The Neo Kizomba Festival is committed to create and maintain a safe, welcoming, and respectful space for our community members. At all our events, we are dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for every participant, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion, physical appearance, body size, age, race, or dance ability. We do not tolerate harassment of event participants in any form. Anyone engaging in harassing or violent behavior may be expelled from the event, without a refund, and any decisions towards these kinds of behaviors are at the discretion of the Neo Kizomba Festival organizers.
To report a violation of this policy during the event and for immediate assistance, please contact any staff members wearing a pink wristband. To report a complaint outside of event space, please contact us via the above or button below.
Code of Conduct and Desired Community Norms
The Neo Kizomba Festival is a community which strives to be supportive, welcoming, and friendly to all people from all walks of life. We work to dismantle oppressive systems and prejudicial treatment of others due to one’s race, gender, and sexual orientation, in order to develop a safe and empowering space in which to dance. Whether you are a dancer, instructor, organizer, new to the dance scene, or have been dancing your whole life, we strive to make the Neo Kizomba Festival an event which brings people together in community. We hope that people leave the Neo Kizomba Festival excited for their next opportunity to dance in our global kizomba/urban kiz dance community. We ask that you join us in this endeavor by living the following:
- Being Considerate Guests: When we stay with a local dancer or in a hotel, when we are on the grounds of the venues, and when we are in the classes the instructors have thoughtfully created, we are guests. We will strive to be the best guests possible! We will be tidy, considerate, and courteous. (Pro tip: Leaving hosts a token of appreciation is awesome!)
- Respect: We will display respect to ourselves and others by taking ownership for our words and actions throughout the event. We value all individuals regardless of age, race, religion, nationality, creed, sex, gender expression, sexual orientation, weight, ability, dance skill, politics and political affiliation, lifestyle, and personal boundaries. We will treat each other with respect and act with courage and compassion, even if we witness others who are not behaving respectfully. We are responsible of our actions.
- Establishing Consent: We respect one anothers’ physical and emotional safety, both on and off the dance floor. We will ask prior to initiating dips, hugs, kisses, and more intimate relationships. We assume consent is not established unless we hear a “yes.” Consent cannot be established with someone who is coerced, under the influence, or unconscious. We encourage everyone to establish consent verbally to make it clear to all involved.
- Real Talk about Consent: We recognize that we may unintentionally violate a boundary and we agree to be open and humble if we are made aware of such a situation. We recognize that others may violate our boundaries and we will endeavor to be courageous in using our words to clearly communicate our needs.
- Saying Yes!, Yes, and No: We encourage those who want to say “yes” to do so enthusiastically and those who want to give a “no” (for any reason) or “not now” to do so courageously. If we receive a “no” or “not now”, we will receive it graciously. We will endeavor to apply these principles to our other interactions such as asking people to dance and initiating close embrace.
- Dance Roles: We will embrace individuals’ freedom to dance in any role, regardless of historical gender expectations, by courageously dancing in whichever role we prefer in the moment, even if it is not our dominant role. We celebrate ambidancetrous culture and switch dancing and recognize that it is a choice that not all people prefer to make.
- Feedback at Dances: We will refrain from giving feedback during social dances unless it is expressly requested or the behavior in question is painful or potentially injurious. If feedback is solicited from us, we understand that we are under no obligation to provide feedback. If we receive unsolicited feedback, we will respond graciously. We may listen to the feedback or kindly decline. For instance, “I’d like for feedback to be given only during lessons, if you don’t mind,” could be an appropriate response.
- Lifts and Floorcraft: We will not participate in lifts on the social dance floor, outside of workshops, competitions, demos, and performances. We will be alert while social dancing and practice good floorcraft, regardless of which role we are dancing. We will be conscious of who is around us and observe our movements.
- Where to be Overtly Sexual: We will be conscientious regarding public displays of affection. Dancing can be sexy, but we understand that the appropriate place for overt sexual behavior is not the dance floor. We also understand the only place to be overtly sexual is where everyone involved consents to such acts.
- Health & Wellness: We are aware that we will come into contact with more people than usual, experience sleep deprivation, exert ourselves energetically, and probably not have the best diet. We will strive to navigate these realities responsibly. We acknowledge the importance of stretching and staying hydrated to help our immune systems while participating in this festival. We want to stay as healthy as possible before, during, and after the event.
- Hygiene: Because we value our fellow attendees, we will practice good hygiene. Dancing kiz usually means a closer connection which means the way we smell and our sweat play a higher factor. Items to be mindful of include, but are not limited to: washing your hands more often than usual, wearing fresh clean clothes, bringing a change of shirts to the social, bringing a sweat towel if you sweat a lot, brushing teeth and use of gum/mints, regular showers, and using deodorant.
- Ambassadors of our Community: We understand that we represent the Neo Kizomba Festival and the larger kizomba/urban kiz dance community to everyone around us, whether they are fellow participants, servers in restaurants, or passers-by on the street. This community is important to us and we will do our very best to represent it well.
We’re All In This Together
At the Neo Kizomba Festival, we recognize that not everyone will follow all of these at all times. We’re all in this together and keep track of how we are impacting people around us as well as how others are being in the space. During the event, we encourage you to deal with issues as they arise, and to inform us about any situation explained above. If someone’s behavior is not in alignment with this code of conduct, the Neo Kizomba Festival reserves the right to take some action, which could include various approaches, from having a conversation and setting clear expectations for future behavior, to a permanent ban from all Neo Kizomba events (with many options in between).
Questions, Complaints, and Information
If something happens in violation of our Safer Spaces Declaration, or you need assistance, please reach out to one of the staff members or request to speak with a staff member through the registration table. You can also send a message through our contact form listed below.