We understand our scene as a community of people sharing an ethos rather than a random bunch of people meeting up to dance to music. Although we do that, too ;) Historically, the blues has served to bring people together. As a blues community, we want everyone at our event to have the best possible time anyone could ever have.
We want to create a space for creativity and harmony and cuddling and eating and drinking and DANCING that is safe and sane. In order to do that, we need to ensure that while exploring this great shared space, everyone's personal space remains nice and comfortable at any time during the event.
We all have ups and downs, even when having fun. So please make sure to be mindful of the person you are interacting with, both on and off the dance floor.
Communicate. Ask people if they want to dance and wait for their answer. Do not take a "no" personally, it usually isn't. Also ask if a person wants to be cuddled, massaged, have a drink with you.. Do not assume but always make sure you both are on the same page.
Octoblues is strictly against the "always say yes" attitude - if you say yes to everything, how can anyone know if you're being sincere? The ability and the willingness to say no is crucial. Only when you can also say no, your yesses become genuine.
Be aware of consent in our dancing. This is important.
If you want to dance, make sure that there is a YES in your dance. By giving active and enthusiastic consent, we can help to ensure it is present.
Consent is not the abscence of a no, but the presence of a yes that is honest. If you don't want to dance, say no. It doesn't matter why, just make sure that you only do what you are willing to consent to. Never say yes because you think you should.
Don't be afraid to say no if you don't want to do a specific move or feel uncomfortable, especially if your health is at risk.
At the same time, please do not be offended by a no. No matter if you say or receive a no, do it gracefully and without hurting or being hurt.
That being said, by actively and honestly saying yes, you allow yourself (and your dance partner) to have the best dance ever. Again and again. And again. :)
Be mindful of yourself and others. Be mindful of yourself and respect your body's boundaries. Don't forget to stay hydrated and to take a break if you need it. Respect other people's break as well. Have a drink at the bar and enjoy the atmosphere before returning fresh and easy to the dance floor. Also don't forget to dance your socks off if you need to!
If you see something - say something. We need to stay aware and make sure we also watch out for anyone else around us. If you see someone behaving inappropriately, make sure the person that was made to feel uncomfortable is safe and okay. You may then address the other person and make them aware that what they did was inappropriate. Most of the times it is just a simple misunderstanding and an apology and some empathy are enough to make it okay. If this does not make it okay or you feel like directly addressing the person will not work, is not wanted, would not be well-received etc., please come and find the organisers and/or a person you trust so we can talk about it and decide what to do next.
Have fun. Getting better in your dancing sometimes means to push yourself beyond your own limits and to train very hard. While we encourage everyone to work on their skills, please do not forget to have fun at Octoblues!
Background image by Островский Александр, Киев - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12427825
Logo design by Carol Sant'Anna