Hands Four Dancers of Ithaca Statement of Principles

Hands Four Dancers of Ithaca (HFDI) hopes that all who attend our events will enjoy a sociable evening of music and dance.

HFDI embraces diversity and welcomes everyone regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national or ethnic origin, marital status, citizenship, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, or disability.

Participants are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that shows courtesy, respect, and consideration for the welfare of other dancers and the dance community.

If you ever feel uncomfortable or endangered by another participant, we encourage you to speak up. If you do not feel able to speak directly with a participant whose behavior makes you uncomfortable, please talk with any member of the board of directors. The board will do its best to provide assistance in addressing your concerns.

The HFDI board of directors has adopted the following principles for all who participate in our events. We ask all dancers to adhere to them. Disregard for these principles will result in board intervention, up to and including barring the offender from our events. 


  • All dancers are expected to be considerate of others’ physical and emotional boundaries. Pay attention to cues, both verbal and non-verbal. Avoid controlling behavior. 
  • While contra dancing is often exuberant and fast moving, 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.
  • Occasional inappropriate contact may happen accidentally on the dance floor. However, intentional or repeated inappropriate contact is not acceptable.
  • All dancers are expected to refrain from sexually suggestive, lewd, or indecent behavior on and off the dance floor.
  • Every dancer has the right to decline to interact with another dancer, whether on or off the dance floor, without explanation or repercussion. If someone declines your request to dance, accept their answer gracefully and feel free to ask another. Persistently ignoring or challenging another dancer’s expressed wish NOT to interact during the course of an evening is harassment, and is not acceptable.
  • Strive to be flexible, welcoming, and non-judgmental in your attitude and expressions. Be your best self.

If you encounter problem behaviors, please let us know. We will take your concerns seriously and keep them in confidence.

  • Talk to any board member. If you have trouble locating one, please ask the person at the admission table to identify a board member.
  • Put a note in our suggestion box, which is on the literature table. These notes will be read only by board members.
  • Write to us at HFDI, PO Box 176, Ithaca, NY 14851.
  • Send an e-mail to board@hands4dancers.org.

These principles were adapted from documents created by Diane Silver of Asheville, NC, for the Old Farmers Ball.