Dance Guidelines

Our behavior and etiquette guidelines reflect our community values. We believe in tolerance and are open to all, regardless of age, race, gender, beliefs or lifestyle. Participants are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that shows respect and consideration for the welfare of other dancers and the dance community. The OFB has adopted the guidelines shown below. Anyone who fails to adhere to the guidelines will be made aware of the problem and will be given suggestions for correction. Repeated or blatant disregard for these guidelines might result in a dancer being asked not to attend the Old Farmer’s Ball.

  • Every dancer has the right to decline to interact with another dancer, whether on or off the dance floor, without explanation or repercussion. Persistently ignoring or challenging another dancer’s expressed wish NOT to interact is harassment and is not acceptable.

  • The OFB accommodates a wide variety of dance styles and recognizes that innocent flirtation is common to contra dancing. Nevertheless, sexually suggestive, lewd, or indecent behavior on or off the dance floor, or any sexually harassing behavior, is not acceptable.

  • Contra dancing is a fast-paced and energetic activity that is done in close quarters. On rare occasions, the physical actions of the dance can result in accidental inappropriate contact. However, a pattern of such inappropriate contact is not acceptable.

  • Contra dancing is often exuberant and fast moving but it should never be out of control. Dancing in a manner that hurts or disregards the safety or comfort of other dancers is not acceptable. We encourage anyone who is interested in polishing his/her dance style to seek suggestions from experienced dancers, and to recommend/request workshop topics to Board members.

Learn More

Read our leaflets for more on contra dance etiquette.

Leaflet 1 includes information on the following:

  • What is Inappropriate & How Do You Know?
  • When it’s OK to Say No
  • Booking Ahead

Leaflet 2 covers these topics:

  • General Etiquette
  • How to Say, “Get a Clue!” with Style and Finesse

Complaints & Concerns

If you ever feel uncomfortable or endangered by another participant, we encourage the following:

  • Let that person know
  • Use the suggested strategies in our Dance Safety page.
  • Report a concern directly to a Board member or using our complaint form.

Reports about any of these matters may be made in confidence to any member of the Board of Directors who, acting with other members of the Board, will make a timely investigation of the complaint and determine the appropriate course of action. Our policies and procedures for responding to concerns are transparent and can be viewed in the documents linked below:

We welcome your feedback regarding these policies and procedures.  This is an evolving process and will continue to be fine-tuned as needed. Complete our feedback form to let us know how the process can be further improved.

Adapting Our Documents

Creation of these documents has been a long, detailed, and careful process. We hope they will be valuable tools for our community and others. You are welcome to adapt these documents for your use, but please credit “Old Farmer’s Ball, Asheville, NC.”