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Code of conduct

LouisLou vzw (Upside Down) and Big City Blues are dedicated to providing a welcoming and safe atmosphere for everyone, regardless of race, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, physical appearance, dance experience or role. We welcome a diverse group of people and ideas. We don’t tolerate the intolerant. Therefore all participants, inspirers, artists, volunteers and organizers at our events and festivals are required to comply with the following code of conduct. We expect all to help and ensure a safe environment for everybody. A community is built by every single one of its participants. We will enforce this code throughout the event. 

We do not tolerate harassment of anyone and in any form.

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.

Anyone engaging in this type of behaviour will be asked to stop and expected to comply immediately. Organizers may take action when they observe or get the inappropriate behaviour reported. After a conversation, we can remove the offender from the event without a refund and if necessary we will inform the local authorities.

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please immediately contact a member of our staff, or preferably anyone from the safer space group. Pictures, phone numbers or other means of contact will be found printed at the event. You can also email to Designated crew members will always listen and assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe during our event and help with notifying the authorities.

We are aware that it is not easy to speak up but it will help us create a safer environment for all of us <3.

YES, we appreciate this!

Here are some good practices that will hopefully ensure everybody’s comfort and well-being during our event:

  • We believe we all create the atmosphere, the vibe and the community we like to spend time in to dance and socialize. How you hold space is how the space will be shaped. If you appreciate something at an event, first act upon yourself. 
  • Act inclusive and nice to everyone, no matter their race, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, physical appearance, dance experience or role. 
  • Respect your partner & people around you and yourself. Remember that boundaries may differ from person to person. Keep good faith and trust in communication. If you aren’t sure about something, ask. If something doesn’t feel right- speak up. Our designated staff will be available in case you need support.

Suggestions for common challenges on the dance floor and at events

  • Connect with partners the way it feels comfortable for both of you. If your partner uses a hurtful connection consistently, please let them know- they may not be aware of that. 
  • Avoid unsolicited feedback. Do not correct others’ dancing unless you were specifically asked to do so. 
  • Mind the people around you. Accidentally kicked someone on the dancefloor? Apologize and check if they are ok. Avoid aerials in social dancing- keep them for jams, shows and competitions. 
  • Unintentionally touched someone’s private areas? Apologize. If someone is repeatedly inappropriately touching you, bring it to their attention or the attention of our staff. 
  • Be moderate when drinking alcohol or other substances. If you are not sober and therefore pose a risk to yourself or others – leave the dance floor and ask for support. 
  • Want to dance with someone? Take initiative and invite them politely. Be mindful of those who could benefit from someone else like you taking initiative. 
  • Everybody has the right to say no to a dance, without the need for an explanation. If you say no – do it politely. If someone refuses to dance with you, don’t take it personally- there are lots of possible reasons. Like the need for a break, hurt ankle, disliked song, just not feeling it and many more. 

This document was based on many different codes of conduct (Berlin Balboa, Upside Down Festival, Retro Weekend..). Feel free to use this as-is or in a modified form, for your own dance event. Just credit 😉

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