Comets

Code of Conduct

(Printable pdf)

Our pledge

We as organizers, teachers & dancers believe that establishing and informing safe space norms makes it safer and more comfortable for people to join and enjoy our dance events and classes. We expect that by joining you have read and consented to the Code of Conduct below. We expect everyone to help in creating a safe, comfortable and fun environment.

Acceptance & inclusion

We wish to build a dance scene where everyone can feel welcome and safe regardless of sex, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, ability, physical appearance, race, ethnicity, religion or celebrity. It is our responsibility to create an atmosphere where nobody is discriminated against. We do not tolerate harassment in any form – verbal, physical, emotional or sexual. It is the responsibility of everyone to foster safe culture – we are in this together!

We also strive for de-sexualizing the dance: it should not be treated as inherently romantic or sexual. Dancers are encouraged to dance in whatever role they enjoy, whether lead, follow, or role switching, regardless of their presumed gender. We also acknowledge that a dancer’s preferred role may change throughout an event or even during a dance.

We welcome and support beginners and we understand it can sometimes be intimidating to join the scene as a newcomer. We do our best to make them feel welcome.

Etiquette & good manners

On the social dance floor anyone can ask for a dance and it is always OK to refuse without an explanation, keeping politeness in mind when doing so. It is also good to ask the preferred dance role without assuming it is based on gender, and to ask first if you would like to switch. Always thank your partner after a dance. It is fine to ask for an additional dance, but do not assume everyone will want to have another dance. Some prefer having one dance per partner. 

It is clear that some of us are more active dancers than others. It is courteous to take the whole crowd into consideration and not be fishing for one’s own dance chances only. Please also abstain from offering feedback on the social floor or classes unless specifically asked for.

Dressing up (e.g. vintage style) for parties suits some people, but it is totally voluntary. You can always come wearing any clean clothes you like.

Safety & care

Floor craft: We all need to be considerate of our dance partners and all others we share our space with. If we accidentally touch or hurt anyone, we apologize immediately.

Dips, aerials and close embrace: When the music, in your opinion, calls for more physical closeness or something more unusual, like dips or aerials, discuss it with your partner first. Dancing should not put anyone in a position where they feel uncomfortable or unsafe. Note also that dips and aerials do not belong on the social dance floor due to safety reasons – they have their own designated places in jam circles, shows and competitions.

Being sick: We expect that those who feel sick with a flu or another transmittable disease do not participate in dance classes or events.

Hygiene and allergens: A clean shirt and good personal hygiene are expected at dances and classes. Please notice that perfumes and other allergens may cause trouble to others and should therefore be avoided. Fragrance-free deodorants are recommended instead.

We understand

We understand that the above guidelines ensure a better experience for everyone. Those violating the Code can be asked to leave without right to refund and can be banned from future attendance at the discretion of the organizers.

Conflict resolution

We understand that conflicts can arise in social contexts (often out of misunderstandings that can be resolved with a short and polite exchange of words) and the way we manage these situations makes all the difference.

Some practical advice:

  • If you find yourself in a situation where this Code of Conduct is not adhered to, know your own boundaries and be ready to put your experience into words. Refer to this Code of Conduct. If you need assistance or feel concerned, please inform the teachers/organizers.
  • If you witness a conflict or a situation where this Code of Conduct is not adhered to, please inform the teachers/organizers.
  • If you have anything to report, any concerns, questions or suggestions for improvement, please contact us: hallitus@comets.fi

We will promise to treat any reports made from dancers in our home scene or elsewhere, with sensitivity and to keep all details as confidential as possible (however, in the event of a police investigation, all information will become disclosable to authorities connected to the case).

In serious cases needing external help, please contact: 

  • General emergency number: 112
  • Raiskauskriisikeskus / Rapecrises Centre Tukinainen: 0800-97899 (Monday – Thursday 9-15; weekends, national holidays and eves of national holidays 15-21); www.tukinainen.fi
  • Rikosuhripäivystys / Victim Support Finland: 116 006 (Monday – Friday 9-20 in Finnish and English, 12-14 in Swedish)
  • Nollalinja: 080 005 005 (24/7) www.nollalinja.fi

*This document has been created together with organisers, teachers and dancers representing: Jazz Factory, Blues Dance Helsinki, RDC Comets, Black Pepper Swing, Random Swing, Avec Dance Club, Tuesday Night Hop, and STEPS code. Helsinki, April 16, 2020.