Midwinter Swing Festival – Code of Conduct

Here at Swing Riot Dunedin we’re all about experiencing the joy of dancing in a safe and positive community environment. To help us maintain our fun and playful atmosphere during the Dunedin Midwinter Swing Festival, we ask that everyone who attends any associated event reads and follows this code of conduct – together we can build an amazing community of vintage and swing dance enthusiasts!

YOU are welcome.

All dancers and lovers of music are invited to be a part of our community regardless of age, ability, ethnicity, gender (or gender identity), physical appearance, religion or sexual orientation.


We want everyone who dances with us to feel safe in the knowledge that we are all taking our health, and the health of the community, seriously. As such, we ask everyone to agree to the following:

If you are feeling unwell, do not come to the event.

If you are feeling a little unwell, and you’re unsure whether you should or shouldn’t come to any of the events over the weekend, then don’t come. Play it safe, and we’ll see you next time. You can email dunedin.swing@gmail.com to talk to us about a refund if you have already paid for the event.

Wash your hands.

There is hand sanitiser available as you enter the venue, and around the dance floor. Please wash your hands regularly, and especially if you sneeze, cough, or touch your face.

Sign in.

We want to make it as easy as possible to allow contact tracing if it is necessary. Please sign in as you enter the venue. This information will be kept securely for one month, and then securely destroyed.

Bring a water bottle.

For hygiene reasons, please do not use the kitchen facilities in the venue. Instead, bring your own bottle from home.

Look after each other.

Returning to dancing and travelling for large events will be an anxious experience for many. Be mindful of each other, and the many different experiences we have all had, and are having, in this time period. Be kind, talk to one another, and we can all enjoy returning to doing what we love to do.

Safety and respect

The foundation of our festival is built on all of us respecting every individual and the unique dynamic they bring to our fantastic event. We take community well-being seriously and ask that you do too by following these guidelines:

  • It’s ok to say “no”

Dance as much as you like, but no more than that. Be prepared to say “no, thank you” whenever you like, and be prepared for others to say “no, thank you” to you too! No reasons required (even mid-dance) – just be kind and respectful.

  • Connecting

Be mindful of the physical connection you have with your dance partner, and the moves you’re doing – not everyone wants to dance close, or knows that crazy dip from the latest workshop. Watch out for non-verbal cues – keep ‘listening in’ to your partner throughout the dance, allowing your partner enough space to change the connection at any time. If you want to dance in ‘close embrace’ make sure to check-in with your partner first.

  • Roles

Agree with your partner on roles before any dancing begins (and whether this might involve switching). Don’t assume that someone is a lead or follow because of their gender – anyone can learn either role, so take the time to ask your dance partner what their preference is. It’s also important that you don’t force someone to change role mid-dance without permission, especially in stealing jams.

  • Feedback

If you want feedback on your dancing, ask your dance partner before the dance begins. Never offer unsolicited feedback on your partner’s dancing, with one exception: if something your partner does hurts you, tell them so they can learn to do the move differently next time (or not at all).

  • Floor-craft

Be mindful of those around you on the dance floor, especially in some of Dunedin’s small spaces! Say sorry if you accidentally kick or hit someone while dancing, even if it didn’t seem like your fault.

  • Accidental touch

With arms and legs flying, accidents can happen. If you accidentally touch or graze someone’s private areas, apologise immediately.

  • Clothes

Dress appropriately and comfortably, think about hygiene (and sweat). Bring a change of top/outfit just to be on the safe side. We all get hot and sweaty dancing the lindy hop.

  • Injuries

If you have an injury that might impact on your ability to dance certain moves then let your partner know before the dance begins, and never dance against medical advice. Please talk to a teacher at the beginning of class if you have any injury concerns and want to know what you will be doing in class.

  • Aerials

Leave your aerials to guided workshops, jam circles and performances – they’re not for the social dance floor.

Unacceptable behaviour

We do not tolerate verbal or physical misconduct. We may choose to remove and ban someone from the event if they engage in unacceptable behaviour.

Unacceptable behaviour includes: bullying, sexual harassment, intimidation, continual unsafe behaviour, persistent breaches of the code of conduct, or any other inappropriate, disruptive or unlawful behaviours.

What do I do if…?

If you witness any behaviour that seems abusive, disrespectful, harassing, suspicious, unsafe, or behaviour that makes you or someone else feel uncomfortable for any reason, then you can (and should) do something.

If possible, raise your concern with the person/people involved. If that’s not possible, or it needs reporting, tell someone. There are a number of ways to do this:

  1. Talk to our Safe spaces team or, if the issue concerns one of these people, speak with a member of our organising committee.
  2. If you can’t find a Safe Spaces representative, ask the person who was at the door when you arrived so they can point you towards someone you can speak to.
  3. If you would prefer to write rather than talk, then email dunedin.swing@gmail.com – we’ll respond to your email as soon as we can and take it from there. There’s also a ‘contact us’ form on the Dunedin Swing Riot website.

Although these situations are extremely rare in our community, we take your concerns seriously. We’ll always make time for you and carefully consider any action that needs to be taken.

Thanks for taking the time to read through this code of conduct. If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact us, either in person or via email.

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