Conscious Dance Guidelines
Dance in bare feet, socks, or your dance shoes. Please no street shoes. Please come with a clean, un-perfumed body.
Well-being and Safety:
We love to dance and we need to be safe too. By taking part in the dance you acknowledge responsibility for your own safety. Be aware of your surroundings and your impact on others. Dance into the empty spaces. Drink water! If you are particularly sensitive to loud sounds, please bring earplugs for yourself or your children.
Sounds and Talking:
Once the music begins it's mostly a non-speaking time. If conversation is necessary, please move outside the space. Feel free to make sound, but respect the silence in quieter parts of the dance. Please be mindful to turn OFF your cell phone before entering the dance space. And always, use your verbal "NO" loudly at any time if your boundaries are not being respected.
All who enter agree to participate. The opening and closing circles are important to the cohesion of the group. We encourage you to arrive on time and stay until the end whenever possible. If you choose to witness, practice taking in the whole room and everyone in it without staring, judging, or creating stories. Try to stay present in your own body even if you are not moving. Stillness is a part of the dance. As a witness you are not just a passive observer, but a part of the experience.
Boundaries and Dancing Etiquette:
You have the right and responsibility to maintain your own boundaries. Ask non-verbally and verbally for permission to dance with another. A yes can be prolonged eye contact, verbal acknowledgement, staying in the dance together in proximity. Please be willing to get a verbal no, no eye contact or perhaps no acknowledgement at all, especially if someone else is in their own dance. Your personal dance exploration is the essence of this practice, dancing with others is secondary. If you do choose to dance with someone, how long you remain in the dance is up to you. Please move on when you know you are ready. You dance in a community. We ask for your sensitivity to how your expressiveness impacts others. Please be aware of the dance we do between authenticity and community.
If you want to dance alone, you can also wear one of the orange arm bands that are available with the blindfolds at The Dance Space. This displays to other dancers, "I am dancing solo".
Stay strongly connected to your choices to say YES and NO, non-verbally and verbally. Intend to not take a "no" personally. It is simply a part of the practice and we honor each others authenticity.
Our dances are open to all and as a public activity, this is not a space for sexual touching. Your presence indicates your agreement to not touch breasts or genitals. Please ask for guidance from a facilitator if you feel unclear about the difference between sensual self expression and sexual engagement. If you are new to contact dance, give yourself time to learn and understand the guidelines before dancing in a close contact dance with another. Going to jams and classes, talking with facilitators and other regular dancers, will help you understand boundaries and agreements. We want the dance floor to be a space of freedom, authenticity and joyful, sensual life energy. Sexual predators and those who do not honor guidelines will be asked to leave.
After the warm up, please keep bodywork and extended resting on the dance floor to the perimeter of the space to allow freedom of movement and safety.
Let the facilitator know if you need assistance at any time during or after the dance.
SAFETY: There can be a lot of moving bodies. Although everyone is responsible for their own safety on the floor, you are also responsible for the safety and supervision of your child. Please keep small children with you or a designated caregiver at all times to prevent accidents.
RESPECT: There are three particular times when we ask that children be quiet, settled, and in your presence -- during opening circle, during the finishing music at the end and during closing circle. If it is clear that their energy is physically or verbally distracting during these times, we ask you to please step outside with them and return when you can.
PROTECTION: The music can be loud. To protect tender ears, we recommend that you use earplugs for your child.
Please no photography or videotaping
Physical Health and Contagious Infections
•Wash your hands thoroughly before and after dancing and after touching your nose or using the
restroom (or use hand sanitizer as a second-choice alternative). Please keep covered with a shirt, no bare chests.
•Cover open wounds, cold sores, warts, etc., securely with tape and bandages so that they do not come
uncovered during dancing. Then, wash your hands thoroughly before coming in contact with others or with shared surfaces, such as the floor
•Wash your dance clothes and knee pads after dancing, preferably drying them completely in a dryer. Don't share your dance clothing.
•Do not attend dance if you have MRSA or related staph infections.
The physical intimacy of contact dance requires extra precaution to prevent spreading illnesses. If you know or think you may have an active contagious infection that can be passed by respiration (coughing, sneezing, breathing), skin contact or through sweat, saliva, mucous, or tears, please take care of yourself at home.