Safer Spaces Policy

This policy applies to all attendees of IVFDF 2019, be they ordinary participants, musicians, callers, workshop leaders, stewards or committee members.

Short Version

Slightly Longer Version

As attendees of IVFDF 2019 we participate in creating a space in which we are:

The platinum rule is key: Do unto others as they would have you do unto them.

If someone expresses discomfort with the way we are interacting with them, we can gracefully adapt our behaviour. If we are unsure if a given behaviour would be welcome, we can ask. We can express our boundaries freely and expect them to be respected.

If we prefer or if an unsafe or unwelcoming behaviour persists, we can notify the IVFDF organisers by asking a steward to be put in contact with a committee member or by texting 07742792053, asking to be put in touch with Greg. IVFDF organisers will take all complaints seriously, listen to us non-judgmentally and treat everything we tell them confidentially unless we ask them to do otherwise.

IVFDF organisers may follow up on complaints at their discretion, up to and including asking people to leave if they are not able to abide by this safer spaces policy.

Further details

Dance roles aren’t gender specific.

All dancers should have the choice of all dance roles, regardless of how these roles are labeled. When we ask people to dance, we can ask which role they would like to dance. We don’t assume people’s dance role based on their appearance. As they say: “Dance with the person coming at you!”

Gender free calling.

We would not line people up by age: “old people on the left, young people on the right”. In the same way, by default, we avoid lining people up by gender wherever possible. Dances and workshops that may not be called entirely gender free are marked as such on the programme.

Even when dances are not called gender free, we don’t assume dance role based on appearance.

Inclusivity and accessibility.

IVFDF is run by volunteers who have limited time. Although in an ideal world IVFDF would be accessible to all, in practice there may be venues, toilets, dances, or workshops that are not. IVFDF will attempt to provide information in the programme regarding inclusivity and accessibility. People planning to come to IVFDF who have accessibility requests, please get in touch!

We mind our words.

We do not use misogynistic, homophobic, trans-phobic, able-ist, age-ist, or racist language or behaviour. We respect the culture and experiences of other people.

Our bodies are super important.

We respect our bodies and ascertain and express our personal boundaries. We also respect the bodies and personal boundaries of other people. We can ask for permission before touching someone, or dancing with them in close hold. If someone tells us that we are making them feel uncomfortable, or they seem uncomfortable dancing with us, we stop. If anyone is making us feel uncomfortable, we have the right to tell them to stop.

We are always free to say no.

If someone asks us to dance and we don’t want to, we say “No thank you” and leave it at that. We don’t need to give a reason; we don’t owe anyone our time. If someone asks us to dance and we do want to, we say “YES please!” Nothing is better than enthusiastic consent!

We are OK with people saying no.

If we ask someone to dance and they say “No thank you,” we’re cool with that; they don’t have to give a reason. We reply, “Hey, no worries - find me later if you change your mind!” and move on to ask someone else. No one is obliged to dance with us. We can ask anyone to dance, regardless of our/their gender, age or role.

We do not give unsolicited feedback.

Unless they specifically ask for feedback, we don’t correct someone’s dancing on the social dance floor. If the caller is giving instructions, any additional advice we give is more likely to confuse than succeed!

"Giving feedback" does not include:

As workshop participants, we ask whether someone is interested in receiving feedback before offering it. We are considerate in the way we give feedback.

We pay attention to our partners and other dancers.

We’re careful not to touch their ‘private’ zones, and we take care to avoid hurting them. If we accidentally swipe somewhere we didn’t mean to, we make sure to apologise. If this happens repeatedly we may be warned or asked to leave.

We do not perform unsafe moves such as lifts and dips without our partner’s explicit consent. We do not dance with our partner in ways that might be dangerous to other people.

We take care of the other people on the dance floor.


If IVFDF have reason to be concerned about an attendee’s behaviour, IVFDF will talk about it with them and may give them a warning. If their behaviour continues after a warning, or if they harass or cause anyone to feel unsafe, they may be asked to leave.