Code of Conduct

Our dance community should be a fun, friendly place, where everyone can enjoy learning, dancing and have a great time. This code of conduct is meant to outline some ways we can work together to keep everyone safe and happy. It also helps explain what is and isn’t okay behavior. It talks a little about things any of us can do when someone’s behavior is unacceptable or not safe for those around them, and some things we as organizers might do to support a safe environment for everyone.

How to be popular and safe at events:

⭐ Be respectful of those around you on the dance floor. If you bump into someone, apologize. If you hurt someone, apologize, and try to figure out how you can keep it from happening again. This might mean not dancing with them again, or talking to your teacher.

⭐ Respect other people’s boundaries. We can do some crazy things around here, but just because you see someone do something with someone else doesn’t mean they will want to do it with you! This applies to everything from close dance holds to moves like dips, flirty conversations or just agreeing to dance. If you aren’t sure of someone’s boundaries, or can’t tell from their nonverbal cues, then ask them. If you misjudge, and they ask you to stop, either verbally or nonverbally (such as with a facial expression or a body language cue), then stop.

⭐ Ask, and respond, respectfully. People around here usually happily accept an invitation to dance, but it is also okay to say “no.” If you are turned down for a dance, please respect that decision and find someone else to dance with instead. If at any point in a dance you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, you can tell your partner that you are uncomfortable, ask for any adjustments you need, or stop the dance before the song ends without explanation. Requests for your own safety and comfort are respectful of your partner as your ally in creating fun for everyone and are not the same as offering someone unsolicited feedback on their dance skills (which is generally considered rude). If you are often uncomfortable in dances or often the recipient of these kinds of requests for adjustments, you should consider reaching out to a teacher or trusted ally for help.

⭐ Remember that alcohol and other substances can make it harder to judge boundaries accurately. Please be mindful of your limits so that you can be mindful of others.

This environment is for everyone regardless of race, age, level of dance, sexual orientation, gender/gender identity, disability, physical appearance, religion, or anything else. We do not tolerate harassment or threats of any kind. Any situation which makes another person feel unsafe or uncomfortable to the point of being unable to enjoy the event is unacceptable and can be considered harassment. If you harass or threaten someone, you may be asked to leave.

What to do if you witness or are subjected to unacceptable or harassing behavior

Please watch out for each other and help us to take care of you. If you aren’t sure if someone else is okay, please take a closer look: ask them for a dance to draw them away from the situation, or ask, in a friendly way, if they need help.

If you are subjected to harassing behavior, notice that someone else is being subjected to unsafe or unacceptable behavior, or have other concerns along these lines, please:
⭐ Seek out any SNOW team staff member (identified by their official nametags) for help. You can find SNOW team staff on duty at the event registration desk, or at the DJ booth when registration is closed. -or-

⭐Send us a direct messege on FB or Instagram or send us an email or text messege. You can find or contacts under the main menu. -or-

⭐ Bring something to our attention (anonymously) through our after-event survey.

We promise to respond to your concerns promptly, to listen to you and to take your concerns seriously, and to treat you with respect and confidentiality.

Consequences of unacceptable behavior:

Anyone asked to stop unacceptable or harassing behavior is expected to do so immediately. Actions that compromise the safe and respectful environment of this event are not acceptable from any member of our community: attendees, teachers, judges, performers, volunteers, or staff. Depending on the severity, event organizers’ interventions in response to a problem may range from talking to the offending person and asking them to do or not do something, disqualifying someone from a contest or other component of the event, to asking them to leave the venue immediately without warning, compensation, or refund. These conversations or actions may take place in private if that seems appropriate to the situation. When a situation is significant enough that we decide to take follow up action, we may share information about the situation with our fellow event directors or others in decision-making positions.

If you see additional problems after you or someone else spoke with us initially, we’d like to hear about them too. We want this to be a place everyone can enjoy. We are grateful for your help and commitment to making our shared environment safe for everyone.

Thank you for being part of our team.

Robert Edman, Event Director

This Code of Conduct document was developed by Kay Newhouse and Dave Moldover for Dance Jam Productions, with reference to the Prevention Institute’s Spectrum of Prevention and the Association of Corporate Council’s Legal Resources, and modelled on codes of conduct from Mobtown Ballroom, Black Hat, and Charlottesville Swing Dance Society, among others, with help and input from many friends and allies.

Expectations of Professional Staff

It is important to us that our judges are expert and unbiased, and that our teachers understand that modeling behavior can be as important as teaching content. In your role as our professional staff, we entrust you not only with judging contests fairly and teaching great workshops, but also with engaging with other event participants in a way that reflects well on the credibility of your station with us and your own personal and professional integrity.
With these objectives in mind, we ask that you:

… Give contestants your full, unimpaired attention during contests.
⭐ Refrain from talking to other judges, or conversing with competitors, while you are judging. Consultations with the chief judge are an exception.

⭐ Keep your phone off, and off the floor, when you are judging.

⭐ Judge sober. Consuming alcohol prior to or during judging assignments, publicly or to the point that your judgement is in any way impaired in the opinion of the Chief Judge, is not allowed, and may be basis for immediate dismissal from a judging panel.

… Respect the work of our contest staff and your fellow professionals.
⭐ Dress professionally for all judging assignments, i.e no jeans, t-shirts, or similarly casual dress.

⭐ Help us stay on time by checking in with the chief judge 15 minutes before each of your assigned judging sessions, and being prompt for workshops.

⭐ Speak respectfully of your fellow staff at all times.

⭐ Do not discuss placements until after those scores are posted.

… Understand that you carry serious responsibility in your professional role.
⭐ Personal relationships with contestants, good or bad, may influence your judging or create the appearance of conflict. It is your responsibility to inform the chief judge of any close personal relationships you have with any contestants so we may recuse you from that panel.

⭐ Your position on our staff gives you influence over others and increases your level of personal responsibility:

a. Using your role as judge to coerce or exert undue influence on contestants, whether
stated or implied, to take private lessons or coaching, or engage in sexual contact, is not ethical.
b. Because of your position of authority, the burden to obtain freely given consent is greater
for you, and perhaps harder to ascertain.

⭐ You have a unique ability as admired professional staff to publicly model respectful behavior both on and off the competition floor. Please read and understand our Code of Conduct and be prepared to support our community in working together to create a safe, respectful environment
for attendees, staff, and audiences alike.

Since these responsibilities are fundamental to fulfilling your role as professional staff at this event, failing to meet any of these expectations may be considered grounds for dismissal by the chief Judge or Event Director. We expect that you will carry out these responsibilities with grace and integrity. Concerns about attendees
or other staff members may be discussed in confidence with either event director or the chief judge at any time. Questions about your role, or about these guidelines, are always welcome.

Thank you for being part of our team.

Robert Edman, Event Director