Sugar Swing believes that everyone can enjoy dancing. We hold in high regard good music, a supportive community, and helpful, skilled instructors to further our students. We believe that everyone can dance, no partner necessary, and regardless of age, gender, physique, ethnicity, and appearance. Socializing and community is integral to who we are, and we believe dancing should perfectly combine incredible music, artistry, and a fun atmosphere!
We are a ballroom in the very old-timey sense: we bring people together and provide a platform for both artistic expression and social gathering. We offer dance classes and social dance events in a variety of dance styles related to our main dances Swing and Lindy Hop: Tap, Jazz, Balboa, Blues/Slow Drags, and others. Through our services (classes, events, rentals, and private bookings), we provide an enjoyable, inspiring experience!
In addition to the Code of Conduct below, you may also wish to read our Safer Spaces initiative here at Sugar Swing Ballroom
Code of Conduct
Our Code of Conduct is how we carry out our vision. This code guides our actions and principles in order for us to create a safe place for partaking in any service that we may provide. Outlined below are the specifics on how dancers and patrons should conduct themselves at any Sugar Swing class, dance social, event, rehearsal, practice, or service offered by us:
- We do not permit intimidation, harrassment, or abuse of any kind.
- Respect everyone’s physical boundaries. Do not engage in inappropriate or unwanted physical contact. Be sensitive to other people’s personal space, including dance floor space and physical proximity.
- Apologize for accidental unwanted physical contact. Accidental contact ranging from kicks, collisions, stomped-on feet to butt grabs and boob grabs do happen on and off the dance floor; sincerely apologize if it happens and we can all move on.
- Respect everyone’s personal and emotional boundaries. You’re basically attending a party where there’s a lot of people you don’t know. Avoid highly charged and sensitive topics as you get to know people in the scene; like in any social situation, save those topics for when you know a person better. Also, do not make unwanted advances and be attentive to how an individual is responding to you, including their body language.
- Respect human rights. Be accepting of the diversity of people, values and lifestyles that come with a vibrant dance community.
- Be welcoming! You might have a core group of dance friends, and it’s absolutely fine to enjoy them! But do your best to dance with and be kind and welcoming to everyone. Snobbery, cliques, and intentional social exclusion are toxic to the Sugar Swing community.
- No soliciting without approvals. We need to set boundaries for our business and create a sense of fairness among our dancers. This applies to soliciting political or religious agendas; social movements; your house party; other dance groups and events; petitions; lobbying; and advocacies. That said, we should be able to quickly and easily approve most things within reason.
- Do not bring or consume outside alcohol on the premises.
- Be considerate and respectful to the Sugar Swing staff. We all rely on them to do good, efficient work. When they are on duty and in authority of a job, a group of people, or a space, they must be respected and cooperated with.
- Mind our stuff and spaces. Misuse of anything Sugar Swing owns/rents/leases cannot be tolerated. This includes our building, equipment, fixtures, and furniture. This also includes observing private vs. public spaces within our building.
- Look out for, and report, any manipulative or predatory behaviour. It is important for us as a community to watch out for one another and ensure safety from those who have abusive or manipulative tendancies. We take note of, and precautions, against all such individuals, and will take action to firewall such individuals from continuing to enter our place of business
- Report any misconduct, including verbal or physical misconduct or harassment, to Sugar Swing staff.
How to Report:
- The individuals at Sugar Swing who deal with Code of Conduct violations, incidents, and safer space policy are Elyse Szabo, Jenna O’Flaherty, and Birkley Wisniewski. You may contact them at any time:
- Birkley Wisniewski, Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, 780-604-7572
- Elyse Szabo, Office Manager, email@example.com, 587-786-6554
- Jenna O’Flaherty, Marketing, firstname.lastname@example.org, 587-786-6554
- If at the ballroom and in the moment, seek out the person in charge. You may approach
- the event organizer at dances
- an instructor at classes
- the bar/cafe manager
- by default, the Director, Birkley Wisniewski (email@example.com, 1-780-604-7572) or the Office Manager, Elyse Szabo, are often in the building.
- If none of them are around, any other Sugar Swing staff or employee.
