Swing Discussion Boards > Code of conduct to prevent harassment at dance camps

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by DanceMentor, Mar 19, 2016.

  1. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    It seems there is a petition going around to instigate a code of conduct to prevent sexual harassment and discrimination on the basis of race, sex, orientation, etc. It is for the Herang Dance Camp
    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/992/362/235/
    Apparently the people at the dance camp felt that the existing laws would be sufficient to deal with such problems. It makes me wonder though if there have been a number of problems at the dance camps. I can only imagine that if you put hundreds of strangers together and a few of them may have some issues. Have you ever experienced problems with people at dance camps? What do you think about the idea to have this code of conduct? Maybe it would make it easier to kick people out if they don't behave.
     
  2. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    I was advocating for something like "new dancer orientation" in another thread, with an eye towards early lesson/social dance experiences. At least the concepts seem similar. Generally I think the social contract among dancers could usefully be made more explicit.

    However the exact formulation here gave me pause. Firstly, I don't think I understand exactly what behaviors led to the petition (I get the sense that the authors may have had some particular cases in mind), so it's hard to judge how well it might meet its goals.

    Secondly, without passing judgment one way or another, purely as a pragmatic matter I wonder how the "kicked out for life" clause would work (and work out) in practice.

    Thirdly, I don't quite understand "acceptable behaviors in various spaces in the camp". Again it seems to me that the authors have some specific cases in mind that just aren't clear to me.

    In any case, folks who "felt that the existing laws would be sufficient" were clearly wrong about that; or else nobody would have gone to this much trouble. However any rules that are adopted in the end will of course have to be compatible with any applicable laws.

    Well, that was my initial reaction, anyway.
     
  3. Siggav

    Siggav Active Member

    I'm a dance organiser and the events that I'm involved in running all have code of conducts now.

    The main reason is to make it easier to boot people if you think it's necessary and to signal clearly to people what the event values.

    It's not intended to replace or go counter to laws and the full legal process way of handling things but quite often people feel more empowered to speak up on grey areas if they feel that the event will listen and have their back.

    Part of the context is that a while ago now it came to light that an uptil then very prominent dance teacher, Steven Mitchell, had sexually assaulted a number of women, many of those events had happened a long time ago now (and the women had been very young at the time) it really shocked the lindy world and one consequence of that was events putting up code of conducts to try to clearly communicate the values they held and show that they want to be supportive.
     
  4. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    Interesting that the two examples are swing camps. One out of the US. I've not heard of such a thing at ballroom dance camps in the US but who knows ...
     
  5. tangomaniac

    tangomaniac Active Member

    Here's more information about Steven Mitchell.
    https://sports.vice.com/en_us/article/how-swing-dancing-faced-its-sexual-assault-scandal/

    I didn't know if it was against the rules to post it but I'm now comfortable because the issue was raised.
     
  6. RiseNFall

    RiseNFall Well-Known Member

    Thank you for posting it.
     
  7. tangomaniac

    tangomaniac Active Member

    Your welcome. I was worried the moderator would delete it as a personal attack.
     

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