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Access and Safety

Community Agreements

Blues Muse strives to create a space that is safe, welcoming, and inclusive for everyone, regardless of age, race, gender, sexuality, ability, experience, background, or other identifying features. We encourage respectful, considerate behavior and good communication.  By attending our event you are agreeing to follow these values, and if you make a mistake or create an unsafe environment, to be held accountable to appropriate restoration and repair. This set of agreements should be read as non-exclusive, and should be followed in spirit as well as letter to the best of your ability..  Please read all of this document, as we expect anyone who attends Blues Muse to read, understand, and help support this policy.

If you have questions about this policy, or are not sure how to comply, please contact the access and safety team (find their information at the bottom of this document). If you face obstacles to attending this event safely or accessibly, please fill out our form.

 

Additional Values:

 

Blues is a Black American dance, and Blues Muse is committed to centering Black voices and Black history in our community, as well as to amplifying our belief that Black Lives Matter. Anyone who shares those goals with us is welcome in the space. We acknowledge that access and safety policies (formerly known as “safer spaces”) have historically prioritized white women to the detriment of Black dancers and other dancers of color. If you are still learning about Black history, Black culture, and the Black Lives Matter movement — and all non-Black attendees are assumed to be still learning about these things — we ask that you use this event as a place to keep your mind open, listen with empathy, and let your dancing and your presence become a stepping stone in supporting this urgent message. 

 

By attending Blues Muse, you agree to:

 

●    Celebrate the diversity of skills and styles in this community! Consider asking new dancers, experienced dancers, and dancers you don’t know to dance. When you ask someone to dance, let them know if you want to Lead, Follow, or Switch, or ask their preference.

 

​●    It’s OK to say “No” to a dance, or any activity, without offering an explanation. It’s OK if someone says “No” to you. Celebrate people taking care of themselves.

 

●    Offer feedback ONLY if you’ve been explicitly asked to do so by your partner, or you are feeling uncomfortable/unsafe in the dance.

 

●    Blues Muse is an environment for the celebration, practice, and development of blues dances and music. Blues is a dance from Black culture. Use Blues aesthetics and partnering agreements at this event to the best of your ability.

 

●    Certain activities require consent, whether it’s verbal, non-verbal, or both. Make sure you have consent, before dancing with someone, changing your embrace, sharing weight (dips,etc). You also need consent for social activities like hugging or photographing someone. If you are not sure whether you have consent, ask. If someone makes it clear that they do not consent to something, stop. Any explicit disrespect or disregard of consent will not be tolerated at Blues Muse.

 

●    Do not initiate or solicit sexual or romantic interactions at this event.

 

●    Do not perform aerials on the social dance floor.

 

​●    Blues Muse has additional policies including a scent policy, a service dog policy, a Black Lives Matter policy, and a COVID-19 policy in place at this event. You must follow these policies. Failure to do so will be addressed as a matter of event safety.

 

●    The German Society allows people who are 21+ to have alcohol in the Rathskeller, provided they consume it responsibly. If you are too drunk to drive, you are too drunk to dance and anyone who is visibly intoxicated may be asked to leave the event.

 

●    Use the names and pronouns that attendees give for themselves unless that attendee gives explicit permission not to.

 

●    Do not bring firearms or other weapons into this space.

 

●    Blues Muse does not tolerate any form of harassment**. Inappropriate behavior or harassment that occurs between members of our community outside of our dance events may be cause for suspension or expulsion from Blues Muse. 

 

●    Keep an eye out for each other. If you see someone who looks to be in difficulty, ask what the problem is. Let an organizer or volunteer know if you see a situation that you think is unsafe, uncomfortable, or that you don’t feel comfortable checking in on. We would rather react to a problem that isn’t there than miss one that is.


 

Sometimes, we wind up doing something that makes someone else feel unsafe or uncomfortable, even when that is not our intention. If you are asked to stop any behaviors, either by an organizer or fellow attendee, you are expected to listen respectfully and comply immediately.

 

When possible, Blues Muse Access and Safety team members will attempt to work with anyone who breaks a part of this agreement to correct the behavior *before* any punitive steps are taken. Extreme or repeated violations of our community agreements, or refusal to cooperate with access and safety team members, may be met with consequences up to and including expulsion from the event without a refund and suspension from future Blues Muse and Powerhouse Blues events. We do draw a distinction between community harm and social harm, and we do not get involved in interpersonal feuds.

 

Blues Muse encourages you to take initiative in respecting, setting, discussing, and defending boundaries. If you feel uncomfortable or unsafe confronting a situation, please talk to an organizer or access and safety team member. We take all complaints seriously and are committed to resolving issues to the greatest extent possible within our resources. Anyone who reports an access and safety concern has the right to request that their information be kept entirely anonymous, and no further action will be taken without the reporter’s consent, unless further reports of the same infraction are received. Anonymous feedback forms are available at all events if you wish to submit a completely anonymous report. 

 

If you have ideas about ways we could make our community safer and more inclusive, we want to hear about it! This is a living document, and we welcome feedback! 

 

​** Harassment includes offensive verbal comments (related to gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, OR religion), sexual images or acts in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of workshops or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.

Scent Policy

Blues Muse is host to a number of folks with extreme chemical allergies, therefore we have opted to be a Scent-free Event. What does this mean for you?

  • Strictly no outside sanitizer! Folks are debilitatingly allergic to most sanitizers. We'll provide plenty of safe, yet effective sanitizer should that be something you'd like to use.
     

  • Strictly no: perfume/cologne, scented lotions, scented body spray, etc. We have elected a scent-free policy at Blues Muse for general community health and accessibility reasons. (things like deodorant, shampoo, and laundry detergent aren't necessary to change)

Service Animal Policy

Attendees (which also includes Staff, Organizers, Instructors, and DJs) are permitted to be accompanied by their service animal to every part of this event. If you will be bringing a service animal, we ask that you inform safety and access staff in advance if possible, using our safety and access form, so that we can make sure you are welcomed appropriately.

Attendees must not interact with a service animal without the explicit consent and invitation of the animal’s handler. 

A “service animal” is an animal individually trained to work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals to an impending seizure or protecting individuals during one, and alerting individuals who are hearing impaired to intruders, or pulling a wheelchair and fetching dropped items.

Service animals must be vaccinated against rabies and other diseases typically found in that animal. Service animals must be harnessed, leashed or tethered, when possible. If dancing, taking class or other activities at this event prevent an attendee from holding a leash or tether, the attendee must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal or other effective controls. The care and supervision of a service animal is solely the responsibility of its handler. 

A service animal may be removed from the event for one of the following reasons:

  • The service animal acts out of control or behaves poorly so as to cause a disruption, and the handler fails or is unable to take effective action to control the service animal.

  • The service animal is unclean, and/or not housebroken.

If the service animal consistently behaves improperly, the handler may be directed not to bring the service animal to the event until the handler corrects the service animal’s behavior. When there is a legitimate reason to ask that a service animal be removed from the premises, organizers will attempt to find ways for the attendee to remain present if reasonably possible.

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