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Know Your Rights and Responsibilities as a Dancer

Conduct & Best Practices

West Slope Westies is dedicated to providing a safe space for the dance arts, as well as a welcoming and inclusive learning atmosphere for all participants and instructors. All students, coordinators, board members, guest teachers, staff members, volunteers, and event guests are required to comply with the Code of Behavior as laid out below by West Slope Westies.

Ballroom Dancing

Code of Conduct

Anti-Harassment Policy

No forms of harassment will be tolerated. Forms of harassment include, but are not limited to, verbal, sexual, discriminatory, imagery related to gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion; interference (related to disrupting staff, coordinators, guest teachers, or volunteers teaching and/or administrative duties, as well as students’ learning and social experiences), and failure to cease offensive/disruptive behavior when asked. 


Individuals asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately. If an individual engages in harassing behavior, the West Slope Westies coordinators (which can include teachers, board members, or guest instructors) may take appropriate action, including warning the offender or expulsion from the class or West Slope Westies-related event without refund.


If you are being harassed, or notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a Coordinator immediately. Coordinators will be happy to help participants contact local law enforcement, provide safety escort, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of class and any West Slope Westies sponsored events. We value your attendance and your safety. 


We expect all participants to follow these rules during classes, social dances, and workshop events.


West Slope Westies supports the idea that dance roles (lead and follow) are not tied to gender. We encourage all dancers to avoid assumptions regarding dance roles and to check in with their partners about their preferred roles. Feel free to ask anyone to dance!

Rights & Responsibilities

Bill of Rights

You always have the right to:

  1. Be treated with human decency at all times.

  2. Not be discriminated against based on your age, weight, height, gender, race, religion, ability, sexual orientation, etc.

  3. Personal safety and security, including freedom from sexual harassment, in all places.

  4. Decline dances or interactions with anyone at any time for any reason.

  5. Dance within your ability, safety, and comfort level.

  6. Refuse to do movements that you don’t want to do, or feel uncomfortable or unsafe doing.

  7. Speak up in situations or dances that jeopardize your well-being.

  8. Leave a dance class at any time for any reason.

Bill of Obligations

As a member of the dance community, you are obligated to:

  1. Treat others with human decency at all times.

  2. Not discriminate against others.

  3. Not harass, insult, or assault other members of the community.

  4. Accept “no’s” given by potential or current partners

  5. Not injure or put your partners’ at risk of injury during a dance.

  6. Respect the limitations or requests of your partners.

  7. Ensure your partners are consenting to all activities you do with them, on or off the floor.

Two Girls Dancing
Young Dancers

Best Practices

These practices are different from a right or an obligation. They are not “baseline” minimums; rather they are the commonly accepted and expected etiquette within healthy dance communities.


  1. If you are declining to do something (like dance or perform a movement), be polite and kind.

  2. If your partner says “no” to anything, be gracious and don’t press the matter further.

  3. If you say “yes” to a dance, engage fully with your dance partner – regardless of your or their skill level.

  4. If you are an advanced dancer, be open to dancing with people at all skill levels so that the collective experience of any dance community can expand.

  5. Avoid teaching on the social dance floor whenever possible.

  6. Maintain good hygiene.

  7. Avoid movements that are widely disliked by the local “scene” or community, unless you know your partner likes it (for example: touching the face of your partner, lifts, dips, and drops).

  8. If you see a fellow dancer struggling with a disrespectful partner, ask if they would like help.

  9. Develop effective skills and strategies to deal with disrespectful or potentially dangerous partners. 

  10. Communicate to your partner if you feel uncomfortable in any way. Oftentimes our partners do not realize there may be a problem.

  11. Be aware of monopolizing partners for multiple dances. Regardless of skills, others might also like to dance with them or with you.

  12. If your partner is new to dance or seems uncomfortable during the dance, do not press asking them to dance multiple times. Instead, let them ask you for additional dances. 

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