The Steel City Blues Festival
Safer Spaces Policy
Guide To Being an Awesome Attendee

Safer Spaces Policy

By attending any part of Steel City Blues Festival (SCBF), I am agreeing to abide by this policy.

I realize if I do something inappropriate, whether or not it’s mentioned in this policy, there may be consequences. These consequences may range from an organizer talking about my behavior with me to legal action against me. I will always comply with whatever a member of the SCBF staff asks me to do which, for serious or repeated offenses, may include temporary or permanent ejection from the event without a refund and being banned from future events.

If I experience or witness any behavior that’s inappropriate or makes someone feel uncomfortable, I will bring it to an organizer’s attention immediately. If something like this happens during a class, I will bring it to the attention of an instructor.

I will respect everyone at the event, regardless of their age, race, religion, nationality, creed, sex, gender expression, sexual orientation, weight, ability, dance skill, politics, lifestyle, and personal boundaries. Actually, just to be safe, I’ll be nice to everyone no matter what.

I will strictly respect the physical and personal boundaries of my fellow attendees on and off the dance floor. I realize that I can make others uncomfortable even without intending to, which is why I will always ask for permission from others before touching, hugging, cuddling, or other seemingly innocent forms of physical contact. I realize that only verbal “yes” means “yes.”

I understand the difference between expressing your sexuality through dance and engaging in sexual behavior while dancing. I will NEVER engage in sexual behavior on the dance floor.

I realize that my Number One responsibility during any dance is to make sure that my partner, I myself, and those around me are safe and comfortable. I will do my best to make sure that my dancing does not cause anyone else any injury or discomfort.

I will obey all applicable laws. I’ll also follow the rules of all SCBF venues and any requests made by the SCBF staff and volunteers. I realize that, as a participant in this event, I’m representing the event and my actions have the potential to impact the event and its future.

I realize that this policy cannot and does not outline every type of acceptable or unacceptable behavior or resulting consequences. In the end, I will use common sense, treat others the way they would like to be treated, listen to the SCBF staff and volunteers, and accept any consequences of my actions.

Steel City Guide to Being an Awesome Attendee

I will aspire to be the most awesome and best version of myself while attending any part of Steel City Blues Festival. To be the most awesome and best version of myself, I will do the following:

Part 1: Being An Awesome Guest At My Host’s
If I am being housed by a local, I will be SO, SO nice and considerate to my hosts. I am SO GRATEFUL that they are opening their home to me, for free, so that dancing can be more affordable for all. This means that I will do things like clean up after myself, be very considerate of my noise level, not hog the bathroom, respect my host’s house rules, and deeply and sincerely thank my host from the bottom of my heart for their hospitality. I’ll also be incredibly considerate towards any other guests at my host’s place.

I realize that not being an awesome guest means that people might not want to host dancers again, which can seriously harm this and other dance events in Pittsburgh. That’s why I will be the BEST GUEST EVER.

Part II: Being an  Awesome Guest at the Venues
I realize that I am a guest at all of the venues, so I will be super-awesome at following all of the rules and laws at each and every venue. I understand that no alcohol is permitted at our venues on Carnegie Mellon University’s campus, which include the workshops and Saturday and Sunday main dances.

I will respect our neighbors by being quiet when entering and leaving the evening and late night venues.

I will clean up after myself at all of the venues because, seriously, I’m a grown-up.

Part III: Being a Fabulous Member of the Dance Community
I will practice model dance etiquette because that is one of the keys to being awesome.

I will not take myself so seriously, which means I will do things like happily dance with people who are less experienced than I am, or be cool with it if someone doesn’t want to dance with me, or be 110% okay if I don’t make finals.

I am aware of the many totally cool and completely legitimate reasons to decline to dance with someone. I will not decline to dance with someone for a mean and judgmental reason because I have promised to be my most awesome version of myself.

I will never, EVER critique someone’s dancing on the social floor (or even during the Blues Clinic) UNLESS:
a. My partner EXPLICITLY asked for feedback during this dance
b. My partner is causing me some kind of physical or psychological discomfort

If my partner is causing me some kind of physical or psychological discomfort, I promise that I WILL TELL THEM because it’s disrespectful to me, my partner, and all the other dancers if I let this behavior continue. I will stop the dance, politely and constructively mention my discomfort to my partner, and, if I feel comfortable doing so, offer a possible solution.

If my partner mentions that I am causing them discomfort, I will not be offended or defensive – in fact, I will be SO THANKFUL that they are helping to make me more fun and safe to dance with.

I will adjust my dancing to make sure that I’m always in control and not likely to hurt anyone, especially when the floor is crowded, the music is fast, I’m REALLY REALLY EXCITED ABOUT THIS SONG, I’m tired, or I’ve been drinking Grown-up Beverages.

Even though it can feel awkward to mention this, I realize that having good hygiene is really important to help my dance partners to have a comfortable and enjoyable experience. I will keep my clothes, mouth, and body clean and low-odor throughout the weekend. I realize that everyone has different standards of hygiene, so when in doubt, I’ll change my shirt, grab a breath mint, or otherwise freshen myself up.

I will be super-supportive of everyone’s dancing and learning and do everything I can to make this the BEST DANCE EVENT IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE.

Part IV: Disclaimer (A Coda)
I realize that not everyone is as awesome as I am, so I will keep an eye on my stuff. I won’t hold SCBF responsible if anything I own gets lost, stolen, damaged, or gnawed on by a small child.

I also realize that life is unpredictable, especially life on the dance floor, so I won’t hold SCBF responsible for anything that happens to me or my precious possessions during the event, because stuff happens and I’m a well-adjusted person who realizes this.


Creative Commons License The Steel City Blues Festival Safer Spaces Policy and Guide To Being an Awesome Attendee by Kelsey Ballance is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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 Festival’s Safer Spaces policy, and include a link to the original along with the same Creative Commons license.