Bailonga is dedicated to providing a safe and comfortable event experience for everyone, therefore all attendees, instructors, performers, and organizers at Bailonga are required to comply with the following code of conduct. We are expecting cooperation from all participants to help ensure a safe environment for everybody. Entering and remaining in this dance venue/event means keeping to these agreements.
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.
If you’d like to submit a formal complaint, please fill out this form so we can better resolve your issue.
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.
It is our goal to provide a space where we 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.
No forms of harassment or bigotry will be tolerated. This 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
Participants asked to stop any harassing or unsafe behavior are expected to comply immediately. Event participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the event without a refund at the discretion of the Bailonga organizers.
If you are being harassed, witness harassment, or have any other concerns, please contact an organizer immediately, using one of the methods listed at the beginning 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.
Prioritize physical safety on the dance floor
Practice awareness of your own body, your partner’s body, as well as the bodies of all nearby dancers to avoid collisions. Leaders, be aware of your position in the line of dance to keep it flowing. Avoid large moves like boleos when the floor is crowded and avoid high-risk moves like lifts. Real injury can occur when these practices are neglected.
You have the right to protect yourself
You always have the right to decline a dance, set a boundary, end a dance before the tanda is over, and/or to verbalize discomfort to protect your physical and emotional safety. You have the right to inform the organizers about any problem and seek their assistance in resolving it.
No alcohol allowed in the ballroom or colonial room
As per the Vet’s Club regulations, no alcohol is allowed outside of the bar area without a certified bartender present. Violations of this rule could lead to Bailonga losing access to the Vet’s Club as a venue, entirely.
Practicing Respect and Good Etiquette:
Ask Before You Teach
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. Teaching that lasts more than a few moments should be moved off into the outer ring, to maintain the flow of the line of dance.
Practice Good Consent
- 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.
- 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.
Be Receptive to Feedback
Bailonga puts an emphasis on learning, innovation, and experimentation. By default, that’s going to entail making some mistakes along the way. If you receive a request to change your behavior from a dance partner or organizer, please do your best to listen and engage in good faith. Approach the topic with curiosity, not hostility and ask questions if you need more clarity on what is expected of you going forward.
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 fact that organizers cannot be everywhere at once, we ask that our veteran dancers make a point to embody the principals of Bailonga in their dancing and personal interactions. 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 violated party to report the incident to an organizer.
Take care of new dancers and beginners: 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.
Disrupt bigotry and disrespectful behavior that you witness: Verbally push back on the problematic assertions or actions and/or report the issue to an organizer, 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.
Let go of gendered language in tango: 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 organizers of Bailonga reserve the right to enforce the rules above at their discretion depending on the severity of the violation, you can expect our enforcement to generally follow these guidelines:
- After 1 complaint, the violator will be given a verbal warning and reminder of the expectations they’ve agreed to in entering the space.
- After 2 complaints, the violator will be asked not to return to Bailonga for the next 30 days, and their return is contingent on their willingness to commit to the above agreements. Organizers will also work with the violated 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 violator will be barred from the event permanently.
- Retaliation of any kind against the violated 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 in person or submit a formal complaint online here.
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: 4/11/2023