Virginia DanceSafe

 Virginia DanceSafe is a chapter of DanceSafe. DanceSafe is a 501(c)(3) public health organization promoting health and safety within the nightlife and electronic music community. Founded in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1998 by Emanuel Sferios, DanceSafe quickly grew into a national organization with chapters in cities across North America.

DanceSafe Principles

DanceSafe has two fundamental operating principles: harm reduction and peer-based, popular education. Combining these two principles has enabled us to create successful, peer-based educational programs to reduce drug misuse and empower young people to make healthy, informed lifestyle choices. We are known for bringing adulterant screening (a.k.a., “pill testing,” “drug checking”) to the rave and nightlife community in the U.S., and for distributing unbiased educational literature describing the effects and risks associated with the use of various drugs. We also started the only publicly accessible laboratory analysis program for ecstasy in North America, currently hosted and managed by Erowid at EcstasyData.org. We neither condone nor condemn drug use. Rather, we provide a non-judgmental perspective to help support people who use drugs in making informed decisions about their health and safety.

Initiatives and Services

  • Provide safe spaces to engage in conversations about health, drug use, and personal safety;
  • Provide free water and electrolytes to prevent dehydration and heatstroke;
  • Provide free safe sex tools to avoid unwanted pregnancies and the spread of STIs;
  • Provide free ear plugs to prevent hearing loss;
  • Provide honest, fact-based, unbiased information on drug effects and potential harms to empower users to make informed decisions;
  • Offer a nonjudgmental first-point of contact to risky or challenging situations;
  • Offer drug checking services to prevent overdose and death; and
  • Work with promoters and local stakeholders to advocate for safety first approaches.

Getting Involved in Virginia DanceSafe