The other night, a local teacher decided to text Kenny with several thought-provoking questions in regards to our Pro-Social Behavior Workshop. They declined the opportunity for a meeting, but from the tone of their message, it sounded like they wanted to know why we’re doing this workshop and how they could be at the forefront of taking care of their students and dancers.
First, the very reason we’re hiring The Blue Bench is to educate ourselves and provide an opportunity for others to be educated and feel empowered. Our swing scene needs this. Local and national dancers have taken note of what we’re doing. We’re also doing this so we can train our staff in this very important topic. That includes our regular staff, performers, and volunteers.
Regarding how to be at the forefront, part of it is watching your local peers and paying attention to national swing scene discussions. I found The Blue Bench when I discovered Krister Shalm at Boulder Swing Dance arranged staff training through MESA, the Boulder-equivalent to The Blue Bench. From our staff training and knowing about a town hall discussion that happened in Atlanta, providing something for our local scene has been on the forefront of our mind. Only until I asked Chelsea Rothschild to take lead did this workshop materialize. I wasn’t going to make it happen on my own.
That leads into another topic – asking for help. We don’t hold all the answers. For example, we have to get many more volunteers for our new dance nights. From paying attention to social media, I know Fort Collins Swing Dance, especially Angela Huxel, so I asked for help and advice. Ask for help. With topics as important as sexual assault, safe spaces, and consent, I like to think we’re there for each other.