Everything you need to know about youth dances

Throughout the school year, the Youth Services Team is proud to host Preteen Dances for youth in grades 6 and 7. The 2022/2023 school year will feature five dances with the first two taking place in September and November. 

Preteen dances are scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m. and are held at the Gleneagles Community Centre. For a complete list of dates for the dances and information on how to register, please visit the Active West Van Rec website.

Number of youth at the dances

Our dances can typically accommodate 300 to 350 youth (based on staffing and other considerations), and the majority of participants are preteens that live in, and/or attend school, in West Vancouver.

What to wear

The primary responsibility for a youth's attire resides with each youth and their parent(s), guardian(s), or caregiver(s). The District of West Vancouver is responsible for setting an atmosphere conducive to fun and safety in our programs, and for seeing that no one person's attire interferes with the health or safety of, nor contributes to a disrespectful, hostile, or intimidating atmosphere for, any participant in our programs. 

This Dress Code is in place in order to: 

  • Encourage youth to wear clothing of their choice that reflects their personal style, is comfortable, and that expresses their self-identified gender. 
  • Prevent youth from wearing clothing with offensive images or language, with images or language depicting or advocating violence, or the use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Ensure that all youth are treated equitably regardless of sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, body type/size, religion, and personal style. 

Dress Code

Basic Principle: Clothes must be worn in a way such that genitals, buttocks, breasts and chests (including nipples) are fully covered with opaque fabric. 

Youth must wear:

  • Top (shirt, tank top, sweatshirt. etc.) 
  • Bottom (pants, sweatpants, shorts, skirt, dress, yoga pants, leggings, etc.) 
  • Shoes (consider secure footing appropriate for dancing and moving around safely) 

Youth cannot wear: 

  • Violent, sexual, or racist language, images, or associations. 
  • Images or language depicting drugs or alcohol (or any illegal-for-minors item or activity), or use of the same. 
  • Hate speech, profanity, sexualization, pornography, or gang-related affiliations/logos/images. 
  • Images or language that creates a hostile or intimidating environment based on any protected class. 
  • Visible underwear (visible waistbands or straps on undergarments worn under other opaque clothing are NOT a violation). 
  • Accessories that could be dangerous or considered as a weapon or promote any illegal-for-minors activity. 
  • Any item that obscures the face or ears.

To ensure effective and equitable enforcement of this dress code, staff shall enforce the dress code consistently and in a manner that does not reinforce or increase marginalization or oppression of any group based on race, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, cultural observance, household income, or body type/size.

When to arrive

Check-in begins at 6:15 p.m. and the dance begins at 7 p.m.

Signing in

Upon arrival, please line up at the sign-in table and we will check-off that you are registered and have arrived! You will then receive a wristband. If you are not on our registration list, this means you have not registered with us and will not be able to enter the dance—you must register and sign in under your own name.

Personal items

You will also be asked to “check” or leave all of your personal items—phones, jackets, sweaters, backpacks, purses, etc—with us. These items will be monitored by staff during the event; however, since we cannot completely guarantee the safety of all items, we strongly recommend you leave anything of value at home.

Phones/Cameras

The District of West Vancouver prohibits the use of personal cell phones or cameras to take photos or video of dance participants, staff, volunteers, or our facilities while attending our events.

We recommend that you leave your phone and/or camera with a parent/guardian, or you will be required to check those items in our coat check for the duration of the dance.

If you would like to have a photo taken of you and your friends at the dance, please arrange to do this before or after the event.

Concession

Once inside the dance, you will not have the freedom to come and go, so please be prepared with everything that you will need for the dance, including a small amount of money for the concession. Only small change will be accepted—nothing over $5 please! 

Parents/guardians

Our dances are parent-and guardian-free zones! In fact, we encourage parents/guardians to take advantage of the few hours of freedom and go for a nice dinner or a walk, knowing that all dance participants are safe and having a good time.

Our dances end at 9 p.m. and parents/guardians should be ready to pick up on time and, if they so choose, are welcome to return as early as 8:45 p.m. to watch the fun wrap up and to meet their preteens as they exit the dance.

 

Appropriate behaviour

We want you to have a great time at the dances and remember that the way they behave affects everyone. Youth who display behaviours that are undesirable or unsafe, such as violence or the use of alcohol and/or other drugs, will remain in the care of a staff member until a parent/guardian arrives to take them home. In extreme circumstances, we will call 911. 

Supervision

We maintain a minimum ratio of one Dance Crew member for every 20 youth and we adjust this based on the number of participants. The Dance Crew is made up of staff from the Youth Services team and other District staff and trained volunteers, many of whom are additionally trained in first aid.

Registering on dance night

It is not recommended, so please plan ahead! Since our dances are so popular, they often sell out many days in advance. In addition, knowing how many youth to expect in advance assists us in making sure we have the appropriate number of dance crew members and helps us plan the safest event possible. 

You’ve registered but now you can’t attend

We value your feedback and participation and offer the following options for a refund:

  • Refunds or transfers to upcoming events (if available) will be permitted until the end of the business day of the Wednesday before the dance date in question.
  • Full refunds will be given for any program cancelled by the Community Services Department.

Please note that due to the popularity of this event and the common occurrence of a waitlist, plus various other safety considerations, we do not permit the transfer of a dance registration directly from one preteen to another at any time.

Risks to parents and guardians

By registering your child for the dance, you are giving permission for your child to attend and confirm that your child or any child you are registering is in the appropriate grade for the activity (a dance). You understand that your child is not allowed to walk home or leave the dance without a parent/guardian. Accidents can be the result of the nature of the activity and can occur with or without fault on either the part of your child, the District of West Vancouver or its employees or agents, or the facility where the activity is taking place. By allowing your child to participate in this activity, you are accepting the risk of an accident occurring, and agree that this activity, as described above, is suitable for your child. 

Contact

For specific enquiries about these dances or any other youth program, please contact:

Melanie Clark
Youth Services Program Coordinator

604-925-7222

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