Ooh La La!

Ooh La La Dance Weekend - Code of Conduct, Expanded Version

Ooh La La! offers a rich summer dance weekend experience with a warm community spirit. We strive to create a safe community based on consent, inclusivity and respect. To achieve this we have published a formalized Code of Conduct to outline our expectations for participants towards other dancers, the band, caller, kitchen crew, and sound personnel. 

For your comfort and safety, and for the comfort and safety of all other participants, please read this Code of Conduct in its entirety and direct any questions or comments you may have to oohlaladance@gmail.com.

If you experience or witness a violation of this Code of Conduct during the event, please let a member of the OLL committee know as soon as possible. If requested, we will keep your comments and concerns confidential to the best of our ability.

CONSENT

Consent is when someone agrees, gives permission, or says “yes” to an activity with another person. Consent can be verbal or non-verbal, but ensuring verbal consent before various activities can help you and other participants respect each other’s boundaries. 

Always ask for consent. 

ON THE DANCE FLOOR

Some useful phrases when asking for consent when dancing are:

✦ “Would you like to dance?”

✦ “Do you have a role preference?” “Would it be okay if I danced on the left/right?”

✦ “Are twirls/dips/lifts okay? Is there anything you would prefer to not do?”

✦ “How do you feel about close dancing?”

Consider that though you may have your partner’s consent to do flourishes, you do not have the consent of other dancers around you to enter their space or cause them to be late for a figure. Please keep your flourishes safely controlled and on-time.

You also do not have someone’s consent to physically correct them if they make an error. Pushing or pulling someone into place is an example of non-consensual touch and is prohibited. In general, please be patient with each other and allow the caller to fix any mistakes.

OFF THE DANCE FLOOR

You may see adult participants engaging in other forms of non-sexual touch, such as hugging, holding hands or cuddling. The same rules of consent apply to all forms of touching, on or off the dance floor.

Some useful phrases when asking another adult for consent for other kinds of touching are:

✦ “Can I give you a hug?”

✦ “Would you like to hold hands?”

✦ “Is it okay if I put my arm/head/etc here?”

SAYING NO AND ACCEPTING NO

Anyone is free to decline any request for consent or revoke their consent at any time, without having to provide a reason. If someone asks you to do something you are uncomfortable with, or behaves towards you in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable, you are encouraged to tell them to stop (if you feel safe doing so). If this happens during a dance you may leave the set even if it disrupts the flow of the dance.

Some ways to say no and enforce your personal boundaries in English and French: 

✦ “No.” / “Non.”

✦ “Please stop doing that.” / “Arrête de faire ça, s’il te plaît.” 

✦ “I don’t like that / That makes me uncomfortable.” / “Je n’aime pas ça / Ça me rend inconfortable.”

Put your hand up to signal Stop / Tenez-vous la main levée devant votre corps pour signaler “stop.”

If someone declines a request or asks you stop doing something, just say “ok” and stop the behaviour immediately. Do not ask for any explanations. If their answer to your request is not a clear ‘yes’, it is not consent.

Harassment occurs when someone acts without consent, or does not change their behaviour towards another person after having been asked to stop. People reported to be harassing other participants may be asked to leave the event or barred from attending future events.

REPORTING INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR

Our committee is here to help ensure you have the most enjoyable experience possible at Ooh La La. If you experience or witness behaviour that goes against our Code of Conduct, please inform our Safety Officer or a member of the OLL Committee, either in person or at oohlaladance@gmail.com

If you feel that any of the information in your report should be kept private or confidential, we will respect that to the best of our ability. 

We take all concerns seriously and will do our best to address any issue that is impacting the physical or emotional safety of our participants, up to and including asking someone to leave the event. If the behaviour you have experienced or witnessed involves a member of our committee, that person will be recused from any handling of the complaint.

INCLUSIVITY AND RESPECT

Ooh La La is more than a dance event: we share meals, enjoy performances, and spend down-time together – all weekend! We believe this is part of what makes our event so special, and our commitment to being respectful and inclusive to all participants doesn’t end when the dance does.

Be kind and welcoming to everyone.  

Our event is welcoming to all people regardless of age, race, ethnicity, religion, class, citizenship or legal status, sexual orientation, gender/genderless identification, body size, or level of ability. Any form of discrimination towards any participant is strictly prohibited.

But more than just discouraging discrimination, we encourage you to be actively inclusive and welcoming to all participants. If you’re outgoing and see someone sitting alone, invite them to join you for lunch. Strike up conversation with someone you haven’t met before. Introduce yourself with your preferred pronoun and ask the other person for theirs. Every individual is a cherished member of our community whether it’s their first Ooh La La or their 13th! 

LANGUAGE

We are proud to hold our event in Quebec, where the primary language is French. Please be polite and patient with each other if you’re finding verbal communication difficult – this could be an opportunity for language and cultural exchange! If necessary, do not hesitate to ask a member of our committee for help.

RESPECTING OUR STAFF

Our staff are the beating heart of Ooh La La – they work tirelessly behind the scenes, long before and after the event, to offer the best possible experience to every participant. This event is their labour of love, but it is still labour. Please respect that this is their place of work and that when scheduled, they must focus on their job and work-space. They may not be available to socialize or handle situations outside of their control or job description.

The kitchen and stage areas are specifically off-limits to all participants unless they have been invited to enter by a staff member. 

Please also bear in mind that sometimes things do not go as planned behind the scenes. If the end result doesn’t meet your expectations, be patient and consider that the staff might be experiencing hurdles that are not apparent from the outside. Everyone is doing their best! 

If you feel you must make a complaint or comment, please ensure to direct it to the appropriate staff member in charge of that responsibility. 

GENERAL ETIQUETTE

Observing certain etiquettes will make for a more enjoyable event for everyone. While we do not have strict guidelines for general etiquette, we ask that you keep the following in mind:

✦ Our event does not have a dress code. We do, however, encourage you to dress comfortably and not judge others for how they choose to dress.

✦ We do not have a policy regarding scents, however, please be aware that some participants have allergies or sensitivities to scents. Please avoid using unnecessary scents such as perfume or cologne. 

✦ Consider brushing teeth after a meal and changing if you’re starting to sweat through your clothing. Wash your hands regularly. We’ll be in close quarters all weekend!

✦ We are incredibly fortunate to have an amazing kitchen crew preparing delicious meals for us. Please respect them, each other, and our environment by not wasting food. Serve yourself only what you will eat – you can always come back for more. Please also leave vegan, gluten-free, or other special foods for those who follow those diets.

✦ Ask a super volunteer if you’d like to help setting out tables and chairs, cleaning up, etc. Leave directing others in what to do to our volunteers – it’s part of their job!

✦ Thank all our volunteers! 

PHOTOGRAPHY

Some participants may take photos or videos during the event, and these photos or videos may be shared publicly or used by Ooh La La for promotion. Your attendance at the event is taken as consent to be photographed or recorded.

If you would like to ‘opt out’ of having photos/videos of you at the weekend shared publicly, please speak to one of our committee members and we will be happy to accommodate this request.

If you are taking pictures or video during the event and a participant asks you not to record them, or if they ask you to take down a photo or video of them that you have shared publicly, please respect their request to the best of your ability. 

THANK YOU!

Thank you for taking the time to read this guideline, and for being a cherished member of the Ooh La La community! We hope you have a fun and memorable time with us this year.