GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR THE MOVE DANCE GATHERINGS
These are general guidelines on different topics that help make the Move a unique dance experience. You may hear these guidelines from time to time during the opening or closing circle to remind dancers of the kind of experience we wish to co-create together.
1) Practice letting go of each dance experience. No matter how amazing a dance was, try to let go of any expectations for future dances, or what meaning it might have once the dance is over.
2) Because of the close proximity of dancers at The Move and in taking into consideration dancers with allergies and environmental sensitivities, please avoid wearing strong perfumes or essential oils, or from having strong body odours.
3) We ask each dancer to abide by our policy that protects our sacred dance space as an alcohol and recreational drug-free environment.
4) Please refrain from using words at the Move. The Move is a nonverbal dance space. This includes refraining from asking in words for someone to dance, talking at the beginning of The Move, or speaking privately with another during the closing circle. (The non-speaking area we are referring to is the wooden dance floor starting where carpet from the entrance ends). Though we ask everyone to refrain from speaking, some dancers vocalize in other ways and we get feedback from dancers around this issue of making sounds during the Move. We realize that some vocalizing may be part of your dance experience, but we ask dancers to recognize that this is a movement meditation practice. Please be aware of your sounding. Frequent sounds that can be heard from more than a couple of feet away from you do not give other dancers the choice to be in a vocal-free space. We thank you for your care for others, and your care for the collective sacred space we are creating together.
5) The Move is primarily a dance and movement space, while we understand that connections can be made during a dance, please socialize outside The Move.
6) Closing Circle
Closing circle is a time of coming together and reflection. Please refrain from words unless guided by the facilitator (aka the DJ). If you have concerns or feedback to share about The Move we welcome this but not during the Closing Circle. (Please see below for details).
7) Sharing Feedback with The Move
We welcome your feedback about the music, the facilitation, and how to maintain a safe, comfortable, and sacred space at The Move. The following are four ways for you to share your feedback:
a) Write a note in the piggy bank on the Community Table. (They are read every Friday night).
b) Email The Move at info [at] themovecollective [dot] org
c) Connect with the Door person (or the DJ after her/his set and after the Closing Circle).
d) Connect with one of The Move Advisory Council members.
SAFETY AT THE MOVE DANCE GATHERINGS — GUIDELINES FOR SAFE, SACRED, RESPECTFUL SPACE
We value and honour each other’s boundaries at The Move dance gatherings, and our clear intention is to sustain, and continue to co-create a safe space for all.
We encourage appropriate, respectful non-verbal contact for those who wish to engage in dancing with others. Here are some guidelines to help create and sustain an open, safe, expressive, and respectful dance space for all. We have created this handout in response to feedback that dancers and facilitators have offered us at the Move. We welcome communication with you, and thank you for your participation. We hope that everyone will take these guidelines to heart and observe them to protect the safety of all dancers.
1) We recommend removing socks at The Move, to reduce the risk of slipping.
2) When engaging in contact improv moves that involve taking on another dancer’s weight, please ensure that you have both feet firmly planted on the ground so that you are balanced and able to support the other dancer’s weight. This is especially important when doing lifts in order to ensure the safety of all concerned. Also be aware of other dancers in the room, and only engage in lifts if there is space to do so.
3) If someone disengages or ends a dance with you, let the dance go.
4) If a dancer indicates they do not want to dance with you, LEAVE THEM ALONE. Find another partner with whom to dance or dance on your own. Possible indications that someone does not wish to dance with you are:
- a) turning away from you as you approach;
- b) dancing to another part of the room without acknowledging you with eye contact, facial gesture (smile etc.) or movement dialogue;
- c) shaking their head sideways or using a ‘stop’ hand to indicate ‘no’;
- d) starting a dance with another person without acknowledging you and/or not including you in that dance;
- e) leaving the dance floor;
- f) moving their body in the namaste position (hands in prayer position at chest level) which often means thank you and good-bye;
- g) dancing (in one location) with eyes closed.
5) If someone indicates they do not wish to talk or have contact with you after the Move, in the hallway or bathrooms, please respect their wishes and leave them alone.
6) Do not follow someone around the studio unless you have a sense of mutual interest. Possible indications of mutual interest could be:
- a) an arm gesture or head movement, “indicating come with me”;
- b) the person moving around the room, away from but acknowledging your presence in an affirming way (eg. gesturing you to follow, smiling, laughing, in a movement dialogue, perhaps mirroring movements of yours);
- c) the person linking arms with you.
7) Please be aware The Move is not intended as a place to cruise or pick up sexual partners. It is different from dance clubs and bars in this regard.
8) Do not purposely touch or caress another dancer’s private parts (breasts, genitals, bums) unless you have verbal consent and/or this person is already your sexual partner.
9) For children’s safety, please see our handout or go to Children’s Safety section of this page.
10) If you feel uncomfortable with another dancer’s behaviour during the Move, please speak to a DJ or Door person, a Move Community Advisory Council member. You may also e-mail the Move Advisory Council at firstname.lastname@example.org, but we would prefer to hear about such things as soon as possible.
We will do our best to offer you some suggestions as to how to maintain and protect your boundaries; we may also speak to the person in question, communicate our guidelines to them, and in the event that they are not able to hear and/or act in alignment with our values and guidelines, we may ask them not to leave, and perhaps not to return. (Please see Harassment Policy below).
** Please know that you have the encouragement and permission of the Move Advisory Council to disengage, or end any dance; and to assert your boundaries when you feel uncomfortable, or when you would rather dance alone. **
11) The Move’s Harassment Policy and Protocol: Harassment is unwanted attention that humiliates or offends someone. It can take many forms, such as unwanted attention, inappropriate touching, verbal threats or slurs, or unwelcome remarks related to sex, sexual orientation, gender, race, ethnicity, size, disability, age.
Physical, verbal, and/or sexual harassment will not be tolerated at the Move. If you engage in harassment, as described by the above guidelines, you will be asked to leave the Move, and may be banned for any length of time up to lifetime. We may also contact the police. (*NB: The definition and forms of harassment that the Move refers to above is derived from the Canadian Human Rights Commission.)
NB: The definition and forms of harassment that the Move refers to above, is derived from the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
The Move Advisory Council thanks Kathleen Rea for her guidelines for safety at Contact Dance, which have been adapted in this document.
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All infants and children are welcome at The Move and those 12 and under enter free of charge.
Children are welcome to dance and move, or sit in the quiet area where there will be quiet activities for their enjoyment (e.g.: books, drawing). We understand that children and infants of a certain age are not always able to be silent or even whisper, this is part of life’s dance. Before bringing children to THE MOVE, please be aware that it is a non-verbal space, and make the call whether you child will be able to be quiet for the duration of your time at the Move. The safety of each child is the responsibility of the parent of guardian of that child. The Move Collective cannot ensure the safety of any children attending the dance event. Please keep close to your children, and be aware that dancers may be moving rapidly through the space, so children should not be unattended on the dance floor. The parent or guardian accepts these conditions if they bring children to the dance event.
Children’s guidelines are:
- no talking please
- no footwear to prevent slips and accidents (dancing shoes are fine)
- no running to prevent slips and accidents
- children must be accompanied by an attentive adult.
The Move sometimes runs Family Dance Jams – family friendly dance events specifically designed for all ages from infants and children to adults. If you want more information about Move Family Dance Jams or you’d like to get involved in helping to run them, please email info [at] themovecollective [dot] org.