HEAT PRINCIPLES, POLICIES, & PROCEDURES
- Equity Statement: HEAT realizes that no policy can be perfect and that we are ever-evolving and being refined. Nonetheless, our intention is to provide principles, policies, and procedures to serve our community in order to grow both individually and as a whole!
- Our HEAT Policy is student-centered in the benefit of the work in an effort that every dancer feels seen and safe. HEAT stands for principles and an ideology that we strive to live and pass on to the next generation – to Hear, Educate, Advocate, & Train. We at HEAT believe that when we HEAR with a desire to listen we can EDUCATE ourselves and ADVOCATE for change in order to TRAIN others!
- HEAT’s goal is to facilitate an atmosphere for all dancers – an open space where they feel safe, seen, and valued in order to grow, thrive, and flourish in both their artistry and in life.
- We acknowledge the individual dancer, honor their unique differences, and recognize their distinct lived experiences.
- HEAT believes that everyone has full autonomy of their body, feelings, and personal boundaries – including the determination of their gender identity.
- We acknowledge ALL pronouns and the full spectrum of gender expression.
- HEAT Faculty and Staff have signed the HEAT Accountability Pledge, promising to uphold, maintain, and champion the principles and values that HEAT stands for in the HEAT Principles, Policies, & Procedures.
- HEAT has an Inclusion Calendar, highlighting historical racial diasporas such as the Jewish and African Diasporas, as well as celebrating cultural & personal awareness months such as Black History, Mental Health Awareness, Hispanic Heritage, World Peace, and Pride Months.
- Our HEAT audience are educated both on stage at events and online with the cultural accomplishments and exceptional stories of inclusive contributions to the dance community.
- HEAT will give its students the assignment to meet and connect with two new dancers at every event in an effort to expand their perspectives beyond their own social circle.
- HEAT will email a pre-event questionnaire to attending studios inquiring of any needs the studio or dancers may have, access needs, gender or non-binary attendees, and health matters that HEAT should be aware of.
- At HEAT, we respect and honor our dancers as individuals and will address them by their appropriate pronoun.
- At registration and the merch table, pronoun stickers are provided for all
attendees in order for us to correctly address them.
- Additionally, a Pre-Event Questionnaire is emailed ahead of the event for
studios to communicate their needs.
- HEAT celebrates all bodies and reaffirms that all bodies are dancing bodies! Adjudication, scholarships, and recognition are based on talent and ability, not shape or size.
- HEAT provides inclusive dressing rooms for girls, boys, and all gender dressing rooms so that our dancers are safe, respected, and are comfortable in the space that fits them. Dressing rooms are announced before competition. Additionally, Pop-Up Individual Dressing Rooms are available to all competition attendees.
- HEAT wants all faculty, staff, and participants who attend our events to feel represented and welcomed. We celebrate diversity of people of all backgrounds, religions, races, gender identities, sexual orientations, disabilities, shapes, physical abilities, and any other protected classes.
- HEAT will continue to hire diverse and colorful faculty and staff that represents and enriches the culture of our audience.
- HEAT posts and promotes diversity regularly in our social media.
- Every HEAT weekend will include cultural dance classes to introduce and educate our dancers on diverse styles of dance from around the world and their influence on common dance styles. Cultural classes include Bollywood, Israeli Folk, and Latin Dance, etc.
- HEAT engages in topical & fun-fact discussions & interviews on cultural dance styles etc. based on the inclusion calendar. We will incorporate this into our events either in live, pre-recorded video, and/or through social media.
- Awareness of opportunities (financial and industry related) are provided to all dancers. A pre-season email is sent to studios as well as posted on social media. Opportunities are given to dancers from a range of backgrounds, cultures, religions, colors, shapes, sizes, gender identities, and physical abilities.
- HEAT respects, welcomes, and provides the space and/or time for the observation of religion & prayer when our attendees need it. Access needs are included in the HEAT Pre-Event Questionnaire.
- HEAT wants all to feel respected and seen and takes a stand against prejudice, microaggressions, and racism. We promote a culture of anti-racism and prohibit all forms of discrimination and harassment.
