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Cloud9Zouk Code of Behaviour and Dance Etiquette

Updated: Nov 19, 2020

Hello all dancers and Cloud 9 Zouk event attendees,

Please note that we have introduced a new Code of Behaviour & Dance Etiquette guidelines for all of our Events moving forward.

Our aim is to support the dancers who are in our community, including any newcomers who are joining us and adding dancing to their lives.

We feel so privileged to have and be a part of such a wonderful dance scene, and want to ensure we preserve and improve on what we currently have.

By introducing these guidelines formally, we hope to help make sure our event attendees and all dancers are well informed about the expectations within our community, and to keep our dancers happy and feeling comfortable & safe at all times. Our further aim is to always foster positive, encouraging and inclusive behaviours within our dance community, which is our dance 'family' really. ❤

If you are attending any of our events, we would appreciate you taking a moment to read through these new C9Z event guidelines and we welcome you to contact us with any comments or feedback you may have.

We also encourage ongoing open-ness about any uncomfortable situations or challenges which you have experienced or might encounter on or off the dancefloor, and to please bring them to either the event organiser or to your school's attention, whichever the case may be.

More awareness of these issues, and knowing you have the support of your community's leaders and your peers , will help us all in ensuring we keep our Zouk community a happy, safe and inspiring environment.

Cloud9Zouk Code of Behaviour and Dance Etiquette

1. I will be respectful and considerate of my fellow dancers and peers, both in the classes/workshop context and on the dance floor.

**Please be mindful of your level of Zouk experience and classroom learning when selecting/attending workshops to be fair to your fellow participants, and also of your demeanour and words to ensure we stay positive and encouraging of each other always.

2. I will be sensitive and aware of my dance partner’s personal space and boundaries, so as to allow each person to make their decision about how close (or how distantly, if they wish) they are comfortable dancing, so as to meet each other in a mutually agreed space.

3. I will never take advantage of the proximity of our dance to touch, handle or speak to my dance partner in an inappropriate manner.

** A reminder that close partner connection is not a sign of sexual willingness, but rather, sensual expression within the dance itself.

4. I will be accepting and endeavour to be inclusive and kind to my dance partners and peers – regardless of colour, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, size, shape, age, physical or mental health, or dance ability.

** Remember why we came to dancing in the first place, and the feeling of enjoyment that comes from a nice dance or an interaction. 😍

5. I will make an effort to look after our Beginner dancers and make the time to invite them for a dance so that they feel comfortable and included.

6. I will not give feedback nor 'teach' on the social dance floor. However, if I feel uncomfortable or that a movement was rough or felt unsafe, I will gently mention this to my partner either in that moment or upon the conclusion of the dance. If I receive such feedback, I will endeavour to take it at face value, to not feel upset, and to make note of the point to improve on it.

7. I will be gracious and polite in refusing any invitation to dance. If I am declined a dance, I will endeavour to not take this personally and to be understanding that there may be a variety of reasons for the individual not wanting to dance at that moment, or preferring another partner for that song.

8. As a Leader, I will not attempt to lead movements on the dance floor which I have not learned and practiced in class, which may pose any risk of injury – including for example, boneca, cambres, dips, or forceful turns where the arms are used with high speed and momentum or whipped down, rather than leading with a steady, gentle pressure.

As a Follower, I will endeavour to follow in my dance, rather than to anticipate a movement, and to never throw myself into any move, being aware that this may pose a risk of injury to my partner and to myself.

** A small injury of the neck, shoulder, back, knee, finger, etc can impact and even remove a dancer from the dance floor for months or more – PLEASE DO NOT RISK IT!

9. I will be mindful of the level of the dancer I am dancing with and to make my priority to connect with them for an enjoyable dance, rather than attempting to execute movements (as a lead or as a follow) which they are not familiar with, recognising that this ‘breaks’ the dance and connection, and at worst results in discomfort or injury.

10. If something does go ‘wrong’ or doesn’t go as expected in a dance, I will not blame my partner for not leading or not following correctly. Instead, I will let the moment pass gracefully and consider whether I can work on this movement at another time to improve consistency.

** We have heard accounts of dancers leaving Zouk and/or dancing entirely just from one or two encounters of feeling their partner thought they couldn’t lead or follow properly, or making a face, or giving insensitive feedback. Let’s not make each other feel that way! Our egos are fragile, let’s look after each other. ❤

11. I will always be mindful of dance floor etiquette – especially about safety, and safe maneuvering in a shared space, about respecting my dance partners, respecting people’s space, and about the need to prepare one’s body, breath and clothing for dancing closely with others.

** On the hygiene side of things, please always bring spare clothing and/or a towel, breath mints and deodorant, or to make use of the hygiene items that are available for use in the class or event, if you have forgotten to bring them.

12. As a Leader or as a Follower in partner dancing, I will never make inappropriate advances – sexual or otherwise- towards my dance partners, classmates or peers, nor to behave inappropriately towards others or make them feel uncomfortable in any way. This applies to whether I’m in a dance context or am outside of the class, event, etc.

** Any sexual advances or inappropriate touching of personal parts of the body will be dealt with by expulsion from the event, and possibly all future events and classes.

13. As a dancer, I understand that close contact during a dance is a part of the 'nature' of the dance, and not a sign of personal or sexual interest. I will respect the personal boundaries of my partner and never take the proximity of the dance an an opportunity to express my interest in someone verbally or physically. If I feel that my boundaries are not being respected or am uncomfortable in any way, I will either indicate this or mention it to the person I'm dancing with, inform the class or event organiser.

** We have had so many beautiful partnerships created by couples meeting in the dance scene. 🤍 However, we need to be clear that if you are romantically interested in someone, please take the time and the effort to get to know them off the floor, rather than to 'test their interest' or to make advances (verbal or physical, subtle or not so subtle) during the dance.

14. If I have any concerns or situations or experiences that are uncomfortable, I will approach my dance teacher and/or event organiser to make them aware.

15. I will avoid engaging in mean-spirited conversations, gossip, rumours, and put-downs that undermine the positivity and grace of our dance style and dance community.

16. I will endeavour to always treat all members of our dance community (including Zouk and all dance styles) with kindness, fairness, and respect.

** We are here to Dance, to Connect, to have Fun; and Brazilian Zouk is a beautiful style to let us express ourselves, through music & the dance, and to leave our worries behind.

Let’s keep our Dance and our wonderful scene an inclusive, safe and positive space and act as part of the inspiring community that we are aiming to preserve and grow.

Love and our Appreciation, from your

Cloud 9 Zouk Team 💖

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