June 12th: National Dance Project Production Grant - New England Foundation for the Arts, June 30th: South Arts Professional Development & Artistic Planning Grants, June 30th: South Arts Professional Development & Artistic Planning Grants
MorDance in Morgan McEwen’s “Albatross”
Photo by Kelsey Campbell
Courtesy of MorDance
Sexual Assault Awareness & Safety Document
The following are guidelines and best practices for ballet and dance schools related to student safety, reporting, and policy. This is not meant to be exhaustive, but rather a list of practical ideas to implement in order to ensure students are kept safe and free from harm. This document will also be reviewed and updated on a regular basis.
At the Studio
Keep the studio door open or ensure there is an observation window.
Hold classes, rehearsals, and/or coaching sessions within official business/studio hours only; if classes are held outside official hours, students should be accompanied by at least one other person.
Keep separate restrooms and dressing rooms for staff and students and should never permit an opposite gendered student or teacher/administrator or faculty member to enter the dressing room for any reason. This includes directors and choreographers
Institute a Code of Conduct that is required to be signed annually by staff and students and anyone teaching or working with students or company members
Use “students” or other gender-inclusive language, as opposed to “men/boys” or “girls/ladies”
Ask for consent before correcting a student with touch in classes, rehearsals, and/or coaching sessions
Establish a system in which at least two staff members are present when meeting privately with students.
Set up a system in which at least two staff members are present when doing costume fittings
No teacher or person in power should provide any services such as “therapy” or massage, except designated trained personnel.
Require references for any prospective instructor or staff member, preferably from another dance studio or school.
Implement a criminal background check protocol in place for current and future instructors even if a “guest artist” for a single day or weekend or a “last minute replacement”.
Ensure a designated person on staff has Mental Health & First Aid Training and is known and available as a resource
Resolve conflict effectively and respectfully and insist that others do the same
Create a ”Sexual Harassment” reporting protocol that is simple and clear for students, parents, trainees, and company members that does not include faculty or administrator on staff with direct supervision of student or company member.
Ensure all constituents know where and how to report concerns in their area, their school, and/or their organization. Ensure the protocol contains a plan, a contact person, and a contact email/phone, so that affected individuals do not have to try to locate it under stress should a concern arise
Publish the reporting protocols in the school handbook and make them visible on the website and in the studio
Outside the Studio
Refrain from social media interaction between staff and students or trainees.
Maintain a “Social Media Policy” in which correspondence takes place only through the organization’s email or main phone line
Avoid shared car rides between staff and students/trainees
Establish a buddy system for students/trainees, so during breaks they are not going anywhere alone
Summer Intensives and Residential Pre-Professional Programs
Ensure an orientation to the city includes maps and access to public transportation or that transportation is provided to students via chartered bus or other transportation.
Discuss your “Social Media Policy” with students and how texting and online chat rooms it can be used by predators.
Communicate rules and regulations on the ”Code of Conduct” in a consistent and clear manner
Outline a reporting mechanism for any issues and the process by which the reporting will be handled. Every effort should be made to ensure the reporting protocols include someone outside of the staff.
Create a safe living environment that keeps students safe.
Provide written rules”Code of Conduct” for both student and guest teachers
Keep correspondence between dorm students and minors via text professional and informational at all times
DDP wishes to offer its sincere gratitude to the following individuals and organizations, who collaborated on this document.
Ty Woodfolk Director of Human Resources, Diversity, and Inclusion, Chicago Shakespeare Theater
DDP Advisory Council Member
Erin Sanchez Manager of Health, Wellbeing, and Performance for One Dance UK
Emma Lister Podcast Host, MOVERS SHAKERS MAKERS
Co-Director, Makeshift Company