- Depending on the situation, you may be asked to file an incident report, which will aid Sugar Swing in taking any necessary action with the offender and to prevent any future misconduct.
- Anonymous tips and reporting through this form
Actions we may take:
We reserve the right to refuse service, or have any individual removed from the premises if we feel that there is reason or need to do so.
- For less severe infractions, we may choose to meet the perpetrator and give a warning as necessary
- We may remove the perpetrator from our event or class
- We may ban the individual, either temporarily or indefinitely, from Sugar Swing
- We will assist the authorities in any investigations involving individuals who have attended a Sugar Swing event
- We will file incident reports or create meeting minutes in regards to behaviour observed or infractions reported
- We reserve the right to take both mental notes and written notes on suspicious behaviour
- We may cumulate a case of reported or observed suspicious behavior and warnings, and then take appropriate action
- We will not use physical force unless a patron is showing physical threat towards our property or people
- We will not break our Code of Conduct in order to take action against infractions
- To protect victims, we may choose refrain from immediate action, or to ask for consent from victims before taking action. Where there is doubt, we will seek out professional council. We reserve the right to refuse service without stating names or specific incidences where victim protection is a reasonable concern.
The intention behind a Code of Conduct is to create a safe place for dancing to happen with far less room for misunderstanding, whether in class or at a social dance. It is also intended to be informative so that newer dancers can feel safe walking into Sugar Swing, and for all dancers to know what’s appropriate.
If you’d like information on general dance etiquette, head over here.
Getting More Help
You are not alone. You have options. Please consider these helpful resources for any distress you may have experienced, crimes, or serious code of conduct violations.
Reporting to Police …
If a crime has been committed and you feel safe and comfortable doing so, report it to 911
If you need to talk to someone right away …
Distress Line – CMHA – If you’re in distress, call 780-482-HELP (4357). If you’re outside of the greater Edmonton region, call their Rural Distress Line at 1-800-232-7288
If you have been sexually assaulted…
Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton – SACE – 24hr Crisis Line – 780-423-4121
University of Alberta Sexual Assault Centre – SAC – (780) 492-9771
Sexual assault, hate crimes & discrimination, suicide prevention, counselling & help…
Social Dance Code of Conduct
Specific to our social dances, we have also created the following rules and guidelines to govern our dance floor.
- Air Steps (aerials), lifts, risky dips, trust falls, and trick steps are not allowed on the social dance floor.
- The above steps may, however, be executed during ‘jam circles’, performances, at practice sessions, and competition spotlights and only when there is an appropriate amount of clearance from other people and obstructions (8ft of clearance). They may only be executed with a fully consented partner who has also practiced/rehearsed the step with you numerous times and you are both comfortable performing the step
- Accept when someone says ‘no’ to a dance. If you ask someone to dance and they say no, accept their decision and move on. It’s their prerogative. You can say no to a dance too.
- Do say ‘yes’ to dancing when asked. It’s a welcoming, community-spirited, and a polite thing to do! But if you need to say ‘no’, that’s OK too.
- Leads aren’t necessarily men and follows aren’t necessarily women, and we are cool with that. While traditionally, leads are typically men and follows are usually women, this is not always the case! It’s your choice.
- Floor polish, dance wax, baby powder, or any other products is not allowed on our floors unless with consent from our staff
- Dirty or wet shoes are not allowed on our floors. Please wipe clean before using on our floors; you may use our washrooms to clean your street shoes before using them on our floors.
- Excessive jumping or weight on our sprung floors are not allowed. While it would likely take a 300lb person jumping with all they’ve got to break our floor, it IS possible to break any sprung floor and thus we must refrain individuals or groups of people from jumping or applying excessive weight to our sprung floors
- Defaming gossip is not respectful; but preventative advice is encouraged. This is difficult to describe, but essentially, if you see someone ‘coming on too strong’ or acting in an objectionable manner towards another individual, and the other individual is not picking up on the signs you’re seeing or is not fighting back, then it’s good to do something about it. Depending on the scenario, it is OK to inform the potential victim of what you’ve observed, or to step in if our staff aren’t readily available, or to simply let one of our staff know. Please tend towards involving our staff wherever possible. This point requires judgement on a case by case basis and also regarding severity.