HOUSING / HOSTING ETIQUETTE
Whether you are a first-time traveler or host or a veteran exchanger, below are some important tips about being a guest or a host. Crash-n-Freeloading at a dancer's place is one of the most memorable parts of a dance weekend and can lead to lifelong friendships. Hope the info below helps you out.
VERY IMPORTANT TIPS WHEN CONTACTING HOUSING COORDINATOR
Remember, Housing is a bonus at events, not a guarantee. Be Kind. Be Nice. Be Courteous.
If you contact the housing coordinator and start demanding perks, you may find yourself on the "Naughty List" and in a hotel.
Guest & Out-Of-Town-Dancers Recommendations
Contact your host as soon as you've been notified by the Housing Coordinator. Right away, exchange basic information:
• Full Name
• Cell Phone #
• City/State Coming From
• Special Needs (bed/couch/floor)
• Day/Time Arriving & Leaving
• Are you a Smoker/ Non-Smoker
• Special Transportation Needs (airport pickups)
• Have A Car? If so, Are You Willing to Drive Guests? YES/NO
• Pets Allergies?
• You Are A Late Niter
ASS-UMPTIONS: Housing is NOT guaranteed and is a privilege, not a right. You should ALWAYS have a hotel/backup plan. Expect to be given a 3' x 6' floorspace and a bathroom. Anything after that is a bonus! Do not assume you will be transported, fed, cuddled, nurtured, or catered to over the weekend.
CHANGE OF PLANS? If you found another place to stay, can't make it, please inform your HOST IMMEDIATELY! There most-likely is a housing wait list and you are keeping someone from registering if you don't.
Remember, you are a GUEST in someone's house. Not in a hotel.
WHAT TO BRING - Ask your host what is necessary to bring (towel, pillows, sleeping bag, air mattress, etc). Some hosts can provide a bed or couch, but most only have floorspace on their hardwood floors - and we mean HARD wood floors.
SIZE MATTERS - If you are alone, please consider buying a SINGLE-SIZED air mattress. Space is super limited in some cases, and it is plain rude if you take up the entire living room with your gargantuan mattress just for yourself.
SLEEPING SPACE - Your host is responsible for providing sleeping space and bathroom only. Usually it's a first-come, first-served as far as "where" in the house you are sleeping.
FOOD, DRINKS, MEALS - You are on your own - most of the time. Ask your host for local's choices for restaurants. Don't raid the fridge without permission. If you bought it, you can eat/drink it.
GIFT FOR HOSTS - It is not necessary, but it is a incredibly nice thing to do. Plus it is a positive hosting experience for all makes it much easier for us to get volunteers to host again for future events.
Some suggestions: A meal (lunch/dinner). A thank-you card. Gift cards are awesome! A music mix with some of your favorite songs. Do laundry/dishes/clean. Backrub. How much? Think of how much you would have spent on a hotel for the weekend.
TRANSPORTATION. Usually your host might be the one who will transport you to and from events but that isn't always the case. Check with your host to see if they'll be able to drive you to & from the airport and/or the events. DON'T ASSUME! If they can't, get in touch with the fellow guests and make arrangements that way. It's nice to offer whoever is driving you around some gas money.
GET READY QUICK. Nobody likes being late for classes or an event because someone needed a larger amount of time to make themselves prettied-up. If you are sharing a bathroom with the host and/or other dancers, try and do as much of your routine outside of the bathroom as possible so that other folks can use the shower, etc.
INFORM YOUR HOST OF YOUR PLANS. It keeps them from stressing. They usually feel somewhat responsible for you and want to make sure you are safe, therefore everyone is having a good time.
KEEP THE HOUSE CLEAN - You are a guest! Your host probably spent all week getting the house ready for you. When you are there, please keep the place clean. If you trash the place, then they will not open their house next year which will put you and others will be in a hotel.
THE NAUGHTY LIST
BE ADVISED: Since many organizers talk with each other, it has come to our attention that a few not-so-nice dancers or house guests that are being put on the "Naughty List". Most likely it's because the dancers are rude, demanding, late, creepy, sleezy, stinky, etc).
If you are not assigned housing or there is a delay in your assignment, check your attitude.
(Local Dancers Opening Their House)
FIRST: Contact the Housing Coordinator that you will be hosting and let them know the basics: How many you can house. Smoking Rules. If you have pets. Will you provide transportation (so they don't assign a house with non-car people). Do you have any beds, couches, cots, only hardwood floor, air mattresses available, etc.
CHANGES? Contact the Housing Coordinator immediately if you have any changes in your housing arrangements. Or if you have any guest contact you directly so they can be crossed off the Need-To-Be-Housed list.
Once you have been contacted by the Housing Coordinator, contact your guests right away with your: Full Name, Mailing Address (for their GPS, etc), Cell Phone & Home Number, Any Pets, Basic Policies Regarding: smoking, late night, quiet times, showers, house keys, ride-shares, pick-ups/drop-offs, sleeping arrangements, food, off-limits areas in house, etc.
Hosting ASSumptions: Guest Dancers only expect a 3' x 6' floorspace and a bathroom. Let them know if you provide anything more. Most Dancers are used to traveling and they are happy with a floor and a bathroom.
HOUSE RULES: Let them know EXPLICITLY what is off-limits (rooms, food, alcohol, etc) and what is fair-game. Put notes on doors, cabinets, rooms, where they can or cannot go. DO NOT ASSUME. Print out and tape to your front/back door about House-Rules, that way they know.
TELL THEM WHAT THEY NEED TO BRING: Let them know exactly what they need to bring: towel, pillows, sleeping bag, air mattress, etc.
MEALS: Dancers are supposed to take care of their own meals. Have a list of local restaurants on your fridge.
HOME COOKING: No need to make a full home-cooked meal. Since not all guests will be home at same time. If possible, it is nice to have some munchy-stuff around.
DRIVE TIMES: Let them know to what extent you can drive them around throughout the weekend. If necessary, if you are an event promoter/worker, have them contact others to arrange rides.
PRIMPING SCHEDULE: If you are driving, let them exactly when you plan on leaving. No point in anyone being cranky about being late to classes/events if they didn't know.
GROUP MEALS: Check with other locals and/or the Housing Coordinators and see if there are any group lunches/dinners that your guests might enjoy.
STAY IN CONTACT: Always let your guests know what your plans are and where to find you. It keeps them from stressing. They are alone in your city and you are their contact if a problem arises.
KEYS/ACCESS TO HOUSE: Some dancers leave the dance early, some stay until daylight - Let your guests know your policy on the keys or access to your house. Some hosts give them a key and let the dancers come & go as they please. Some may have stricter restrictions. Let them know!
And most important - THANK YOU! This event would not happen without Hosts like you.