Crowd Control at the Stompede

crowded dance floor at the Stompede

With this being the final Sundance Stompede, this year’s attendance is going to be HUGE – significantly larger than any Stompede in the past. We are so excited to have you all here to celebrate the weekend with us – while at the same time we want to prepare everyone for the crowds, so we can make the event as comfortable as possible.

It is possible if any facility becomes too crowded, we might need to hold folks at the door until someone leaves. We don't actually expect that we will need to do this, but you should know that it is a possibility.

What We Are Doing

Where possible we are increasing the dance floor space - for example in the primary ballroom at Sundance Saloon and at the Regency, where we are removing furniture and seating so there is more room to stand against the walls. (Increasing the available dance floor space by just five feet on each side enlarges the dance floor by 35%!)

At Sundance Saloon on Thursday and Sunday nights, we will have three rooms of dancing instead of the usual two, with line dancing in the back room, and West Coast Swing upstairs in the “Loft” VIP lounge.

We are opening Friday night and Saturday night a half hour early for more dancing – at 7:00 instead of 7:30 pm.

We are asking folks not to bring coats and bags into the ballrooms at Sundance Saloon and the Regency, where we need as much floor space for dancing and table space for drinks as possible. In particular bags on the floor are guaranteed to become a dangerous trip hazard, and anything placed at table height will likely get soiled. To this end, at Sundance Saloon our coat check will be free.

We have added an additional workshop room and doubled the number of premium workshops.

What We Are Asking You To Do

Please familiarize yourself with our customary San Francisco dance floor utilization patterns. For example, West Coast Swing and Night Club Two Step dancers must stay in the center of the floor and leave plenty of room for traveling dancers around the outside. Similarly traveling dancers shouldn’t dance through the pack of WCS and NCTS dancers.

Be cognizant of other dancers around you! Maintain your leader/follower connection so you take up less space than you normally would. You may not be able to do all of your fancy moves exactly when you want to.

Do not bring coats and bags into the main ballroom at Sundance Saloon or the Regency, and limit them in the hotel ballroom.

When standing in the ballrooms at Sundance Saloon and the Regency, compress yourself as close as possible to the walls so we don’t shrink the available dance floor space.

Seating in the ballroom at Sundance Saloon and the Regency will be *extremely* limited. Please reserve seating in these ballrooms for those who really need it. For those who do sit, limit your time, so someone else can sit for a while. At Sundance Saloon there will be additional seating in the bar area, hallways, balcony, and outside in the patio. At the Regency there will be some seating downstairs in the line dance room and lots of seating upstairs in the balcony.

Consider taking a planned half-hour break during the course of the night. If enough folks do this, it will help decompress the dance space.

Plan to dance early, and especially plan to dance late in the night, when our events are typically less crowded.

Consider taking a premium workshop, which will have no more than sixteen attendees. This will give you a more intimate experience, while also reducing the number of dancers in the larger general workshops.

And Last But Most Importantly ...

The Sundance Stompede is meant to be a community-building experience. But this actually becomes more difficult as we find the event feeling more like a large city than a small town. Some folks revel in the high energy. But we understand that for some it can feel more isolating when surrounded by large numbers of people.

It might help to be aware of this in advance and to prepare and plan for it. Rather than feel lost, use this as an opportunity to allow yourself to meet new people. Just ask the person next to you to dance, rather than run around trying to find your usual tribe. This is hard for many of us, but truly it gets easier with practice. Similarly, try not to say “no” when someone asks you to dance, understanding that there may be times when you need to decline. With this approach, we can turn a potential liability into an terrific asset.