender identity, race, sexual orientation, physical ability, physical appearance, religion, age, or dance experience/skill/style.
Rhythm City will not tolerate harassment of any kind. This includes homophobic, racist, misogynist, ableist, transphobic language, unwelcome sexual language, inappropriate touching, and inappropriate comments on physical appearance.
All participants are entitled to enjoy the thrill of partner dancing without having to confront unwelcome interest or inappropriate comments on their body or physical appearance. Partner dance spaces are wonderful places to learn, play, move, dance, and interact. They are culturally unique, exciting, dynamic settings that may at first seem odd or intimidating, but ultimately, most people find them friendly and a lot of fun. It is important to us that these places remain safe for all to enjoy, without fear of unwanted attention or comments.
Anyone can ask anyone else to dance, regardless of dance role, level, or involvement at Rhythm City events.
Anyone can say no to a dance without obligation or excuse. We are all here to have fun. If someone turns you down, understand that they are entitled to their way of having fun, and they owe you nothing. Everyone gets turned down sometimes. Everyone feels like turning someone down sometimes.
Have care for the safety and comfort of your partner and those around you on the dance floor. Air steps (aerials) on the social floor are unsafe and will not be tolerated. Save them for jams, competitions, and performances. If you or your partner bumps, kicks, or otherwise interacts in an unsafe way with someone else on the dance floor, check that all are ok before continuing to dance.
Everyone is here to have a good time, and a lot of that involves dancing. Don’t take it personally if someone doesn’t feel like chatting for long. Do consider others and their degree of interest if you’re monopolizing their time on the dance floor or in conversation on the side of the dance floor. And on the topic of chatting, avoid offering advice or feedback on someone else’s dancing: this is generally considered in poor taste and will not endear you to them and their friends.
We invite you to take an active role in creating and fostering a safe and welcoming environment at all Rhythm City events:
Inclusivity: If you think someone is new and possibly apprehensive of partner dancing, they may welcome some friendly interaction and perhaps a dance. Try to notice if someone at the party is sitting out or alone for long periods of time. If you are new to this setting, remember we were all beginners once. Experienced dancers are generally patient and welcoming; we cherish the exhilaration and wonder this scene often inspires in newcomers.
Safety: If you witness, experience, or hear of an instance of harassment or something that made you or another participant uncomfortable, we want to know about it. There are a number of things you can do:
- talk to an evening manager (Suzanna or Barney) or Lucy (owner of Rhythm City), if they are present.
- talk to the person at the door, who can find the evening manager or otherwise advise you.
- talk to an instructor, one you recognize from your lessons.
- talk to a friend who can approach one of these people or give you some support.
- send an email to [email protected] letting us know of your concerns.
Rhythm City staff will attend with care and discretion to all concerns brought forward, according to the needs and wishes of the concerned party and the severity of the concern. We may take any action we deem appropriate, including warning the offender or expulsion from the event or class with no refund.
If the world of partner and Swing dance is new to you and you’d like to learn more about it (where to take lessons, what to wear, how to ask someone to dance, where to find shoes, the history of the dance and music, etc.), visit rhythmcity.ca and go to the FAQ page for lots of info and helpful resources.