SAFER BRAVER SEXIER MISSION STATEMENT:
The Safer Braver Sexier Committee’s mission is to encourage empowered and informed safety on and off the dance floor, to compassionately listen to, acknowledge and respond to the needs of marginalized members of our community, and to promote our freedom to reclaim “sexier” through the courageous understanding and use of consent practices for all dancers.
Safer Braver Sexier was formed in 2018 from the awareness that we need to do more as a regional camp to increase safety for one another on and off the dance floor. What has been revealed about the harm happening “out in the world” through the work of anti-oppression movements such as Black Lives Matter, the visibility and rights of gender non-conforming people, and #metoo is also being revealed here, across our dance floors and in our dance communities. The blinders are coming off, and there is much to be done.
Building on the previous work of other dedicated members of this community, a group of dancing activists joined forces to create programming at DCNW designed to draw from the wisdom of every member of camp to cultivate “consent culture” founded on safety, authenticity, visibility, and dignity for all.
SAFER: Our founding principle is consent, consent between people, but just as importantly, internal consent and self-awareness. When we understand our own needs and limits, we are better able to be aware of the real needs and limits of those around us. Our philosophy is that when we feel safer, we’re more inclined to be brave, be experimental, and take risks, which can lead to livelier, juicier connections on the dance floor and beyond.
BRAVER: We recognize as a community that we have much work to do to make our camp safer and more welcoming for people of color, queer folx, gender non-conforming folx, survivors of all types of trauma, people of all abilities and sizes, including children, and the people that care for them, and elders. We are striving to be neuro-diverse and non-ableist, acknowledging both the existence of mental and physical differences, and the limitations of our venue.
And, it takes attention and intention to “unlearn” systems of oppression. That’s where being brave comes in. We encourage all of us to bravely interact with compassion for how complex it is to unlearn the toxic roles prescribed by our culture. It takes courage to see our shared humanity beyond these roles. We call on our courage to co-create this kind of inclusive culture of consent at camp.
SEXIER: “Sexier” is a vital part of our title. And, it’s third - after “safer” and “braver” - for a reason. It’s our observation that the pursuer/pursued pattern in today’s dance communities is in part a result of people being less safe to explore their authentic desires and curiosities, left instead to play out the damaging and limited roles society has prescribed us.
We opt instead for conscious, alive, evolved, and consensual relationships. And we believe that when those are present, our innate vitality may spring forth. We may have been told our “sexiness” was dangerous, or the wrong kind, and in response we may have diminished our authentic self-expression in order to be safe.
What we offer here is a safe foundation, with the freedom to define an infinite range of what “sexier” means to us! Dancing alone. Dancing close to others. Weeping barefoot in the morning dew. Holding hands in public with someone new. Making eye contact for longer than is conventional. Closing eyes and going inward. “Sexier” is ours to claim, with the courage and power that flows from feeling safe inside and outside of our bodies.
As Safer Braver Sexier, we are excited to introduce and support programming across camp that invites us all to step more fully into awareness of our own and others’ needs, desires and boundaries. It is a powerful, necessary, and glorious task. We are grateful to be taking it on, together.