Southern Blues are dedicated to making sure everyone has a good time and to creating a safe and inclusive space. In order to make everyone feel welcome and safe, first and foremost, we ask that you are respectful of everyone throughout the weekend and expect respect from those around you.
We ask that you follow these guidelines so that we can create a fantastic community space:
- All dancers, regardless of their level of experience or dance ability, are welcome and entitled to respect for their personal and physical boundaries both on and off the dance floor.
- Harassment, abuse or assault on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, ability or age will not be tolerated.
- You are free to accept or decline dances with whomever you wish. If someone declines to dance with you, respect their decision and try not to take it personally. People refuse dances for all sorts of reasons.
- You might consider asking someone if they would prefer to lead, follow or switch roles when you ask them for a dance. The gender presentation of your dance partner cannot tell you which roles they dance, only their words can.
- Tell your partner if they are making you feel uncomfortable, unsafe or are physically hurting you. If your partner is giving you feedback, listen to them and stop whatever it is that is making them uncomfortable, unsafe or physically hurt.
- Look after your partner and yourself on the dance floor. Be aware of other dancers in the space, and avoid movements which could hurt your partner or others around you.
- Avoid fancy, feet-off-the-floor tricks and aerials at Southern Blues. Make sure you have your partner’s consent before performing large dips or moves where their feet may leave the ground (not everybody likes these!).
- Recognise the diverse abilities and skills of your fellow dancers. Avoid giving unsolicited feedback on the social dance floor unless it relates to your safety or the safety of other dancers.
- If you observe or experience inappropriate or unsafe behaviour which violates our safer spaces policy, talk to the organisers or night managers on duty.
Complaints and Grievances Policy
Southern Blues are committed to creating a safe, caring and supportive environment for all dancers. Our complaints and grievances policy is designed to provide a uniform response to formal complaints or serious offences, and all event organisers and night managers will receive training on these policies.
What is a Complaint?
Complaints are problems that you feel occurred because someone didn’t adhere to accepted social dance etiquette (as outlined in our Safer Spaces Policy), or are any problems that cannot be resolved by communicating directly with the people involved. If someone’s actions have led you to feel unsafe or uncomfortable, you probably have grounds for a complaint. If you’re not sure if you want to make a complaint or not, please err on the side of talking to an event organiser or the night manager on duty. You don’t have to make a formal complaint if you don’t want to, but we care about you and want to help you resolve any problems you’ve experienced.
If you are able to set firm and clear boundaries and have resolved a problem through direct communication (but feel that the problem may recur if others struggle to be as assertive as you), please talk to an event organiser or night manager and make them aware of the situation. This does not have to be a formal complaint, but we want to be aware of any repeat offences.
We recommend you talk to an event organiser as soon as possible and to give as much detail as possible when making your complaint. If you are unable to speak to an organiser during the event, please contact the Southern Blues team by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do what we can as soon as possible.
How do Southern Blues handle Complaints?
Complaints are handled using an escalation policy using a yellow card/red card system (think soccer).
First time Minor Offence (Yellow Card):
Discuss the problem with the accused making sure that he or she understands what behaviour is unacceptable. Inform the accused that he or she is on probation and any further complaints or repeat offences will result in ejection from the venue.
First time Medium Offence/Second Minor Offence (Red Card):
Ejection from Southern Blues events for the day after detailed discussion of the issues with the accused and signing a statement acknowledging disciplinary action.
First time Major Offence/Any Minor Offence after being ejected from a previous event (Red card plus Suspension):
Ejection from Southern Blues events for the remainder of the weekend after a detailed discussion of the issues and signing a statement acknowledging disciplinary action.
Further Action (pending severity):
Banned from attending all future Southern Blues events.
What is a Serious Offence?
At Southern Blues, we encourage a safe, respectful and supportive community, and although Serious Offences are rare, we believe it is important to have a policy in place to address serious incidents.
‘Serious Offences’ include, but are not limited to:
- Sexually Predatory Behaviour: Intentional aggressive or inappropriate sexual touching or language without the consent of the other individual(s) involved. If you observe a situation that appears to be non-consensual or outside of the normal bounds of flirtation or other interaction socially accepted by the community, please speak to the event organiser or night manager for advice.
- Physically Harmful Behaviour: Intentionally harmful actions, or actions done with reckless disregard for the safety of others, resulting in bodily harm.
How does Southern Blues handle Serious Offences?
If a Serious Offence occurs, you must file a formal complaint either verbally or in writing with a Southern Blues organizer. You should bring any serious offenses to our attention immediately. The earlier that you give us information, the more detailed and accurate it will be. The more information that you can give us, the more swiftly and clearly we will be able to act. An organizer will help you fill out a complaint form with as much detail as possible so that appropriate actions can be taken to address the issue. Serious offenses may result in immediate ejection of the perpetrator from the remainder of the Southern Blues event and all future Southern Blues events without further notice or recourse.
In the situation where an offence or complaint under this policy is also a criminal offence, Southern Blues will support you in taking this problem to the police.