Who We Are
DanceSafe is a drug checking, earplug slinging, party servicing nonprofit that was founded on social justice principles. Our programs include drug education, sexual health and consent deep-dives, political advocacy, and event outreach, where our amazing volunteers distribute information and resources at the fabled DanceSafe Booths.
We’re here because we believe in the transformative power of people caring about other people.
Mission, Vision, & Values
We’re known for offering drug checking services at raves and nightlife events across the U.S., along with non-judgmental information about drugs, sex, consent, and more. DanceSafe started the only publicly accessible drug checking laboratory in North America in 1998, which is now managed by Erowid at DrugsData.
To promote health, safety, and fulfilling experiences for people who use drugs and their communities.
A world free of systemic oppression and drug prohibition, where all people have the cognitive liberty, bodily autonomy, and resources to thrive.
Authenticity within DanceSafe means that every individual expresses themselves as who they are. We show up with the recognition that each of us is human, meaning that we are imperfect and make mistakes. We aspire to create spaces where our community trusts us to be honest about what we do and don’t know.
Communities are crucial hubs of cultural change. We recognize the power of communities that care about each other and the world around them. We value the hard conversations that are necessary to dismantle harmful systems, and we work towards a common goal of improving quality of life as a whole.
Consent is essential to the way we care for ourselves, interact with each other, and interface with the communities we serve. We believe that cultivating consent culture is necessary for dismantling exploitative systems that undermine autonomy. We set and respect boundaries, examine and navigate power dynamics, ask permission, and engage in ownership and accountability.
Curiosity requires openness to new ideas, perspectives, and ways of navigating the world. We challenge the belief that a lack of total knowledge represents failure or weakness; we cherish the humility that comes with understanding new perspectives and dismantling biases. We recognize curiosity as one of the true bases of cultural change and effective education.
Service involves supporting others in the ways they wish to be supported. We intentionally reject the white saviorism around “fixing” others, and instead ground ourselves in practices of resource sharing and prioritizing informed consent. We aim to do this by asking communities and individuals what they need, which creates space for service to be declined. We meet people where they’re at and respect their boundaries and processes. This is part of our development of consent culture, both inside and outside of our organization.
Popular education, pioneered by Paulo Friere, is a person-centric model that involves collective effort and participation from everybody. As part of this, we recognize that the people who are most impacted by oppressive systems hold knowledge that is critical to dismantle those systems. We understand that complex problems have intersectional solutions. We intentionally foster an environment where asking questions, engaging in dialogue, and making mistakes are welcome.
- We are honest about what we do and do not know
- We assume that everything we know is subject to change
- We believe that moving together is critical to achieve our mission
- We honor that people are often doing the best that they can with what they have
- We take responsibility for growing into an anti-oppressive organization
- We recognize that meeting people where they’re at requires abandoning our assumptions about them
- We hold ourselves accountable for the ways that our actions impact larger ecosystems
- Our spaces are meant to serve as a safe haven for discussing drug use, health, and personal safety.
- We act as a nonjudgmental first point of contact when talking about risky or challenging situations.
- We support every individual’s ability to make informed, consensual decisions about their body and mind.
- We’re not an abstinence-based organization, although we fully support abstinence as a positive choice for many people. We believe in both risk reduction and benefit maximization.
Supplies & Resources
- DanceSafe’s event outreach services include distribution of free condoms, earplugs, water, fact-based drug information, and consent education materials. With event producers’ consent, we provide free on-site drug checking services.
- We’re the only nonprofit drug checking kit manufacturer in America. We take pride in the thoroughness and accuracy of our instructional pamphlets and the quality of the materials we sell. Our reagents are made in-house in northern California.
- Our social media platforms and website hold a wealth of information to help demystify drugs, consent, sex, and other taboo topics around bodies and minds.
- DanceSafe’s work is inherently political, with intersections in the prison industrial complex, racial justice, healthcare, poverty, LGBTQIA2S+ rights, and more. Put simply: If our political systems weren’t violating basic human rights, DanceSafe wouldn’t exist.
- We’ve doubled down on our commitment to our social justice roots in recent years, and we’ve been making significant internal and external changes to how our org functions. This is an ongoing process, and we’re learning as we go.
- We’re all about transparency, and we try to be as forthcoming as possible about who we are, what we do, and what our limitations are.
DanceSafe National is the central hub that manages organizational operations and provides support for volunteer Chapters all over the country. National is a small team composed of staff, contractors, and the Board of Directors.