Underground

Swing dancing, community, happiness.

Our Shiny new Code of Conduct

We are proud to announce our brand new Code of Conduct!

What is this? Well, it’s a clear statement of what we value as a community and the rules we expect everyone to adhere to- creating a safe environment where each one of us can have fun, make friends, dance, and hang out. And well- just take a look- it’s pretty great! Special thanks to Ike and Haley, who worked hard to write this up for us.


 

UDC Code of Conduct


We, The Underground Dance Community (UDC), passionately enjoy both Swing and Blues with regards to their respective dances and music and love sharing our passion with others. We offer and value a welcoming community that focuses on exploring swing and blues history, providing technically sound instruction, and finding enjoyment in dance.

 

We believe in humor and the power of not taking oneself seriously. We intend for our events to be a release from the various struggles life throws at us in order to allow for a time and place in which people can gather and enjoy experiences together. We believe that the world is micro-managed and that after a day of work, deadlines, TPS reports, and bosses you should be able to unwind in an environment where you can see and participate in something real. In order to foster an environment where that can happen, we have instituted some guidelines that will be conducive to that end. They are as follows:

1. Our events are a place that is open to everyone regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, race, disability, physical appearance, religion, whatever. We do not tolerate harassment of any kind. Some examples of harassment are offensive verbal comments, unwanted photography or recording, intimidation, stalking, unwelcome sexual attention, and inappropriate physical contact.

2. Don’t treat the UDC like a pick-up joint. Our patrons are not just a large pool of people for you to hit on. If you engage in this kind of behavior and make our patrons uncomfortable, we will take extreme pleasure in escorting you to the door.

3. Any attendee asked to stop any harassing behavior is expected to comply immediately. Consequences for any inappropriate behavior may range from a staff member speaking to the offender to being ejected from the event without refund and possibly banned from future events. It is up to our discretion.

4. No underage drinking is allowed at UDC events.

 

Should you have any harassment-related complaints, if you see others being harassed, or have any questions, please bring your concerns to any member of the staff. We will treat these issues with the strictest confidentiality and importance—your courage in coming forward can keep incidents from being repeated. Not sure who’s on staff? Look for whoever is behind the DJ booth, they will be more than willing to point you in the right direction.


General Etiquette 

 

The world of dance is a culture in and of itself and as such has certain guidelines for etiquette to help maximize your experience while at any dance related event.

1. Dancing is a physical activity—you will sweat. Please be conscious of your level of sweat. Wearing shirts and tops that cover your entire back, wearing deodorant to prevent excessive body odor, bringing extra shirts and handkerchiefs, and spending time cooling off outside or by the fans will help with this. If you are going to wear a skirt or dress, be sure to wear undershorts along with it.

2. Do not offer unsolicited advice or instruction to your fellow students at any time unless they are physically hurting you, this applies to the classroom as well as the social floor. In our experience the people who do this are usually wrong (and always annoying). Asking if you can give them advice, such as something along the lines of, “Can I help you with your Lindy Hop?” is the exact same as offering unsolicited advice, so do not do that.

3. Sometimes people will say no when you ask them to dance—that’s perfectly fine. There are many reasons a person may not want to dance, such as they’re tired, they intended to dance with someone else that song, they may have something else to do, they may not like the song, they may just not feel like dancing with you, whatever. If a person turns you down, do not keep asking them until they accept, this qualifies as rude and annoying.

4. While dancing, be mindful of what else is happening on the dance floor. Keep an eye on your partner and the people dancing around you so that you do not get hurt or hurt anyone else. If you do happen to hit or have your partner hit someone, acknowledge it, try to make quick eye contact to assess the damage, and, if everyone seems fine and unhurt, offer a simple apology. If it is serious, leave the dance floor and address it accordingly.

5. You may ask anyone to dance. “Would you like to dance?” “Care to dance?” “May I have this dance?” are all fine. What is not fine is silently extending your hand to someone and expecting them to jump at the chance to dance with you. Or grabbing someone and pulling them onto the floor.


The dance community brings together a diverse crowd of people. Respecting yourself, your dance partner, and generally behaving like an adult human being is the condensed version of our entire code of conduct. As long as you keep that in mind, we’ll all get along splendidly.


 

We have been lucky to take inspiration and direction from the worldwide dance community we belong to as swing and blues dancers. Many of our favorite events, groups, and venues have adopted their own codes of conduct or safe spaces policies. Listed below are our main sources of information and inspiration for our own code of conduct, but they are certainly not the only ones. 

Sources:

Mobtown’s code of conduct: https://mobtownballroom.com/code

Swing 101: https://swungover.wordpress.com/2013/09/23/swing-101-etiquette-floorcraft/

 

Welcome to the Underground Dance Community’s website!

 

11874604_10153474605280446_175510611_oWe have a bunch of cool stuff coming up this fall, kicking off with the featured September series- Intro to Lindy Hop with Ike and Haley!
If you’ve never done any dancing before, if you do other styles of dance and want to try something new, or if you attend GROSS regularly and want to level up your Swing game, this is the class for you! We’ll be covering foundations of Lindy Hop from the basics up to give you a solid understanding of the dance and help you rock it out on the dance floor. The first night (9.7.15.) will be completely free, and new attendees can get a September pass for the the fantastic price of $20 (save $10!)

No partner? No experience? No problem! We’re a friendly bunch, and love dancing with new people, just show up and have fun!

New to the Underground? We’re a community of dancers who love vintage swing dancing and music. We really enjoy being silly, learning new things, long walks on the beach, and (of course) dancing. We meet every Monday night for classes and open dancing at Moveir Dance Studio, which is a beautiful venue with hardwood floors, air conditioning, and plenty of parking. Here’s a sweet video that some of us made to show you what we’re about: World Lindy Hop Day  Grand Rapids

Fun, Flash, and Competition

April is competition month at the Underground, with our progressive series focused on having fun, showing off, and presenting your best dancing to an audience. We’ll teach you some sick patterns and how to make the most of every move.

The last Monday of April is our first ever Jack & Jill Competition, and it’s free to enter! Invite your family and friends to come see what you do, there will be prizes, ice cream, and an all-around good time. There won’t be a usual lesson, but we will have a short beginner lesson for those who haven’t danced before.

Why not sign up? It’s going to be a great time, and we can’t wait to see all you wonderful dancers struttin’ your stuff!

Our Annual Trek Across State,

To Pirate Swing we go!

This year we’re taking about 20 dancers from the Grand Rapids area and going to Ann Arbor for the weekend of Pirate Swing. This yearly workshop weekend boasts some of the best teachers, and one of the best bands in the nation. Over the course of the weekend there will be lessons in Lindy Hop, Balboa, Blues, and Solo Dance for all skill levels and learning styles.

We go to learn, play, meet new and old friends, and dance till we can’t anymore – then we come back to Grand Rapids with our new skills, and jam with our friends here at home! You won’t want to miss Swingin’ Mondays, or our practice night the week after Pirate, because we’ll be brimming with new ideas and things to try.

Whether you’re coming along to share in the adventure, or dancing with us when we get back home, it’s going to be a great time – come see why we’re so excited about it, ask us about our Pirate-filled weekend when you see us on the dance floor, we just might share some of the treasure 😉

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