It's important for the dance community to speak out about workplace harassment and inappropriate behavior. Thinkstock.

How Does "Innocent Until Proven Guilty" Factor into Sexual Harassment of Dancers?

I'm feeling very torn about the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. Everyone from a company director to teachers and dancers are being accused of sexual harassment and leaving their jobs in disgrace. What happened to the idea of being presumed innocent until proven guilty?

—Conflicted, New York, NY


I support the presumption of innocence. At the same time, it's important for the dance community to speak out about workplace harassment and inappropriate behavior when it happens.

Allegations of sexual misconduct require an independent investigation to reveal the truth. Anyone in a position of power has a responsibility to treat dancers with respect and follow the law. Those who have been harassed must also back up their claims of abuse as much as possible.

It takes guts to speak out, but doing so can help create a safer environment for all dancers. A set of workplace guidelines should hopefully lead to a positive change throughout the industry.

Send your questions to Dr. Linda Hamilton at advicefordancers@dancemedia.com.

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Courtesy Schelfhaudt

These Retired Ballroom Dancers Started a Dance-Themed Coffee Company

Like many dancers, when Lauren Schelfhaudt and Jean Paul retired from professional ballroom dancing in 2016, they felt lost. "There was this huge void," says Schelfhaudt.

But after over 20 years of dancing, plus United States and World Championship titles, reality shows, and high-profile choreography gigs (and Paul's special claim to fame, as "the guy who makes Bradley Cooper look bad" in Silver Linings Playbook), teaching just didn't fill the void. "I got to the point where it wasn't giving me that creative outlet," says Paul.

When the pair (who are life and business partners but were never dance partners—they competed against one another) took a post-retirement trip to Costa Rica, they were ready to restart their lives. They found inspiration in an expected place: A visit to a coffee farm.

Though they had no experience in coffee roasting or business, they began building their own coffee company. In 2018, the duo officially launched Dancing Ox Coffee Roasters, where they create dance-inspired blends out of their headquarters in Belmont, North Carolina.

We talked to Schelfhaudt and Paul about how their dance background makes them better coffee roasters, and why coffee is an art form all its own:

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