- 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
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.
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
- Zoë Ashe-Browne
Podcast Co-Host, MOVERS SHAKERS MAKERS
- Whistle While You Work: Robyn Doty and Frances Chiaverini