West Coast Swing – Baltimore, MD
Call Us: 443-529-5937

Code of Conduct

Overview

M of S is dedicated to providing a safe space for the movement arts, providing a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere for all dancers and instructors teaching, learning and socializing. All staff members, volunteers, and students are required to comply with the below Code of Conduct as laid out by Ministry of Swing.

Declaration of Safe Space

Ministry of Swing is dedicated to providing a safe and comfortable West Coast Swing learning and event experience for everyone, regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, ability, physical appearance, body size, race or religion (or lack thereof). We do not tolerate harassment of event participants in any form. Sexual language and imagery in any Ministry of Swing social situations is not appropriate, including dances, workshops, competitions, Facebook, Instagram and other online media. Event participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the event without a refund at the discretion of the owners and event staff.

Options for Help

CODE OF CONDUCT IN DETAIL
Harassment Policy

  1. No forms of harassment will be tolerated. Harassment includes offensive verbal comments (related to gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, OR religion), sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of workshops or other events, inappropriate physical contact, unwelcome sexual attention and failure to cease offensive/bothersome behavior when asked.
  2. Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.
  3. If a participant engages in harassing behavior, the event organizers may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender or expulsion from the event with no refund.
  4. If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a member of event staff immediately, using one of the methods above.
  5. Event staff will be happy to help participants contact the Safety Staffer, organizers, or local law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the event. We value your attendance and your safety.
  6. We expect all participants to follow these rules at dance and workshop events.

Being a Good Dance Event Attendee

In addition to the above harassment policy, Ministry of Swing asks that attendees observe the following guidelines to build a positive event for all attendees:

  1. Please do not offer unsolicited advice to fellow dancers either in class or on the social dance floor.
  2. In classes, you and your fellow students are here to learn.  Please refrain from talking over the instructor(s) so no one misses any class content.
  3. Please use your full range of senses on the dance floor to avoid accidental collisions and injuries. It is every dancer’s responsibility to be aware of their own and their partner’s movement and position, as well as the movement and position of the dancers surrounding them, in order to avoid all forms of dangerous contact. In the case of an accidental collision on the dance floor, it’s not necessary to stop the dance, but it is courteous to apologize to the other dancers.
  4. Please be aware of your dance partners’ sensitivity to personal space.  This will be different for all individuals and while some people will be comfortable with closer holds, partner supported moves, etc — others may not. If you are unsure of someone’s comfort level, consider asking permission or curbing use of closer position or partner supported patterns.
  5. If the action of a partner injures you while dancing, Ministry of Swing would like to foster an environment in which feedback can be delivered to that person in a constructive manner to help them improve and prevent possible future injuries.  However, please be sensitive to the fact that no one is injuring others intentionally, so that feedback, no matter how gently delivered, can be upsetting to hear.  If you do not know the person well or are unsure of how to fix the issue or deliver the feedback, feel free to talk to an M of S instructor who can possibly help deliver the feedback in a constructive manner.
    Conversely, if you receive feedback that one of your actions was causing a dance partner pain, please do your best to be open to the opportunity to learn and grow.  None of us are perfect dancers, and most of us have accidentally done something that didn’t sit well with a partner.  M of S just wants to help you improve and be the best social dancer you can be!
  6. As is true for most social dance communities, Ministry of Swing’s goal is to be a supportive community where everyone feels comfortable asking everyone else to dance. And while we encourage all dancers to say yes to other dancers when asked, it is your right to say “no thank you” if you do not wish to dance. And while it is not your responsibility to explain yourself to others if you don’t wish to dance, M of S considers it good stewardship of our dance community to not say “no” unless you have a reason.  And if that reason is something as simple as “I’m not wild about this song” or “I need a water break”, that’s 110% fine, but consider finding that individual for a dance later in the night.  It’ll make them feel good and show that your reason wasn’t personal.
    For those receiving a rejection for a dance (it happens to everyone!) please be respectful and as open minded as possible. If you seek feedback, feel free to approach an M of S staff member. Respect the boundaries of everyone on the social dance floor – if the person saying no is not responsive to sought after feedback do not push them, seek an M of S staff member instead.
    The social floor is meant to be a safe space for all dancers, however as with any diverse group of people situations arise that are not ideal. M of S pledges to manage those situations promptly and professionally so we can get back to what we’re all here for – dancing and encouraging each other!
  7. Please be respectful to event staff even if you are experiencing a personal frustration. Without the goodwill of these individuals, a smoothly functioning event is impossible.
  8. Please be respectful of our venue. Our ability to provide excellent instruction and dance events is reliant on our having a good dance floor and good sound system.  As such, please do not add any substance to the dance floor to speed it up or slow it down.  If you feel the dance floor is too fast/slow to dance upon safely or in the case of any spills, please alert the event staff.  Please refrain from entering the DJ booth (staff only) or from placing food or beverages on top of the DJ booth wall.  The DJ booth has a coaster-lined shelf designed to hold beverages for your convenience.
  9. If the Ministry of Swing staff approach you with feedback regarding your behavior in respect to this code of conduct, our intent is to help you correct your behavior (or the perception of your behavior by others) to prevent any future issue.  We understand that negative feedback can be difficult to hear, so we will do our best to deliver this feedback in a constructive manner.  We ask that you be receptive to this feedback and any suggestions for improvement.  Whether a complaint arises from malicious intent or a simple misunderstanding, Ministry of Swing will do everything we are able to validate that a complaint exists prior to addressing it with you. Refusal to acknowledge a problem will indicate a lack of intent to correct the problem and may result in sanction.
  10. Finally, be aware of your own boundaries and physical needs. Do not neglect your health, do wash your hands frequently, and do remember to take your meds if applicable.