Steel City Blues Safer Spaces Policy

Everyone attending Steel City Blues must read this document and abide by its principles. People who do not follow these policies may be asked to leave the event without refund. Verbal or written complaints brought to us will be taken seriously and handled with care and confidentiality.

Code of Conduct

Our goal at Steel City Blues is to create an inclusive and welcoming event where all people can enjoy social dancing and Blues music in a safe and comfortable environment. We welcome dancers of all experience levels, and all people regardless of race, religion, nationality, physical ability, mental ability, gender, sexual orientation, physical appearance, or age. We expect all attendees to treat everyone with respect regardless of the factors mentioned above.

Blues is a social dance and our mission is to dance with people from many different dance communities! We’ve come together from all over the country and the world to bond over our love of Blues. That said:

Right to Refusal — Everyone has the right to decline or leave a dance, with or without explanation. Please do not take it personally if someone says no to a dance with you, if they dance with someone else during that song, or if they leave a dance mid-song. Keep in mind that there are many possible reasons for someone not dancing with you, and respect that nobody owes anybody else a dance.

Romantic Advances — Do not interpret dance connection as attraction. It is not appropriate to ask your partner out while dancing.

Forced ConnectionsYes, Blues dancing often involves close embrace; this does not mean you force your body against your partner. Please be considerate of the needs of your partner in terms of closeness, energy level, and connection type. If you notice non-verbal signals like body stiffening, hesitation, etc., and/or are unsure about what connection is appropriate for your partner, ask. Dance is a conversation — listen to each other!

Unsolicited FeedbackSpeak up if you are uncomfortable, in pain, or at risk of being hurt. Do NOT critique, criticize, or teach on the dance floor unless specifically asked.

Public Displays of Affection — Please refrain from overtly sexualized activities on the dance floor (e.g. grinding, making out, roaming hands). Dancing can be close; this does not mean it is sexual.

Aerials, Dips, & Tricks — Aerials are not allowed on our social dance floors. Dips and tricks should only be done between practiced and consenting partners. Please do not do weight bearing moves, such as deep dips, without verbal consent.


Safer Spaces Violations

Everyone attending Steel City Blues is expected to respect the boundaries of others on and off the dance floor, even outside the scheduled events and venues. If you are hurt or made to feel unsafe or uncomfortable in any way by a fellow attendee, please immediately bring this to the attention of any Steel City Blues committee member.

If someone tells you that something you are doing is hurting anyone, or making anyone feel unsafe or uncomfortable, immediately stop the behavior. We understand that it can be challenging not to take this feedback personally, and we hope that you can see this as a learning opportunity.

Even if you are not directly involved — if you notice someone is hurting a fellow attendee or causing them to feel unsafe or uncomfortable, we still ask that you bring this to the attention of a Steel City Blues committee member.

Anyone who does or says something inappropriate, disrespectful, overtly sexual, illegal, dangerous, or otherwise violates any of the policies set forth here will face consequences up to and including immediate removal from the event, banning from future events, and legal action.

We reserve the right to ban individuals from registering for or attending any part of Steel City Blues.

For example, if anyone is:

  • A convicted sexual offender
  • Currently being tried for a sexual offense
  • Has a Protection from Abuse (PFA) against them
  • Has a restraining order against them

This person may be banned from registration, refused entrance, and/or removed from the event. Please notify the Steel City Blues committee if you know of any such individual who may plan to attend the event.

Any person who has previously been reported for inappropriate and/or criminal behavior by a member of the social dance community may be banned and/or removed from our event. Please make concerns known to a Steel City Blues committee member.

Safer Spaces Procedures

When you bring an issue to a member of the Steel City Blues committee, you can expect:

  • An initial conversation away from other attendees
  • Confidentiality (unless we feel someone is in immediate danger)
  • To be asked how you would like the situation to be handled
  • The situation to be shared with additional committee members
  • The next steps to be determined in consultation with you

Some next steps may include the reported person being:

  • Observed, but not approached, to keep an eye on them for further issues
  • Spoken to directly about their behavior and asked to stop
  • Removed from the event, and/or banned from future events
  • Reported to venue security and/or police

If the resolution of any of these issues is not satisfactory, then you may be entitled to a refund at the discretion of the Steel City Blues committee.

You can also email us at saferspaces@steelcityblues.com.

Fragrance-Free Policy

Recognizing that many dancers have chemical sensitivity or allergic reactions to various products with added fragrances, Steel City Blues is a fragrance-free event.

What does being a fragrance-free event mean?

  • Showering and using deodorant or other antiperspirants that are fragrance-free or utilize natural scents rather than “parfum” or “fragrance” (as listed in the ingredients)
  • Avoiding highly fragranced personal care products (such as colognes, aftershaves, perfumes, lotions, and powders)
  • Avoiding the application of fragranced products in the event space (such as hairspray and Febreze)
  • Not bringing or wearing heavily scented items (such as live flowers and essential oil diffusers)

Steel City Blues recognizes that fragrance-free does not mean ‘zero smells’. Fragranced personal products are ones that are perceptible to others within your proximity.

Anyone attending our event who is heavily fragranced will be asked to remove the fragrance before being allowed entry. Spraying on a fragrance within the event space will result in discussion with the organizers and may be grounds for removal from the event.

Steel City Blues Committee Members

Emily McNaughton
Amelia Oleander
Daniel Johnson


Creative Commons License The Steel City Blues Safer Spaces Policy was created in conjunction with  PittStop Lindy Hop and Hot Metal Blues. Other events or dance scenes are welcome to copy or modify our policies. All we ask is that you include a shout-out that says the policy is based on/borrowed from the Steel City Blues Safer Spaces policy, and include a link to the original.