Mobtown Ballroom Code of Coduct

The Mobtown Ballroom is a public venue, and it is intended to be a place that sometimes puts you outside of your comfort zone. In that sense, and in that sense only, it is designed to be an unsafe place. We want you to push yourself, learn new things, and meet people who will challenge you in whatever corner of the arts you pursue. We believe in the value of public arts’ spaces, and we believe in the mixing of diverse groups of people that these places encourage. We believe in humor and the power of not taking oneself seriously. We believe that the world is micro-managed to an annoying degree, and that after a day of work, deadlines, TPS reports, and bosses you should be able to unwind in an adult environment where you can see and participate in something real. In order to make this happen, however, we have a small list of expectations. To put it simply, by attending classes or events at the ballroom, you agree not to be a tool.

  1. This environment is for everyone regardless of gender/gender identity, race, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, religion, or whatever. We do not tolerate harassment of any kind. If you harass someone you may be asked to leave; you may be kicked out for life. It is at our discretion. So don’t do it.
  2. In keeping with the above, don’t use racist, misogynist, homophobic, transphobic, or ableist language. It’s not only wrong, it’s embarrassing and in bad taste. Anyone who uses language of this kind may be asked to leave, or banned.
  3. Don’t treat the ballroom like a pick-up joint. If you engage in this kind of behavior and make our patrons uncomfortable, we will take extreme pleasure in escorting you to the door.
  4. For many of our customers, the Ballroom is the locus of their friend groups and social life. This is part of our overall goal, and we think it’s beautiful. That being said, the Ballroom does not belong to any one person more than it does to any other person. The staff works hard to ensure that all of you have fun and thrive as human beings. We expect our regulars to understand that the Ballroom does not constitute their “turf” or a pool of people for them to cycle through dating. We expect our regulars to treat both newcomers and other regulars as people and dancers, not as potential dates. Rejection happens. Don’t ask someone out if you can’t be respectful after being turned down. Break ups happen. Don’t date someone at the Ballroom if you can’t respectfully share the space after a break up. It’s the responsibility of our regular customers to ensure that the Ballroom is an environment where people feel free from coercion, bigotry, discrimination, and bullying.
  5. Whether you’re dancing, playing music, or finger painting, do not offer unsolicited advice to your fellow students. In our experience the people who do this are usually wrong (and always annoying).
  6. Generally behave like an adult human being. We welcome every lifestyle and every flavor of person. But this isn’t your living room or a house party: Back-rub chains, cuddle puddles, and the like will make the staff uncomfortable. Please take pity on the staff.

The Ballroom staff deeply believes that it is best for the business and the world if staff, performers, and patrons are held to the standards above. Within the scope of these caveats, do your thing. Should you have any harassment-related complaints, the staff will willingly and enthusiastically hear and act on your complaints however you see fit. Nevertheless, it takes a kind of cultural agreement to make a community safe and fun. We strongly urge you, when it is safe to do so, to take it upon yourself to speak up if you witness something destructive or demeaning. While the social risks of speaking up may feel high, your willingness to speak up can help create an environment of positive social pressure that it’s impossible for the management to generate single-handedly.

Our goal in this context is to move as far as possible towards creating a culture that eliminates these issues rather than dwells on them. With that in mind, should someone raise an issue with your behavior, listen gracefully and be willing to learn. Hostility in response to criticism is generally a sign that the criticism itself was not misplaced. In addition, when making complaints, please be conscious that it is not our job to create an environment where no one will ever rub you the wrong way. Harassment is one thing; personal issues are another. Be an adult.

Regardless of the severity, please feel free to bring your harassment-related concerns to any member of the ballroom staff (Michael or Sarah). We will treat these issues with the strictest confidentiality. Your courage in coming forward can keep incidents from being repeated. If you are not sure whether an incident constitutes harassment, feel free to ask the staff’s opinion. If we don’t know, we will find out. Please see our policy and procedure (below) for more information about how issues are handled.

 

Policies and Procedures

What you can expect if you bring an issue to the staff:

Our Responsibilities and Limitations

As business owners we can and will involve ourselves in all of the harassment/discrimination issues listed above, particularly if they occur on the premises. We cannot, however, get involved in interpersonal issues and feuds. Furthermore, it is important for complainants to understand that, while we take action on issues of harassment, we cannot act as a personal support network, we are not trained therapists or social workers, and we need to spend the bulk of our time running the business.

Alcohol Policy

We serve booze. We want you to drink our booze. We cannot and will not serve you if you appear intoxicated. By coming to the Mobtown Ballroom, you agree to never drive a car under the influence. We will gladly call you a cab. Underage drinking at the ballroom will of course not be tolerated, and will result in immediate and permanent expulsion from the venue. Underage intoxication of any kind (regardless of where the liquor was consumed) will have the same effect. Providing alcohol to a minor is illegal (and often a form of harassment). If you do this, you will likewise be banned for life. Baltimore City law does not permit any outside containers. We are deadly serious about this.

To avoid any potential issues, we recommend that everyone seriously consider their own relationship with alcohol. We are followers of Dionysus ourselves, and think that a little evening fermentation is one of the finer things in life, but we are aware that many people have issues with alcohol. If you’re a different (perhaps less appropriate or decent) person under the influence, then steer clear. We’ll serve you all the soda you want.

The Neighborhood

The Mobtown Ballroom is in the city—Baltimore City, to be exact. Please have respect for the surrounding residential areas and keep noise to a minimum. Yuck it up inside as much as you would like. Parking is limited during stadium events. Pay attention to all posted signs. Finally, if you are leaving late at night and would like a walk to your car, talk to any staff member and we’d be happy to arrange it for you. We do it because we love.