Expectations of Character
“ I want freedom, the right to self expression, and everybody’s right to be beautiful, radiant things.” - Emma Goldman, 1931
First and foremost the Lindy Autonomous Zone is a place where everyone is welcome and it is expected that everyone is treated with respect. We aim to create spaces where everyone feels safe and is free from all forms of systemic oppression (this includes, but is not limited to, racism, sexism, ageism, genderism, ableism, and homophobia). We dance in solidarity of those who are victims of oppressive systems such as Colonialism, Imperialism, Capitalism, Misogyny, Economic Violence, Natural Disasters, as well as White Supremacy. We do not forget the violence these systems impose on our bodies. Harassment of any sort will not be tolerated and if one engages in such behavior they may be asked to leave immediately without refund.
Lindy Autonomous Zone community members prioritize practices based on consent. Consent is a way of figuring out what other people are interested in participating in with one another. This sounds like asking questions such as “ Would you like to dance? Lead, Follow, Switch?”, “Would you like to safely throw air steps with me in the competition?”, or “Would you like to share this po’boy Lady and the Tramp Style?” If the answer is not enthusiastically yes, then the asker will graciously respect any form of no. Coercion of any sort is unacceptable.
Within this community more emphasis is placed on cooperation over competition. We aim to uplift one another on and off the dance floor knowing that we all rise together. Everyone chooses to appreciate the outcome of the competitions. They plan to help if someone is hurt. We believe that people can and will act in meaningful ways and share their resources freely. We share because it helps everyone around us.
Hosted in New Orleans, the birthplace of Jazz, we recognize and celebrate the history and culture of Jazz and Lindy Hop as Black Art forms. We recognize that systemic racism and intersectional feminism continue to deliver inequalities within the Lindy Hop scene and the city of New Orleans. We encourage one another to take time in their weekend to learn about the history and culture of Lindy Hop as well as New Orleans. We recognize that feedback from all participants is valued to move forward positively.
Please take a moment to read Tips on Empowering and Respecting LGBTQAI+ People at Swing Dance Events by Adam Brozowski