Code of Conduct

 

Our BluesKitchen Stuttgart dance community has several shared values. We would like to share them with you here so that our expectations are clear for all attendees at lessons, socials, parties, and events. We encourage you to come speak to any of our members or teachers if you have questions or concerns. You can also e-mail us (blues at blueskitchenstuttgart dot de).

We want everyone to feel comfortable and welcome in our BluesKitchen!

Asking someone to dance

Anyone may ask another person for a dance. Please use words to make this invitation, unless you already have an established relationship with someone that makes nonverbal communication comfortable. You are always allowed to say “no, thanks” to an invitation. We encourage everyone to be open to dancing with anyone, regardless of their skill level, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, race, or age. However there are many reasons someone might not want to dance that particular song or at that particular moment or even with a particular person. We ask everyone to accept a “no” and just ask someone else to dance.

We encourage our dancers to ask, “Would you like to lead or follow?” We do not assign dance roles by gender, and many people in our scene dance both roles. If you ask someone to dance and find that you don’t have a desire to dance opposite roles, you can ask someone else. If you’re interested in “switching,” or dancing both roles at some point during the dance, please ask your partner at the start rather than surprising them with a role change.

In our scene, it’s normal for partners to dance one song with each other at a social. You may ask for another dance immediately after the first dance or later on. 

Dancing in partnership

During lessons, we ask partners to rotate so that everyone dances with several different people during the lesson. This helps improve your leading and following skills. However, if you prefer only to dance with the partner you brought, please just let the teacher know.

When you dance with someone, appreciate their dancing and give them your full attention. We value this special personal connection we experience in partnered blues dancing. In blues dancing, both leaders and followers are creative partners that can offer new ideas and express themselves in the dance. 

We see each song as an opportunity to create a fun dance together. We don’t want to show off our superior skills or put people into positions they aren’t comfortable with. Different dancers enjoy different things. Pay attention to whether your partner is enjoying the kinds of moves or movements you are initiating. Try to adjust for your partner’s skill level and comfort. For example, some people may not be comfortable having contact in certain areas of their body, others may struggle with quick steps, and some just don’t like to do a lot of turn patterns. Please never surprise your partner with unexpected dips or lifts: these are moves that require trust, and trust should be built over time. As with any conversation, pay attention to each other and enjoy the exchange of ideas. Listen and express yourselves to the music together!

We believe everyone can speak up on the dance floor. That means you can express yourself when the music inspires you. It also means you can ask your partner for a change if you are feeling uncomfortable. Please phrase these as preferences or requests rather than criticisms; for example, “I feel more comfortable with a looser hold” rather than, “You’re squeezing my hand way too tight!” Please do not give dance lessons on the social dance floor (unless a friend has asked you for some help). If you’d like to praise your partner, please focus on their movement rather than their body. You might say, “That was an awesome rhythm variation,” or “Thanks for such a fun dance!”

Environment

Sometimes the space to dance may be limited. Whether you are dancing solo or with a partner, please be mindful of how much of the available space you are using. Please assess the space before doing large or traveling movements. If you see other dancers traveling in line of dance around the room but would prefer to dance on the spot, please move to the center of the room.

Especially when we dance in live music venues, it’s important to be careful of people who are not dancing. Please keep your movements controlled enough that people can pass by you without fear. When you aren’t dancing, please move away from the area of the floor where people are dancing.

Of course, accidents will occur. When you accidentally run into, hit, or step on someone, please apologize immediately. Assess the situation to see if you should help that person off the dance floor or get them some ice. 

Your donations for our venue are very welcome - and in fact needed. We love dancing with you, but we also have to pay the rent! Of course, if you've already paid for a lesson or ticket that night, that's contribution enough.

Please help keep the space nice. Leave wet or muddy things away from high-traffic areas, hang jackets in the appropriate area, keep bags off the dance floor, and throw your trash into a bin. Be sure to wipe up any spills as quickly as possible, to avoid someone slipping. Please do not use powder or wax on the floor, as this can be dangerous for dancers wearing slick shoes and can also damage the floor. We also appreciate your help cleaning up at the end of a dance!

If there is a live music act, we definitely want our musicians to feel appreciated for the wonderful gift they share. You’ll notice we stop dancing after every song to applaud. We also ask you to tip within your means. 

Dress & Hygiene

We are a relaxed group. You are welcome to attend in whatever clothing makes you feel comfortable, as long as it is something you could also wear out on the street. Many dancers wear special dance shoes, but any shoes that can be securely attached to your feet are fine. We recommend avoiding overly heavy or high-heeled shoes.

Dancing brings us into close proximity with others. Please be mindful of your personal hygiene so that everyone will feel comfortable dancing near you. 

If you are sick, we encourage you to stay home and come another time. Even with a slight cold, peoplease be mindful. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze and wash your hands frequently. 

Photography

We respect the privacy of each of our attendees. Please do not take photos or video during lessons or workshops as some students prefer not to be filmed, even if they are in the background. You can ask if a teacher is willing to do a video recap at the end of the lesson.

There may be people taking photographs at our parties. If you do not wish to be photographed, please let one of the BluesKitchen Stuttgart members or teachers know when you arrive. If you are planning to take photographs, please do not use flash. Please do not post these photos publicly without getting permission from everyone in the photo. We ask you to respect a person's wishes if they do not want to be photographed or if they ask for a photograph of themselves to be deleted.

Problems

If at any time you feel uncomfortable, unsafe, or offended, we invite you first to deal directly with the person(s) in question to try and resolve the issue. If this doesn't work or if you feel unsafe/uncomfortable in dealing directly with the person, please seek the assistance of someone on our Care Team or any dancer that you trust and feel can assist. If you don't know who is on our Care Team, then please ask a teacher or whoever is DJing and they will be able to point them out for you. You can also e-mail us (blues at blueskitchenstuttgart dot de).

Inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated. BluesKitchen Stuttgart reserves the right to warn people for inappropriate behavior and may ask you to leave the event if such behavior is repeated/continued. For repeated problems after a warning or in case of serious misconduct, BluesKitchen Stuttgart may ban you from all our classes and events. 

Be Welcome!

The kitchen is always the most crowded, cosy place at every party. People come together to enjoy conversation and share a delicious meal or drink, mixed up from different ingredients. Let's all have an easy-going, awesome time together in our BluesKitchen.