Code of Conduct and Safer Spaces Policies

When you sign up for or attend any of our events, you agree to this Code of Conduct. The staff, board, and owners of New Columbia Swing are committed to holding ourselves accountable to the same code, and we're serious about its enforcement. By following the code, you do your part to ensure that our dance community is an environment where everyone can feel that they belong and an environment where people feel free from harassment, coercion, bigotry, discrimination, bullying, and physical harm.

New Columbia Swing Code of Conduct

October 2018 Edition

New Columbia Swing is dedicated to providing a harassment-free event experience for everyone regardless of gender/gender identity and presentation, race, sexual orientation, dis/ability, age, physical appearance, body size, religion, socio-economic background, dance skill level, or dance role. We do not tolerate harassment of any kind. If you harass someone, you may be asked to leave without a refund; you may be barred from our events for life. These decisions are at our discretion. Our standards apply equally to everyone, including new and existing dancers, staff, and leadership.

Harassment includes but is not limited to intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome attention. If you engage in these activities, you may be asked to leave or be banned.

Harassment also includes racist, misogynist, homophobic, transphobic, fatphobic, or ableist language, or any offensive verbal comments related to the above categories. It’s not only wrong, it’s embarrassing and in bad taste. Don't use language of this kind, or you may be asked to leave or be banned.

Don't make other patrons uncomfortable by treating our classes or dances like a pick-up joint. Treat one another as people and dancers first and foremost, not merely as potential dates. Take particular care to ensure that new dancers feel welcomed and safe, and don't abuse your social status or your perceived dance ability to the detriment of these individuals. Also, be aware that unsolicited advice is usually not appreciated and that it can constitute harassment. Always be mindful of your dance partners’ comfort levels, especially with regard to particular moves or styles. When in doubt, ask. Air steps or aerials and other similar moves are forbidden on the social floor unless you are in a jam circle.

Because New Columbia Swing welcomes people of all ages, dancers and staff may have interactions with minors. Avoid being alone with any minors out of the view of staff or other adults. Do not take photographs of minors. Additionally, when dancing with minors avoid any moves or positions that could be considered intimate.

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or otherwise witness something that is destructive or demeaning, we strongly encourage you to contact the event organizers, course instructors, or another staff member of New Columbia Swing. No matter the severity of the issue, if you feel uncomfortable, we want to hear from you about it. Talk to a staff member in person, send us an email at info@newcolumbiaswing.org, or even fill out our online feedback form anonymously. In addition to taking actions against the perpetrators of harassment, organizers and staff will be happy to discuss your options and to support you through whichever course of action you choose to take in order to feel safe at our events. Options may include facilitating conversations with harassers, providing you with escorts, contacting local law enforcement, or other types of assistance. We will also protect your identity if you so choose.

If you are engaging in harassing behavior, the event organizers or course instructors may take any action that they deem appropriate. These are some of the things that may happen to you:

  • We will log the incident in a written report for permanent future reference.
  • We may issue you a verbal and/or written warning.
  • We may issue a temporary or permanent expulsion from our current and future events without a refund. For egregious offenses, this may occur without warning.
  • We may notify other nearby dance organizations that we have issued an expulsion, so that they may take any actions that they deem appropriate.
  • If we believe that a person is in imminent danger, we will contact law enforcement.
  • If you are a board member or an owner of this organization, you may be removed from the organization by a majority vote of the remaining board members and owners.
  • If you are on the staff of this organization, you may be removed from the organization by a majority vote of board members. 

Finally, note that although we are not able to arbitrate all social interactions or conflicts that occur outside of our events, we will take action if we believe that a person's presence will create an unwelcoming or unsafe environment, or if it will negatively impact the wellbeing of our other patrons.

In short, behave as an adult, treat one another with respect, and help us to create and strengthen a culture of inclusiveness, so that our collective dance community remains as healthy as it can be.


The New Columbia Swing Code of Conduct is licensed in the public domain under a Creative Commons Zero license. Please feel free to adopt our policy to your establishment as you see fit.

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What do I do if I need to report a conduct issue?

We have instituted a thorough set of guidelines to ensure that conduct issues are dealt with appropriately, quickly, and fairly.  Here are the basics of what you should know:

  • All instructors and staff members are able and ready to hear your issue.  They have read the guidelines and they know the process that needs to be followed.  If they are unable to take a report, they will find someone who can.
  • Anonymous reporting is OK.  Go to the feedback form and enter "Code of Conduct" for the category.  You don't need to enter your name and email address.
  • We will follow up with you to let you know what actions we have taken.  Unless, of course, you have chosen to remain anonymous.