In an effort to support safe swing dance spaces everywhere, this post collects a list of "Codes of Conduct" that we hope is definitive and exhaustive. If you see one missing, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Swing Dance Event Codes of Conduct
- Austin Swing Syndicate
- Boston Lindy Hop
- Camp Hollywood
- Fog City Stomp
- Full Swing (Wellington, NZ)
- Holy Lindy Land (Israel)
- Knoxville Swing Dance Association
- K-town Swing
- Lindy and Blues Lyon (France)
- Lindy Focus
- Mobtown Ballroom
- Oberlin Swing and Blues
- School of Hard Knox
- Steel City Blues Festival
- Sugar Swing (Edmonton, Canada)
- Swing Dance Trento (Italy)
- Swingin at the Savoy
- Swingshoes (Copenhagen, Denmark)
NOTE: This list includes only events that are primarily focused on lindy hop and balboa. There may be many more for blues, fusion, west coast swing, etc. not included on this list.
There are lots of reasons why Codes of Conduct and statements like it are a good step for the lindy community. As we mature as a movement, many of our events are entering into their tenth year of operations. What was once a few friends in a city inviting others in the neighboring areas to come on over and party has become weeklong festivals involving paid staff, teachers and musicians, and hundreds of volunteers. It just makes sense to be up front about your values and what behaviors you want to support (and discourage / ban.)
On the flip side, there can be lots of negative impacts for not publishing a Code of Conduct. Without some kind of clear statement, people's worst tendencies can start to dominate an event. If someone misbehaves, it can be harder to expel him or her from your event.
Word-of-mouth is key to the success of any lindy event. If you become known for fostering an unsafe or harassing environment then people are going to make other choices for where to spend their lindy dollar. And as the lindy scene ages, older dancers, people with kids and others have to judicious about where they spend their time.
For the future of lindy hop, for those who don't know us yet, I think it's important that we be up front about what are values as a community. What kind of environment do we want to support? One that is welcoming to a transgender person, someone with disabilities, older dancers with toddlers, non-drinkers...? These are choices that every event organizer has to make for themselves.
So we'd love to see other local, regional, national and international events coming up with their own Codes of Conduct. Share yours with us here, on Facebook or Twitter. Here's a generic Code that Creative Common's licensed to get you started. And if you want advice or examples of bad behavior, head over to the "Safety Dance" group on Facebook.
[Links and conversation about this topic over at the /swingdancing Subreddit]