Mile High Fusion is a playground for dancers to explore and grow, seek mastery, party with friends, and collaborate to create something remarkable.

In order to do this, Mile High Fusion strives to create a space where everyone feels welcome, regardless of any aspect of identity. We recognize that we live in a society where people are not welcome based on aspects of their identity, and we are choosing to actively dismantle those systems in our spaces. As products of our society, we recognize that we may unintentionally recreate some of the excluding practices that exist in our society. We are learning, and open and excited about feedback for how to make everyone feel welcome. For more information about our specific policies and tools for making spaces more welcoming, please read our Safer Spaces Policy and Cultural Inclusions Statements (below).

Cultural Inclusion at Mile High Fusion

Mile High Fusion seeks to inspire growth, community, and collaboration. To help us foster this atmosphere, we invite you to attend with the following declarations in mind:

Mile High Fusion 2018 takes place in Denver, CO which is on the unceded land of 48 diverse and independent tribal nations including the Cheyenne, Ute, and Arapaho tribes, many of whom still populate the area and call it home. 

Mile High Fusion recognizes that we live in a society that prioritizes the needs and wants of men, cis people, straight people, and people who are sexual. In order to build a more inclusive community, both at our event and within the fusion scene generally, we commit to:

  • Explicitly stating that all people are welcome, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or relationship styles
  • Acknowledge that Patriarchy is part of our society and that it causes harm to all people, regardless of gender, and attempt to mitigate this through:
    • Degendering all activities so that anyone feels safe to participate in any way, including dance roles, teaching and organization positions, and participation in space
    • Explicitly welcoming people of all genders, by making sure to have input and representation of all genders across all levels of the event
  • Creating a space that is consent oriented, both between individuals and between everyone in the space through explicit teaching
  • Intentionally desexualizing physical touch
  • Acknowledging that many people hold trauma in regard to sexuality and gender and that we ask all participants to keep that present in their engagements with other people.

We are working on growing and learning as part of this process, both individually and as an event. Any feedback will be appreciated and considered both in the present and for future events.

Mile High Fusion is being founded during a time of deep social exploration for what it means to dance fusion, specifically in reference to the origins of fusion in the ballroom Blues scene and the overarching whiteness of how we engage with dance and dance culture. As part of hosting an event for this dance at this time, we want to be reflective and intentional about where we came from and what we are bringing into this dance.

Fusion has a complicated history with several different origin points, but the most common strand has been tied to ballroom blues dancing that has tended to exist in mostly white communities. Blues dance, which is historically a Black dance, has in recent history has been primarily organized and attended by white people, with little understanding of the historical context of Blues. The general movement principles, along with several other dance styles including tango, contact improv, west coast swing and ballroom, were danced to modern music and labeled a variety of things, including ‘Blues fusion’. The Black Blues dancers in our scene have been pushing for a separation of blues, which is its own dance form with specific style, aesthetic and vernacular, from fusion.

As a fusion dance event, we want to acknowledge this history, where we fall in it, and make intentional steps to mitigate harm and shape fusion into its own dance style that is not appropriative of other cultures.

Co-current with all of this has been a reshaping of how we engage with race in the United States. Up until this point there has been a lot of movement around getting people to acknowledge that racism (both individual and systemic) is still present and is in many ways worsening, but as a country there has not be any meaningful change. Mile High Fusion explicitly acknowledges that racism is real, pervasive, harmful and shapes the way people act and feel in spaces. We acknowledge that our organization is steeped in whiteness and that we are working towards being intentional about what patterns of whiteness we recreate. We are prioritizing hiring people of all races in teaching staff, volunteers, organizers and DJs.

We are working on growing and learning as part of this process, both individually and as an event. Any feedback will be appreciated and considered both in the present and for future events.

Mile High Fusion is an event that values the input and participation of all people. We acknowledge that there are many barriers to participating in an event like this, and that we lack the resources to address all of them, meaning that our space will by its very nature privilege some people over others.

Some of those barriers we would like to explicitly name are:

  • Physical ability
  • Mental ability
  • Access to capital
  • History of trauma
  • Perceived attractiveness
  • Perceived dance skill
  • Social capital
  • Age
  • Systemic Oppression

We have attempted to address some of these issues by: offering volunteer positions instead of money for entry, having specific policies to support minors in attending the event, choosing a venue that is more accessible, believing that all people’s contributions to build space are valid and that people are the best judges of their own strengths and limitations, building consent into every part of this event, and creating a space where all bodies are welcome, valued, and supported.  

We are working on growing and learning as part of this process, both individually and as an event. We know that we are not able to address all of these barriers, but will not stop trying to do more. Any feedback will be appreciated and considered both in the present and for future events.

We are working on growing and learning as part of this process, both individually as organizers and as an event. We know that we are not able to address all of these barriers, but will not stop trying to do more. Any feedback will be appreciated and considered both in the present and for future events.To provide us with feedback, please use this form, send us an email at milehighfusionteam+saferspaces@gmail.com, or be in touch with the Manager on Duty at the event.