What do you do or have seen others do to build inclusivity at your dances?
What is your vision of inclusivity?
Culturally, how do you balance a culture of consent (nobody *owes* anybody else a dance,
you can refuse without explanation at any time and dance with somebody else) with a
culture of inclusion where anybody who walks in the door, whether they're new dancers,
middle-aged women, newish dancers in the zone between "let's take care of the
first-timers" and being experienced dancers who can take care of themselves, etc.
can be genuinely welcome and can dance as much as they want to without feeling like
they're part of an out group?
I was discussing this with Seth Tepfer and he set up a google doc to collect ideas.
It'd be rude to make people on the list go there to participate in this discussion and
that format is bad for clarifying questions anyway, so you may certainly update that
document but you can also just post here and I'll try to add new ideas to the doc.
Doc contents right now:
1. Caller can be encouraged to program circle and scatter mixers. After the circle or
scatter mix, the caller can say 'keep this parter for the next dance.
2. Callers and dance organizers can reserve the first 1/3 of the evening to only
dancing with new dancers. Role model this behavior for other experienced dancers
3. During the early 1/3 of the evening, the organization can welcome everybody, and
applaud the new dancers
4. Nametags for everyone.
5. We used to have nametags saying (it's my 1st/2nd/3rd time here: ask me to
6. Caller's can remind folks to ask the people sitting out to dance.
7. Try to discourage booking ahead. Talk about why booking ahead is detrimental to your
community - on listservs, in signs, at post dance gathering.
(I'm an organizer for the Palo Alto Contra dance, an English dance series, and some
camps, and an English/Victorian/Regency/Contra caller. Even if what organizers can do is
what callers can do, the organizers can tell the callers to do what they can do, so caller
suggestions are appropriate here.)