Code of Conduct

Here at Swing Riot Dunedin we’re all about experiencing the joy of dancing in a safe and positive community environment. To help us maintain our fun and playful atmosphere, we ask that everyone reads and follows this code of conduct – together we can build an amazing community of vintage and swing dance enthusiasts!

YOU are welcome.

 All dancers and lovers of music are invited to be a part of our community regardless of age, (dis)ability, ethnicity, gender (or gender identity), physical appearance, religion or sexual orientation.

It’s about safety and respect

The foundation of our community is built on all of us respecting every individual and the unique dynamic that they bring to our group. We take community wellbeing seriously and ask that you do too, following these guidelines:

  • It’s ok to say “no”

Dance as much as you like, but no more than that. Be prepared to say “no, thank you” whenever you like, and be prepared for others to say “no, thank you” to you too! No reasons required (even mid-dance) – just be kind and respectful.

  • Connecting

Be mindful of the physical connection you have with your dance partner, and the moves you’re doing – not everyone wants to dance close, or knows that crazy dip from last lesson. Watch out for non-verbal cues – keep ‘listening in’ to your partner throughout the dance, allowing your partner enough space to change the connection at any time. If you want to dance in ‘close embrace’ make sure to check-in with your partner first.

  • Roles

Agree with your partner on roles before the dance begins (and whether this might involve switching). Don’t assume that someone is a lead or follow because of their gender – anyone can learn either role, so take the time to ask your dance partner what their preference is. It’s also important that you don’t force someone to change role mid-dance without permission, especially in stealing jams.

  • Feedback

If you want feedback on your dancing, ask your dance partner before the dance begins. Never offer unsolicited feedback on your partner’s dancing, with one exception: if something your partner does hurts you, tell them so they can learn to do the move differently next time (or not at all).

  • Floor-craft

Be mindful of those around you on the dance floor, especially in some of Dunedin’s small spaces! Say sorry if you accidentally kick or hit someone while dancing, even if it didn’t seem like your fault.

  • Accidental touch

With arms and legs flying, accidents can happen. If you accidentally touch or graze someone’s private areas, apologise immediately.

  • Clothes

Dress appropriately and comfortably, think about hygiene (and sweat). If you’re feeling ill – take the night off and come to the next class or dance refreshed.

  • Injuries

If you have an injury that might impact on your ability to dance certain moves then let your partner know before the dance begins, and never dance against medical advice. Please talk to a teacher at the beginning of the class if you have any injury concerns and want to know what you will be doing in class.

  • Aerials

Leave your aerials to jam circles and performances – they’re not for the social dance floor.

Unacceptable behaviour

We do not tolerate verbal or physical misconduct. We may choose to ban someone permanently from classes and dances if they engage in unacceptable behaviour.

Unacceptable behaviour includes: bullying, sexual harassment, intimidation, continual unsafe behaviour, persistent breaches of the code of conduct, or any other inappropriate, disruptive or unlawful behaviours.

What do I do if…?

If you witness any behaviour that seems abusive, disrespectful, harassing, suspicious, unsafe, or behaviour that makes you or someone else feel uncomfortable for any reason, then you can (and should) do something.

If possible, raise your concern with the person/people involved. If that’s not possible, or it needs reporting, tell someone. There are a number of ways to do this:

  1. Talk to your teacher. If the issue concerns your teacher and you want to talk to someone else, then please speak to a different teacher, or contact us via email.
  2. If you are at a social dance and can’t find a teacher, ask the person who was at the door when you arrived and they can point you to a teacher. Just ask: “Do you know where the teacher from my class is?”
  3. If you would prefer to write rather than talk, then email dunedin.swing@gmail.com – we’ll respond to your email as soon as we can and take it from there. There’s also a ‘contact us’ form on our website.

Although these situations are extremely rare in our community, we take your concerns seriously. We’ll always make time for you and carefully consider any action that needs to be taken.


If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact us, either via email, through the website, or by speaking with one of our teachers. If you’re new to our scene, you can also check out our helpful ‘Tips for new dancers’ info!

Thanks for taking the time to read through this code of conduct. Together we’ll continue to build a dynamic and creative community of vintage and swing dance enthusiasts who keep each other safe, even as we strive for all possible fun and creative potential. We look forward to seeing you on the dance floor soon!

Advertisements