Jitterbug Values

Jitterbug Values

  • People first. In every way. We love the music, we love the dancing, but most of all, dancing in St. Louis is a celebration of community.
  • Jazz music and dancing are a part of the fabric of our community and our everyday lives. Jitterbugs events are not a swing dancers’ bubble; they exist symbiotically with the greater St. Louis community. We value our neighbors, our local artists, and our local businesses. We hope you’ll show your love!
  • Swing dances like the lindy hop and jazz music have their roots in African American culture and tradition. We believe that it is important to center artists of color, present and historical. We believe that it is important to openly confront racism, present and historical, and that understanding race and power dynamics is essential to creating a more equitable and loving community, present and future. We believe that Black Lives Matter.
  • Embrace the imperfect. We’ll bring you high-quality programming, but we favor experiences and audacity over perfection. We believe in soul, and we believe you often discover it with a healthy side of grittiness.
  • Get jazzed! The music will be raucous, the contests will get crazy, the dance floor will be furious. We want you to have mad fun at our events. If that means you want to throw down in a jam circle or contest, great! If that means you want to learn a few basic steps, great! If that means you want to meet as many new folks as possible or just quietly enjoy the spectacle, great! There are so many ways to have a good time at Jitterbugs events, and we invite you to have the time of your life.
  • Gay_flag.svgWe strive to make our classes open and comfortable places for everyone, including the LGBTQIA+ community. We use non-gendered language in our classes and believe people should select their dance role based on what they want to learn.
  • Jazz and dancing are for everyone–we offer a sliding fee scale for our events and classes (i.e. pay what you can model) for those for whom cost is a limiting factor.

STL Jitterbugs Code of Conduct

  • STL Jitterbugs is for everyone of every race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity or presentation, sexual orientation, ability, physical appearance, religion, etc. We do not tolerate harassment of any kind. Please educate yourself about what languages and behaviors constitute harassment. This includes threatening verbal comments, deliberate intimidation, stalking or following, inappropriate or unwanted physical contact, and any non-consensual sexual attention.  Any behaviors, actions, or speech that result in making someone feel unsafe are unwelcome and will not be tolerated
  • We expect every person to take ownership of their own actions and language. If someone lets you know, verbally or non-verbally, that they are feeling uncomfortable, check your behavior, apologize sincerely, and make a change.
  • Everyone has an absolute right to feel safe and respected at STL Jitterbugs classes and events. We all work together to create an environment of consent, where we respect each other and each others’ boundaries.
  • It’s OK to say no to a dance for any reason, and you do not have to give a reason unless you want to. A “no” or “no thank you” is enough. If someone says no to you, accept it with grace and move on. (e.g. “Would you like to dance?” “No thank you.” “Ok, enjoy the evening!”)
  • STL Jitterbugs is for fun! It’s ok to take risks and try new things, be loud and silly at the right time and place, joke around in an appropriate way, have some drinks (or not), relax and let loose. Before you come, figure out how to do these things in a way that is grown up, respectful of others, and contributes to an overall positive and fun environment. We plan to let the good times roll and we believe that fun is maximized when respect and safety are prioritized.
  • Please participate in creating a safe and respectful environment by modeling respectful behavior, and speaking up if you see or hear something that looks or feels wrong. If you observe someone who looks uncomfortable and you feel safe to do so, approach that person and check in with them (“Are you ok?”) or alert a Jitterbugs staff member so that they can help you intervene. Safety is a community-wide effort; let’s look out for each other.
  • The Staff of the St. Louis Jitterbugs reserves the right to take any action deemed necessary to enforce this policy. Anyone in violation of this code could be subject to verbal warning, be asked to leave the event without refund, and/or, if appropriate, referred to law enforcement officials.
  • Should you have any issues or concerns arise,  you can always talk to Jenny Shirar, Christian Frommelt, or email us at contact@stljitterbugs.com. You may also contact us anonymously using this contact form at tinyurl.com/JitterbugsSafety. You can also reach our Code of Conduct liaison, Beccy Aldrich, at liaison@stljitterbugs.com. The reporting form and the liaison email address are monitored by our Code of Conduct liaison. Your concerns will be treated professionally and confidentially.