- HEAT will take action against hatred and uphold a zero tolerance policy for any language or behavior that promotes ideologies rooted in racism and prejudice. Every attendee of HEAT, regardless and because of their identity, deserves the right to rise to their most pure and best potential.
- HEAT acknowledges implicit biases inherent in our thinking and vows to counter such biases with education, awareness, listening, and an overall goal & desire to embrace differences.
- At the start of each event weekend, HEAT will begin with its “Ring of Fire” Production Meeting acknowledging inherent biases and promising to personally keep these biases out of our dance spaces. Each person will go around and state how they will individually uphold HEAT Policies and our DEEA Training. Incidents will be reported to one of the HEAT Directors and addressed in a timely manner.
- HEAT makes every effort to reach out to studios that may not have the same opportunities and privileges as studios that have been represented at conventions typically. Outreach includes free masterclasses in groundwork for new event cities, scholarships, and discounted rates.
- Dance history classes and teacher classes are offered at each HEAT event to enrich the depth of our understanding and expression of dance.
- In the event that an incident of discrimination, prejudice, microaggressions, and/or racism arises during the event, we will listen to everyone’s voice in order to understand, and not to defend or deflect.
- HEAT does not allow shirts, clothing, media, propaganda, or music of artists that support, promote, racism. Any such materials will be removed.
- HEAT upholds its discrimination and racism zero tolerance policy and will remove any individual causing harm.
Mental Health and Mindfulness
- HEAT promotes mental health awareness and believes that mindfulness is the key to a flourishing, artistic atmosphere.
- We support self-awareness and body positivity to encourage the intrinsic and unique value of our dancers.
- We ask our dancers to come prepared to all HEAT events when at all possible. This includes planning breaks when needed, getting proper rest, and nourishing their bodies with healthy food and proper hydration.
- We encourage our dancers to first understand that calories (food) are energy above all else. Before thinking about what to eat, HEAT wants to ensure that our dancers are eating and hydrating throughout convention weekends and while training in general.
- HEAT supports dancers when they need time and space to nourish their bodies throughout convention weekends by providing either water stations and affordable hydration options within the venue. HEAT understands that a dancer might need a break during a long weekend and will provide a break area at the merch table for such dancers to refuel.
- HEAT encourages dancers to carry electrolytes with them throughout convention weekends, but if any dancer starts to become deficient Heat carries electrolytes on hand.
- HEAT offers nutrition courses to educate instructors on proper nutrition for dancers during convention weekends. These classes include what to eat, when to eat and how to inspire dancers to view food as fuel when training.
- HEAT provides the “Anatomy for Dancers” class for teachers, directors and owners in every city which helps educate instructors on how to properly train their dancers for the current movement expectations.
- HEAT promotes self care & the importance of having a healthy relationship with self & food. Self care awareness is highlighted in our classes on mental health, anatomy, and nutrition.
- HEAT announces and offers the resources for professional help hotlines at events. These include but are not limited to hotlines to offer support for eating disorders, abuse, and suicide prevention.
- Resource hotlines are listed online at the link below and located during our event weekends at the merch table.
- Please be advised that we are not trained professionals, nevertheless, if you have any issues you are welcome to approach our faculty and staff at HEAT. We vow to listen and guide you to an appropriate professional resource. Resources can be found at our merch table and at the link below:
- At HEAT competition night, if a dancer experiences anxiety or a panic attack backstage they should see the check-in table for assistance. During HEAT Convention days they should approach the merch table at which point our HEAT directors will be notified to assist the need.
- HEAT Directors are available backstage for any dancer in need of support. HEAT reasonably postpones any routine for a dancer that needs extra time due to emotional hardship.
- HEAT offers the “5 Pillars of Mental Health” class for teachers, directors, and studio owners which offers tips for supporting growing dancers as they figure out their path in dance.
- Neurodivergent dancers, disabled dancers, dancers with neurodiversity, and dancers with chronic illnesses are encouraged, appreciated, and warmly welcomed to our HEAT events.
- We will meet dancers where they are in their emotionality, mentality, and physicality to provide reasonable accommodation so that they feel cared for and valued.
- A pre-event questionnaire will be emailed to attending studios inquiring of any dancer’s access needs Once the questionnaire is received our Director of Studio Relations will reach out to the studio no less than two weeks prior to the event to provide any reasonable accommodations based on the accessibility available at the venue.
