Code of Conduct


Everyone is welcome. Everyone should feel safe.

The Gentse Hoppers Exchange team is dedicated to providing a welcoming and safe atmosphere for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, religion, political view, age, dance ability or dance role.

We welcome a diverse group of people and ideas. We believe that every person at our event has the right to feel comfortable and safe at all times and we want to help provide the means to create such a space. We don’t tolerate the intolerant. Therefore all participants, artists, volunteers, crew members and organizers at our festival are required to comply with the following code of conduct. 


We do not tolerate harassment of anyone and in any form.

Harassment includes offensive verbal comments related to gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of events, inappropriate physical contact and unwelcome sexual attention.

Anyone engaging in this type of behaviour will be asked to stop and expected to comply immediately. Organizers may take action when they observe or get the inappropriate behaviour reported. After a conversation, we can remove the offender from the event without a refund and if necessary we will inform the local authorities.


Good practices

Here are some good practices that will hopefully ensure everybody’s comfort and well-being during our event:

  • Act inclusive and nice to everyone, no matter their race, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, physical appearance, dance experience or role. 
  • Respect your partner & people around you and yourself. Remember that boundaries may differ from person to person. Keep good faith and trust in communication. If someone tells you that you are making them feel uncomfortable, or they seem uncomfortable dancing with you, stop what you're doing, and apologise. If you feel uncomfortable dancing with someone else, please let the other person know.
  • If you aren’t sure about something, ask. If something doesn’t feel right- speak up. Our designated staff will be available in case you need support.


Suggestions for common challenges on the dance floor

  • Connect with partners the way it feels comfortable for both of you. If your partner uses a hurtful connection consistently, please let them know- they may not be aware of that. 
  • Avoid unsolicited feedback. Do not correct others’ dancing unless you were specifically asked to do so. The exception to this is if someone is dancing in a way which is hurting you or making you feel uncomfortable.
  • Mind the people around you. Accidentally kicked someone on the dancefloor? Apologize and check if they are ok. Avoid aerials in social dancing- keep them for jams, shows and competitions. 
  • Unintentionally touched someone’s private areas? Apologize. If someone is repeatedly inappropriately touching you, bring it to their attention or the attention of our staff. 
  • Be moderate when drinking alcohol or other substances. If you are not sober and therefore pose a risk to yourself or others – leave the dance floor and ask for support. 
  • Want to dance with someone? Take initiative and invite them politely. Be mindful of those who could benefit from someone else like you taking initiative. 
  • Everybody has the right to say no to a dance, without the need for an explanation. If you say no – do it politely. If someone refuses to dance with you, don’t take it personally- there are lots of possible reasons. Like the need for a break, hurt ankle, disliked song, just not feeling it and many more. 
  • Be considerate with your personal care. Dancing can get sweaty, so think of others. Consider showering before the dance, using breath mints, wearing deodorant. (Don’t worry if you forget, we’ll have personal hygiene products in the bathroom!). Maybe bring a towel and some spare clothes to change into. Try not to wear anything that might hurt others on the dance floor. Let’s all enjoy a nice dry, fresh smelling close embrace!


If you see something, say something!

  1. If you are being harassed, if you notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please make sure the person that was made to feel uncomfortable is safe and okay
  2. If you feel safe doing so, address the person that behaved inappropriately to make them aware that what they did was problematic, and inform an organiser.
  3. If you don’t feel safe directly addressing the issue, seek help from a member of our staff, preferably from the safe space team. There will be posters around the event with their names, photos, and how to contact them. Designated crew members will always listen and assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe during our event and help with notifying the authorities if necessary.
  4. If you don't feel comfortable reaching out to the safe space team in person, you can report any issues using the QR codes hanging around the venue. You can even do this anonymously.

We are aware that it is not easy to speak up but it will help us create a safer environment for all of us ❤️

This document is based on the code of conduct of Big City Blues and on the code of conduct initially created for Boulevard Blues in October 2022 & Blues Remix in 2023; and inspired by those of the Highland Swing Dancing, Espanish Blues Festival and the Brussels Blues Community.