Code of Conduct
A wonderful infographic by Holy Lindy Land
Swingtopia Dance holds its Code of Conduct up not just as a bunch of rules for individuals, but as a statement of responsibility for itself as an organization, that its own profit does not take precedence over our humanity, our cultures, and the environment. In the modern world companies make a big deal about having a Code of Ethics, yet they continue to do great damage.
Swingtopia Dance is under the same duty of care as any person that’s in the company. We care about the future that is being created and the society that we are espousing. Each value we have should be able to be translated at every level from individual behaviour within classes to the behaviour of organizations at an international level.
Humanity lives out of balance with the natural world. We desperately need to change our parasitic way of life as we damage the world through the plastic pandemic, climate change and biodiversity collapse.
Swingtopia Dance has committed to doing everything digitally, eliminating the need for paper completely. We try to use as little plastic as possible with the intention that we will one day never need it at all. We will never sell bottles of water because that was a stupid idea before it was even invented! We encourage everyone to make sustainable life choices, and to move from our current throwaway society to a circular economy.
Social Justice for African-Americans
Human history shows us the ubiquity of prejudice and exploitation. Lindy Hop and jazz music are not exempt from such history. Swingtopia Dance recognizes the African-American origins of both swing dancing and jazz music. We recognize the discrimination the African-American people suffered in United States. We recognize that white people profited from the African-American art even as African-Americans suffered socially, economically, and politically, and that this continues today.
Swingtopia Dance advocates for African-Americans to find justice within their homeland. We share their stories so that others may know. We teach the African-American roots of the dance, and the racism that they suffer.
The Boring Stuff - Code of Conduct
Swingtopia Dance is a community of people dancing in a fun and friendly environment. In order to keep it that way we ask that everyone keep to these standards so that we can continue being a place where everyone feels happy, safe and welcome.
Respect each other. Swing dancing is for everyone regardless of gender/gender identity, race, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, neurotype, political persuasion, religion, or whatever. Don’t use racist, misogynist, homophobic, transphobic, or ableist language. Harassment won’t be tolerated and you can be asked to leave, and you may even be kicked out for life.
Respect the physical and emotional boundaries of others while maintaining your own. Everyone has a personal space, and it’s up to you to protect your own space and up to others to respect your space. If a partner does not want to go into a close embrace, respect that and dance at a distance that they are comfortable with.
Respect your dance partner. Always make sure you have your partners consent, and that you are both comfortable with what’s going on. Ask for a dance, don’t assume someone is going to ask you. If someone says ‘no’, it’s nothing personal, they don’t have to explain why. Smile graciously and bow out! Don’t teach on the dance floor, or correct someone’s moves, that’s what classes are for.
Respect the staff. The staff are here to make sure everyone has a good time, and sometimes they need to deal with a problem. Have pity on the staff, and give them respect as people and as the person dealing with problems. Any disrespect for staff members by arguing with them, or cajoling them or in some way making them feel bad for doing their job, or having a life-time grudge against them for not agreeing with you and then spreading rumours about them somewhere else, is not the way to go about it. Instead, follow all directions and answer all questions honestly. That way we can get on with the fun stuff!
Dance with safety in mind. Don’t yank or jerk your partner around, or force them into a move, especially dips or air steps.
Swingtopia Dance events and classes are about swing dancing, having fun, and being amongst friends. With that in mind, Swingtopia does not belong to any one person and is not a pool of people that you can cycle through dating. Dating happens, but don’t do it if you don’t have the maturity to share the space afterwards if that person rejects you, or if you break up.
If for any reason something goes wrong, such as you touch someone inappropriately, or you make someone feel uncomfortable, or you collide with someone on the dance floor, apologise to the person and assure them that that was not your intention.
Remember that alcohol and other substances can make judging your own and others’ boundaries more difficult. Keep your own limits in mind so you can keep other people’s limits in mind as well.
Good dancers are not exempt from behaving in appropriate ways. Greater dance skill does not make it more acceptable for a person to make another person uncomfortable during a dance or a personal interaction. A good dancer who acts like a jerk … is a jerk. Don't be a jerk.
If you see something, or if something happens to you, please have the courage to speak up. You can speak to the person involved or to one of the staff members. We can only do something when we have information, and the more information we have the better!
Everything that you say is strictly confidential, though we will take steps if we feel someone is in immediate danger. After talking with you about what happened and what you’d like to see happen, we’ll make a decision as to what action to take, which can range from no action, to talking to others about their behaviour, to escorting someone off the premises. Staff member decisions are final.