Community Culture

802 Westie Collective is dedicated to creating a space where all can socialize, dance, learn, and grow in a welcoming environment.  Our floor is open to all and intolerant of prejudice, harassment, and unsafe behavior. We expect respect for people and who they are, their pronouns, and personal expression.  Dancers at 802 Westie Collective ask people to social dance, dance safely, and are respectful of physical boundaries and expressed limitations.

If you see or experience anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, you have the option of taking any of the following steps.

  • You are always encouraged to speak up for yourself.  Feel empowered to handle minor problems directly with another person if that feels safe and productive.
  • Fill out an Anonymous incident report. You can include your name for follow-up, or keep it anonymous to preserve your privacy.
  • Speak with a trusted instructor or board member.  They will ask you similar questions as our form to begin conversation and move toward resolution.
    • Board Members/Teachers: Bridget Fisher, Adam Franco, Sarah King, Alison Nihart, Jill Olson, Tom Eddy

802 Westie Collective has a process for dealing with incident reports. We may consider reports of inappropriate behavior that has occurred in other dance communities when making decisions about a particular individual.

Courteous social dancing

Here are some ways you can contribute positively to our dance community and help make it a place where everyone feels safe and comfortable dancing

  • Care for your personal hygiene: Bring towels, spare clothing, and extra deodorant if necessary. Please avoid strong perfumes as this is an aerobic activity and some people are sensitive to fragrances.
  • Ask people to dance. They may accept or decline dances for whatever reasons, with or without sharing that reason.
  • Don’t make assumptions about preferred dance roles (lead/follow/switch), so please ask! 
  • When a song ends that dance is over.  It is assumed that both people will find a new partner after a dance, and it should not be assumed that someone wants to continue dancing after the song ends.
  • We encourage dancers to speak up if your partner does something that hurts you or makes you uncomfortable.  Always feel free to ask for more space, either physically or verbally.  
  • Avoid giving unsolicited feedback or comments, regarding dance technique, clothing, movement choices, or facial expressions while social dancing. Exceptions: You may give feedback if your partner has explicitly asked you to do so. You may intervene and involve an instructor if you are witnessing someone in a dangerous position. 
  • Be mindful of your space on the dance floor when social dancing or practicing. Please hold conversations on the edge of the dance floor if not actively dancing.

Code of Conduct

These are our rights and responsibilities as community members, teachers, board members, and volunteers at 802 Westie Collective.

Participants are entitled to

  • Express and enforce personal boundaries.
  • Respectfully express opinions in a way that:
    Does not mock, ridicule, or demean individuals or groups.
    Does not contain obscene, vulgar, or inflammatory statements.
    Is not detrimental to the welfare of other community members.

Participants are entitled to be free from

  • Threat of harm to their bodies and their property.  
  • Harassment, threats, and discrimination of any kind. This includes, but is not limited to: Offensive, derogatory, negative, discriminatory, or vulgar comments or behavior related to an individual’s race, age, level of dance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, physical appearance, religion, or anything else.
  • Microaggressions related to any of the above listed identities and attributes.
  • Persistent and unwelcome attention or advances.
  • Unwelcome or coerced physical contact in any capacity.
  • Situations which make them feel unsafe or uncomfortable to the point of being unable to enjoy the event.

Participants are expected to

  • Follow the outline of courteous social dancing (see above)

Organizer Code of Conduct

All 802 Westie Collective board members, instructors, and volunteers agree to the following:

“As an organizer, I accept responsibility for building a positive and welcoming 802 Westie Collective community. As an organizer, I will lead by example and, conscious of my own biases, will seek to actively engage with everyone in the community. I agree to abide by 802 Westie Collective’s community culture statement and code of conduct. I agree to take seriously any reports made to me about harassment or community conduct, and work with the reporter and fellow organizers to respond in a way that makes 802 Westie Collective a positive and welcoming space for all.”

Appreciation to  The Dancing Fools and Motley Hue for allowing us to use their policies to guide the creation of ours.