Bailonga is dedicated to providing a safe and comfortable event experience for everyone, therefore all attendees, instructors, performers, and volunteers at Bailonga are required to comply with the following code of conduct. Organizers will enforce this code throughout the event. We are expecting cooperation from all participants to help ensure a safe environment for everybody.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or, during the event, find an organizer in person via the front desk. Please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Our goals for safety:
Bailonga is dedicated to providing a safe and comfortable event experience for everyone, regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, ability, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion (or lack thereof).
In tango, safety, both physical and emotional, is absolutely imperative. Tango requires an intense level of vulnerability and consistent dedication to the physical safety of everyone involved in order to achieve the kind of intimacy we all hope for in a good dance. We must be able to trust our fellow dancers with our bodies and our minds.
It is our goal to provide a space where we can not only have lovely dances, but encourage innovation, experimentation, artistic and emotional expression, as well as provide a home for relaxation and escape from our often difficult outside world. In order to make this happen, however, we have a list of expectations that need to be followed. Event participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the event without a refund at the discretion of the Bailonga organizers.
Ensuring safety of the dancers:
No forms of harassment will be tolerated. Harassment includes:
- offensive verbal comments related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion or age;
- deliberate intimidation;
- sustained disruption of events;
- unwanted physical contact;
- unwanted sexual attention;
- disrespecting pronouns or intentionally misgendering someone
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.
Examples of dangerous dancing: Unannounced advanced dance moves that would require prior negotiation, technique that threatens the safety of the follow, occupying the space in such a way that threatens the safety of the dancers nearby.
Entering and remaining in this dance venue/event means keeping to these agreements.
Participants asked to stop any harassing or unsafe behavior are expected to comply immediately. If a participant engages in harassing/unsafe behavior, the event organizers may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender or expulsion from the event with no refund.
If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a volunteer immediately, using one of the methods listed at the top of this document. Event staff will be happy to help participants contact venue staff or local law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the conference. We value your attendance and your safety.
Practicing Respect and Good Etiquette:
Please do not impose unsolicited teaching towards your partner on the dance floor outside of the lesson. Bailonga encourages learning and experimentation, and teaching and feedback are a natural byproduct of that goal. But to be respectful, always ask first if feedback is welcome or establish a relationship in which teaching is a positive aspect of your dynamic. The set up of our floor makes practicing technique in the outer ring– off the dance floor– easy, and we encourage you to make use of that space.
Regarding beginning and ending a dance:
- If you don’t want to dance with someone it is ok to politely decline or break eye contact to end the cabaceo.
- Practicing good boundaries is absolutely non-negotiable, regardless of whether we are on or off the dance floor.
- If someone decides not to dance with you, please accept their decision with grace.
- Refrain from touching your dance partner until after they’ve agreed to dance with you.
- Do not initiate romantic or sexually charged behavior without the consent of your partner.
- It is okay to end a dance early or ask to work on something in the outer ring if your safety is being compromised.
Please, practice good hygiene and limit your use of scents and perfumes.
Given the steep learning curve for tango and the time and dedication required to dance safely and consistently, our tango community is less vulnerable to random individuals utilizing the space as a hook-up source or an easy opportunity to get handsy. Our dancers are more likely to encounter dangerous or inappropriate behavior from other experienced dancers, and given their experience, the problem behaviors may be more difficult for organizers to spot.
Given the size of our community and the size of our volunteer base, we ask that our veteran dancers make a point to embody these principals in their dancing and personal interactions at Bailonga. When it is safe to do so, remind dancers who are visiting from outside our community or are new to the area, of these principals if it becomes apparent they don’t intend to follow them, or direct the offended party to report the incident to a volunteer.
Take care of new dancers and go out of your way to welcome them into the community. Invite them to sit with you, introduce them to dancers near their level, and offer to dance with them.
As often as possible, disrupt bigotry and disrespectful behavior when you see it, especially when it is against new dancers, women, people from the LGBT community, people of color, or any other difference in background or appearance that is similarly irrelevant to dancing.
Make an effort to use the terms, “lead” and “follow” instead of “man’s role” and “woman’s role.” Tango has a very gendered background, and because of this, many dancers feel pressure to dance a specific role when these terms are used. While traditionally, the roles of lead and follow were assigned according to gender, this divide in roles is no longer necessary and does not reflect the way Bailonga’s community operates. We have a very high number of “switches” (people who both lead and follow) and we encourage new dancers to learn both roles as much as possible. Furthermore, this is not just an issue of semantics. Some members of the community find the use of gendered terms to be awkward, exclusionary, or even hurtful. Transgender and gender non-conforming people can be affected by this issue in particular. By switching to gender-free terms, we can make this dance space more welcoming and inclusive.
While volunteers of Bailonga reserve the right to enforce the rules above at their discretion depending on the severity of the offense, officially, you can expect our enforcement to generally follow these guidelines:
- After 1 complaint, the offender will be given a verbal warning and reminder of the expectations they’ve agreed to in entering the space.
- After 2 complaints, the offender will be asked not to return to Bailonga for the next 30 days, and their return is contigent on their willingness to commit to the above agreements. Organizers will also work with the offended party to ensure any boundaries specific to them are followed.
- After the first 30 day ban, if another complaint is made, it will result in a 90 day ban.
- If there are any further infringements after the 90 day ban, the community member will be barred from the event permanently.
- Retaliation of any kind against the offended party or the witness for reporting the incident(s) will be considered another infringement and will prompt the process to escalate to the next step.
We encourage anyone who experiences or witnesses harassment, unsafe behavior, or serious disrespect to report it to the organizers by emailing email@example.com or (during the event) find an organizer in person via the front desk. We will treat these issues with the strictest confidentiality. Your courage in coming forward can keep incidents from being repeated.
A big thank you to the dance organizers of Tango providence, Tango Forge, Oberlin Contra, Mobtown Ballroom, FOG CITY STOMP, and Bailonga community members for inspiration, structure, and language used in the above document. Feel free to use this, as-is or in a modified form, for your own dance event.
Last Updated: 12/12/2018