Steel City Squares

Traditional Appalachian Square Dancing in Pittsburgh, PA

Inclusion and Consent

Statement of Inclusivity

Steel City Squares strives to create an inclusive and welcoming community. We do not discriminate, nor will we tolerate discrimination by any dance attendee, based on age, race, ethnicity, religion, class, sexual orientation, gender/genderless identification, or level of physical ability.

Our dances include and value dancers and guests of all ages, dance experience levels, sexual orientations, gender presentations, ethnicities, and abilities. Wherever possible, we also strive to have musicians and callers from diverse backgrounds play and call our dances.

We are a gender-free dance community. Our callers use gender-free terminology (e.g. – “lark” and “robin” or “lead” and “follow” instead of gendered terms like “gal”, “gent”, etc.) and dancers are encouraged to dance whichever role(s) they prefer, and many dance both.

We further believe that it is everyone’s responsibility to create an inclusive, welcoming community with their words and actions, and we hold people accountable for behavior that creates an unsafe environment for others. 

We have a zero tolerance policy towards acts of discrimination, violence, or vulgar attitudes towards any dance attendee. Anyone who chooses to discriminate against or harm another attendee will be asked to leave and no refund will be issued. Serious infractions (as determined by the dance organizers) may lead to a permanent ban from future Steel City Squares events.

Culture of Consent

Steel City Squares strives to create a strong culture of consent. All actions, on and off the dance floor, should be consensual. This includes “little” things (for example, asking your partner how they would prefer to swing) and bigger things like not making unwanted advances on others.

If you are dancing with someone, or interacting with them in another way, and you are uncomfortable, you have the right to tell them to stop, and if words are not effective, to remove yourself from the situation. Even if it’s in the middle of the dance. Your personal safety is more important than the flow of a dance.

If you find yourself in a situation where you feel you need help managing the situation, please bring it to the attention of one of the dance organizers (you can generally find one of us working at the welcome table). We are here to help and want to create a safe space for everyone to dance and have fun!


Photographs and occasional short videos are sometimes taken by dance organizers at our events. Photos taken by the organizers may be used for promotional purposes on our website and other media. Attendance at the dance will be deemed as consent to having photographs taken and used in this manner. If you have concerns or would prefer to not be photographed, please talk to one of the organizers and we will do our best to respect your wishes.

Privacy Statement

Contact information received by Steel City Squares from dance attendees (such as when you sign up for our mailing list) is not shared with, or sold to, any outside party, and is gathered solely for our own use in letting you know about future events.


These policies were informed by and borrow pieces of the Traditional Music Community Principles and policies from Toronto’s contra dance and their annual Flurry festival. The organizers want to thank those groups for sharing these examples with us!