- HEAT will not promote economic favoritism of any kind. Recognition in our competition and convention are not indicative of the monetary value a studio contributes or the connection/relationship with the studio and/or dancers.
- HEAT provides Financial Need Scholarships to all dancers that might benefit from it. Dancers need to submit either a 500 word essay or 3 minute video that gives us more background on you, why you want to join us at HEAT, and why a scholarship would be helpful. Any dancer needing financial support should contact email@example.com.
- For attendees whose first language is not English, HEAT makes the effort to communicate and connect by utilizing electronic translation services.
- Our HEAT Director of Production, will communicate ahead of time with the event venue to ensure that the space is accessible for dancers with disabilities. During the event, our directors will continue to cooperate with hotel staff to provide reasonable accommodation to dancers’ access needs.
- HEAT understands the inherent power dynamics in our convention’s competitive environment and continues to take the appropriate steps to protect our young dancers.
- HEAT Faculty and Staff act in a professional and respectful manner when communicating with attendees, particularly minors. They use age appropriate language and acknowledge the inherent power dynamics of communication.
- It’s our desire that our dancers feel strong and powerful, not less than, regardless of age or position. We do not speak, act, or conduct ourselves with an air of superiority or hierarchy in communicating with our dancers, assistants, and Pros.
- HEAT takes a stand against grooming & coercion, and acknowledges that seemingly innocent communication and actions can lead to harm.
- HEAT Faculty and Staff will not communicate privately, without the consent/knowledge of the dancer’s guardian. This includes text and direct messaging on social media.
- HEAT is here to help our dancers! If you have a specific question, dancers are welcomed encouraged to reach out to HEAT on Instagram @heat_convention or firstname.lastname@example.org
- To reduce the risk of grooming & coercion, if dancers reach out to HEAT faculty and staff via social media they are encouraged to direct them to HEAT via email. Regardless, faculty and staff will move the conversation to the more professional line of communication, email.
- In acknowledging power dynamics, we know that a third party might be the best resource to meet your dancers needs. Dancers are encouraged to reach out to professionals and professional resources: including DEEA, The Dance Safe, The Trevor Project, suicide hotlines, their primary physician, etc. Resources can be found below:
- The RAINN resource on Red Flags for Grooming are posted at events at the HEAT Merch table and can be found at the link below:
- HEAT provides topical and timely discussions in our classrooms to keep our dancers safe. We have dedicated time allotted in several of our classrooms to provide an opportunity for dancers to discuss.
- HEAT provides our HEAT Forum, periodical webinars offered on Instagram Live. These are topical and timely discussions online designed to keep our dancers safe and educated.
- HEAT encourages dancers to examine their feelings & self and to self-advocate for their well-being. We invite dancers to always self-advocate!
- HEAT provides a supportive and accessible environment where dancers can communicate their needs and feelings.
- If dancers need to take a break for rest, water, or to use the bathroom, please do so when needed and notify a door monitor where you are going. A designated break area will be located in the foyer near the merch table if you need to rest. Please sign in with Nic at The Merch Table to check in. Before rejoining your class, please make sure that you warm yourself up.
- In the event that a dancer does not return in a timely manner, the door monitor will notify the Production Director, Leah, to locate the dancer.
- An announcement will be made at the opening ceremony regarding a designated break area.
- Any issues that may arise during a HEAT event should be brought to Nicole Acebo, our Studio Relations Associate, located at the Merch Table. Nicole will take your information and details of the issue and a response will be given prompt attention. An announcement will be made at the opening ceremony to provide awareness of both the contact person and location for participants requiring assistance. (See our Chain of Communication).
- We support participants using bathrooms that align with their gender identity. HEAT will make every effort to facilitate, but cannot guarantee Gender Neutral bathrooms (per the contract with the hotel). Dressing rooms are provided for all who identify beyond the gender binary.
- HEAT will provide self identifying Gender/Non-Binary Stickers to correctly address our dancers preferred pronoun. If dancers choose to participate they can add the self-identifying sticker to their audition stickers.
Equitable Judging & Appropriateness
- HEAT pledges to uphold equitable judging standards that will ensure transparency for every artist to feel comfortable and strong during competition.
