SAFER DANCE SPACES FOR TANGO IN THE UK
There are many wonderful and welcoming Tango communities all over the UK, where people can enjoy dancing Tango and socialising with one another.
Most of the time these are very safe places to meet and socialise with each one another, but unfortunately, sometimes inappropriate things happen, on or off the dance floor, that are not okay and threaten the safety of our dancers.
Sadly different forms of abuse (emotional, racial, physical and sexual) can happen at any time in our lives in many different settings. Until now, there has not been a coordinated approach from our Tango community on how to tackle and eradicate this kind of behaviour from our beloved communities.
WHAT IS SDS (SAFER DANCE SPACES)?
Safer Dance Spaces is an organisation dedicated to making our dance spaces safer and braver globally. It’s a group of voluntary prominent dance teachers and organisers, who have come together to make a difference in the partner dance communities.
Many of the UK based Tango teachers and organisers have decided to join this global initiative (and many are still joining) to start making our dance spaces a safer space for everybody.
As part of becoming a SDS member, individuals have to attend an induction workshop which is an interactive session aiming to share basic knowledge around the topic of (sexual) abuse, including how to recognise it and how to respond to reports. This includes a section on how to familiarise yourselves with the principles of defamation, in a way that individuals have some understanding of navigating such risks while still fighting against (sexual) abuse.
ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY
All the Tango teachers and organisers who are SDS members have a ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY, on any form of abuse. Some forms of abuse are more obvious then others, but if you want to learn more about what is considered abuse in a (social dance) community then please read the following blog HERE [2nd blog under construction and to be added soon]
SDS MEMBERS IN THE TANGO UK SCENE
If you are ever confronted with any form of abuse (emotional, racial, physical or sexual), or if you are a witness of abuse, please know that you can ALWAYS contact ANY of the SDS TANGO UK members (see list below).
You can recognise SDS members on the logo displayed in the top of this blog. You might see it on their websites, marketing materials, or simply at the door at classes and/or events.
UK Tango teachers & organisers SDS Members
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HOW DOES IT WORK, AND HOW TO REPORT A CASE?
First of all, no matter what you want to report know that you will always be listened to, and that you will be taken seriously. Please also know that your report will ALWAYS be handled in the strictest confidence.
JUST WANT TO TALK? – If you are not sure what to do or how to handle a situation you can always talk to any of the SDS Members. You can take them (quietly) aside at a milonga, or email or call them directly, if you already have their details. Afterwards they can advise you on how to best deal with a situation, or maybe help you decide on how to take further steps if you wish to do so.
REPORTING A CASE – If your case is serious enough that you feel an actual report needs to be filed and steps taken, then again please feel free to contact any of the SDS members, in person, phone or email. As SDS Tango UK members we will help and support you with your case, the best way we can.
WITNESS TO ABUSE – Should you witness any form of abuse, please think about your own safety, and then, if possible, check on the victim to see if they are okay. As a witness, you can also report abuse to any of the SDS Tango UK members in person, or by using the report form below (we can only accept first hand witness accounts, in order to avoid hearsay).
You can use this online REPORT FORM HERE
FINAL WORD – PLEASE NOTE
Please be aware that SDS Tango UK members are (semi)professionals in their field of Tango dance classes and/or organising social events. We are NOT trained/skilled medical, (mental)healthcare or legal professionals.
As SDS Tango UK members, we did participate in an induction training on how to recognise and handle forms of abuse, and we will try to help and support you and our community to the best of our abilities.
LET’S WORK TOGETHER AND MAKE OUR TANGO COMMUNITY A SAFER PLACE FOR EVERYBODY!