How has a small swing dance community navigated shifts in etiquette surrounding consent and refusal in social dancing? This research focuses on Pittsburgh’s swing dance community and the changes that have occurred between the 1990s and 2022. To illustrate shifts in requesting consent for dances, accepting or declining dances, and expressing discomfort during dances, this study draws from interviews with dancers and participant observation. By recasting “no” as an acceptable response, the Pittsburgh swing dance community creates more opportunities for participants to set boundaries and opens a spectrum of possible responses that fall between a “yes” or a “no.”

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