- From soloists to large studio productions, we want dancers to feel confident on our HEAT stage.
- HEAT encourages the creativity and individuality of our dancers and will not shame dancers for their dress, we do strive to create a safe environment where dancers are not subject to sexualization/hypersexualization in either music, choreography or costuming.
- Sexualization and Hypersexualization is defined as giving an increasingly important place to sexuality, by multiplying references to it in the public space (media, advertising). The hypersexualisation of minors would be attributing sexual characteristics and behaviors to minors.
- Examples include: Clothes that highlight parts of the body (décolleté, low-cut trousers, tight pullover, etc.). Accessories and products that significantly accentuate certain features and hide so-called flaws (make-up, jewelry, high heels, acrylic nails, hair coloring, padded cup bras, etc.). Body alterations that aim to highlight sexual characteristics or signals (removal of the body and genital hair, significant arm and buttock muscles, etc.). Surgical interventions that transform the body into an “artificial object”: silicone breasts, lips swollen with collagen. Exaggerated body postures that send the signal of sexual availability: bulging breasts, opening the mouth, wiggling the hips, etc. Sexual behaviors that focus on genitalia and the pleasure of others.
- The Harmful Effects of Sexualization and Hypersexualization include anxiety about appearance, feelings of shame, eating disorders, lower self-esteem, and depression. Objectification and sexualization of girls in the media is linked to violence against girls, women, and trans individuals worldwide.
- HEAT Judges will deduct points for inappropriateness.
- Appropriate is defined as suitable or proper. Age appropriateness includes clothing that is the right size, child sized, or adapted so that a child can use safely, and suitable to the chronological age range. Clothing should not be revealing.
- Exaggerated body postures, gestures, and movements are not appropriate. Music that includes sexual and/or bad language or connotation is inappropriate.
- When an appropriateness deduction occurs, the notes will be shared in the studio critique notes available to the studio.
- HEAT does not post scores, scholarships, or dancer information online.
- HEAT will keep our events, interactions, and social media appropriate for all ages based on appropriate child development.
- We will protect our community on our social media accounts by posting only age appropriate content of minors and the monitoring promotional materials of our partners.
- Heat will judge entries based on adherence to each style’s technique, musicality, creativity, stage presence and appropriateness. Routines will have points deducted if music, costume or movement is inappropriate for family viewing and age of dancer/s.
- All scores are weighted by the following breakdown: Technique 30%, Choreography 20%, Artistry/Creativity 15%, Difficulty 15%, Performance 20%
Jazz- technique, isolations, lines, musicality
Tap- sound clarity, musicality, footwork
Jazz funk- Isolations, musicality, movement strength
Hip Hop- isolations, musicality, footwork
Ballet- technique, lines, footwork
Open- technique, musicality
Anti-Abuse (Merge with Power Dynamics)
- HEAT understands the importance of language, tone, and intention in the development of our dancers and will maintain an uplifting environment in our speech and actions.
We will use encouraging language for constructive critique and will ask for consent for any physical correction.
- We will not tolerate any act of verbal, physical harassment, and/or sexual harassment to make sure our dancers feel safe and protected.
- HEAT requires faculty, pros, and assistants to maintain clean professional content in their social media and prohibits hyper sexualization content per their individual contracts.
- For Competition Live Stream a LIVE Stream Password is required.
- Any act of bullying reported or witnessed will be addressed and followed up with an investigation to make sure all dancers feel accepted and welcomed.
Event Safety – In Case of An Emergency
- HEAT cares for the safety of all its attendees including their physical well-being during the events and in the event of an emergency.
- Resources on earthquake, flood, fire, burn, tornado, etc. can be found at the link below: https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies.html
- In the event of an emergency HEAT Production will be in communication with the hotel staff and communicate to the attendees to convey the severity of the emergency.
- Parents should find and reunite with their children. We will look to the direction of professional recommendations, but encourage adults to use discernment to stay safe for them.
- HEAT provides door monitors in our ballrooms for our dancers’ safety. In addition, staff are constantly monitoring our events. If an issue arises door monitors, staff, and/or faculty will alert our HEAT Directors.