[Callers] unwelcome behavior

JoLaine Jones-Pokorney jolaine at gmail.com
Sat Jul 9 05:20:48 PDT 2011


In regards to unwelcome behavior at a dance, our community has a middle-aged
man who zeros in on the (very thin) young women (we're a college town), and
lifts them off the floor, swings them around, drops their heads towards the
floor, etc.  I watched him drop a first-time dancer, TWICE in one night.  I
saw her go to the restroom and followed her.  She was unhurt but badly
shaken and in tears.
As a member of the organizing committee, I had a talk with him and he denied
vehemently everything I saw, saying that she "fell." I told him someone
cannot "fall" if their feet are in the air to start with. As lead, his job
is to take care of his partner.  On his behalf, let me say that many of the
young women enjoy his moves, but many do not.
Because of this dancer, another local community passed a policy that
requires dancers to keep one foot on the floor at all times.  I felt that
policy was a message to young people that they didn't want young people
coming to their dances as dips and aerials (done carefully and well) are how
they like to dance.
After much discussion our Board passed a policy that clearly outlines our
requirements regarding moves which lift someone off the floor, but the thing
I like best is that it outlines behavior for ALL dancers to follow. It is a
personal peeve of mine when women (and sometimes men) complain about a
dancer behind his back but will not tell the dancer what he is doing
inappropriate.  That sometimes makes it hard to confront the person because
he will say, "I've never had any complaints."
Our rambunctious dancer has been following these guidelines very well for
several months now.
Here is a link to the full policy:
http://godsdance.org/GODS/New_to_Contra_files/safe%20dancing%20policy.pdf

JoLaine



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