Safer Spaces: M.P. Celebrates Black Voices

Safer Spaces Policy

This event is designed to celebrate black voices in our community and to amplify our belief that Black Lives Matter. Anyone who shares those goals with us is welcome in the space. If you are still learning about the Black Lives Matter movement – and all non-Black attendees are assumed to be still learning about the Black Lives Matter movement – we ask that you use this event as a place to keep your mind open, listen with empathy, and let your dancing and your presence become a stepping stone in supporting this urgent message. Racism will not be tolerated at this event. If you experience racist behaviour please get in touch with safer spaces immediately.

We understand that in the history of our global fusion community, safer spaces policies have been weaponized against black dancers. This has included branding black men as predators, enforcing white norms as the only appropriate behavior, and otherwise allowing racial bias to color our enforcement of safer spaces policy. At Fusion Dance NYC we are committed to preventing that behaviour within our community. You can find a fuller description of this commitment on our broader anti-racism statement. As part of this commitment we are introducing an organizer code of conduct.

Our safer spaces lead for this event is white, and a black advocate is also available for people of color who would prefer that support. If you are a person of color and want to specifically speak to a Black advocate please just ask our lead to direct you to that advocate. If you would prefer to report anonymously you can specify at the top of the safer spaces form that you are a person of color who would like to work with a Black advocate.

With all this in mind our safer spaces policy for Fusion Dance NYC events still applies:

At Fusion Dance NYC events, we invite you to be powerfully present and creative!  We invite you to go outside of your comfort zone and take risks: to dance with new people, to try a new move or movement, to make mistakes and mess up!  We invite you to engage in physical & verbal conversations that might not be available to you in other places.  

With great freedom, risk taking, and individuality comes great responsibility.   We are responsible for caring, communicating, and listening to each person on the fusion dance floor even more than we would on other dance floors.  

We are coming together from many different dance and cultural backgrounds, which has the potential to create new, powerful experiences. It also means that we cannot make assumptions about the dance exposure, comfortability level, or training that anyone else has.   

By stepping onto the fusion dance floor, you are tasked with talking & listening intently to your partners – in both verbal & non-verbal ways.  

This applies to both leading and following.  If your partner is doing something that doesn’t feel good to you, find a way to change the movement patterns of the dance, (whether you’re leading or following!) or verbally speak up and say something. 

With great freedom, we have to care for each other even more.  We all have a responsibility to make our parties fun & safe for everyone, and we can only do that through paying close attention to each other.   

Basic Ingredients for an Awesome Virtual Fusion Dance:

  • Keep your camera on and your microphone muted. Our DJs are selected to bring you their brilliant music – let’s make sure they can be heard. If you want to talk to someone, please use a breakout room, the private chat function, or another mode of communication.
  • Give your love to each other! Zoom can be a very dry platform, so use the chat function and your faces and your reactions to show people that you appreciate them. This applies doubly to our DJs.
  • Regardless of whether your camera is on or off, you must be clothed at our event.
  • Sexual contact, including sexual text messages and sexual contact off-camera, is not permitted at our dances. 
  • You can still ask people to dance! On Zoom it is possible to “pin” someone’s video and have a dance directly with them. You must get consent for this kind of dance by asking in the chat function or in breakout rooms.
  • We may have “spotlight” dances that highlight different attendee videos for everyone to watch and celebrate. If you do not want to be spotlighted you can turn your camera off, or dance off camera, or just let us know in advance. There’s no pressure to participate.

What does a safer spaces process look like?

Safer spaces can seem terrifying if you’ve never gone through it. Our goal is always to come at things with kindness and empathy, rather than judgement or punishment. Our team is trained to listen and to believe you, and to offer concrete, actionable suggestions for moving forward. There are circumstances where we might tell you to leave the event, but those are quite extreme cases. Usually, spaces looks a lot like this:

If you raise a concern – you have the option of being anonymous, or of speaking with us directly. We’ll ask you to share whatever information you feel comfortable sharing, and help you think about what you need to resolve the situation. Depending on what that is, we’ll do everything we can to resolve things in a way that makes you feel safe and welcome at our events, and we’ll check back in on you to make sure you’re feeling supported through the night.

If a concern is raised about you – one of our safer spaces team will come and talk to you. We’ll talk to you about the concern raised, invite you to share what happened from your perspective, and discuss what actions you can take to resolve the situation. Our goal is to get to a place where everyone feels safe and welcome, and we hope you’ll work with us on that. If we ask you to change your behaviour at our events, we’ll check in with you to see how that’s going later in the night.

How to make a safer spaces report

Talk to Fen or fill out the form.