Code of Conduct

NBCDS Code of Conduct

Our chief principle is respect: for your partner, for the line, for the musicians and caller, for the space, for all members of the community, and for yourself.

We believe this is the primary requirement for the reason we’re here: to have fun!

A few guidelines to help translate that into practice:

1. Ask a partner kindly. Accept their answer cheerfully. If a prospective partner repeatedly declines you, it is best to give them space.

2. Both men and women can ask each other to dance and can dance either role. The rule of thumb is to “dance with whoever comes toward you in the line”.

3. Feel free to decline a dance with someone with whom you feel uncomfortable [or for any reason]. A simple “no thanks” is appropriate. We encourage you to dance with a variety of people both new and familiar but your safety and comfort come first.

4. Dancing involves physical contact and eye contact, which can sometimes include flirtatious movement and interaction. These types of interaction are part of the dance; they do not apply after the music has stopped. Flirtatious or close dancing is not permission to act flirtatiously or closely with any fellow dancer in any other context.

5. In both dancing and socializing with fellow dancers, all interactions -especially physical – need to be respectful and mutually agreed upon.

6. Every dance move is an interaction between two or more people; invite another dancer in, do not force them. Use open-handed grips that are held together by the tension and input of both dancers; avoid grips that squeeze or encircle another person’s thumb, hand, wrist, or body in any way that they can’t escape.

7. Many of us have injuries or physical limitations that may affect how we dance. We also have a variety of preferences for style, speed, ornamentation, and closeness. Check with your partner before each dance to be sure you are aware of each other’s needs and preferences.

8. If you encounter a painful or uncomfortable situation in the middle of the dance, saying a firm “Ouch!” or “No!”, or “Stop that” can be the quickest way to indicate a problem. If you feel you are in immediate danger, YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO LEAVE THE LINE. You are more important than the dance.

9. Each dancer has both the right and the responsibility to maintain control of their body. Do not lift another dancer off the floor, including children. Do not dip without explicit permission. Avoid abrupt movements that may startle dancers, upset their balance, or cause pain or injury. Do not swing so fast that someone is flung into another dancer or the wall.

10. No intoxication (e.g. high, drunk, tripping). No language or publication that disparage others. No illegal activities.

11. Please refrain from using scented products before our dances, as some of us are allergic. If another dancer’s scented products are bothering you please let the dance manager/organizer know.

12. Refrain from requesting modifications to the dance from the talent/sound tech people. They are busy working and can’t interact with dancers while they work. If something isn’t meeting your expectations please report to the dance manager or board member/organizer who will decide what to do. Respect their decision.

13. Listen to the caller; do not talk over them during the walk through.

14. Violating any of these rules may result in a verbal warning. More serious offenses may include suspension or banning from dances.

15. If you feel that someone at an NBCDS dance has violated these guidelines or has otherwise made you feel uncomfortable or unwelcome please speak directly to that person if it feels safe to do so. Or speak with the dance manager (the person sitting at the door can help you find them) or a board member (see list below).

Craig Meltzner-
Sarah Lee-
Jen Bamesberger –

(Adapted from the BACDS Code of Conduct and the Portland Country Dance Society 6/2017)