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John Mallinson

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I understand why you might keep the essential watching dance part of the board to the two forums and I understand why the names might be amended to be more helpful to people. What I don't understand is why there seems to be a rebalancing to put catch all points in News rather than What's Happening. My 2p but I've always thought of News as just that - items of news and not a place that generaly sparks lot of discussion - for the most part that happens in one place. Not saying a rebalancing is wrong just interested in the why?

 

My thoughts exactly: in the past, What's Happening has been the catch-all "if you can't think where to put it, put it here". I don't know whether I said this somewhere the other day, or just meant to, but as far as I'm concerned I would generally expect to see short and/or probably time-limited threads under News - except perhaps where changes to the scheduling/make-up of a company were concerned - and major discussions under What's Happening.

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I understand why you might keep the essential watching dance part of the board to the two forums and I understand why the names might be amended to be more helpful to people. What I don't understand is why there seems to be a rebalancing to put catch all points in News rather than What's Happening. My 2p but I've always thought of News as just that - items of news and not a place that generaly sparks lot of discussion - for the most part that happens in one place. Not saying a rebalancing is wrong just interested in the why?

Bruce, of course you're right and the strapline under What's Happening does make it clear that it's intended to be the catch-all. I suppose I tend not to read straplines - reprehensible but there we are! I guess it doesn't really matter where the general discussion topics (e.g. "Are dancers better at arithmetic") go so long as we're clear about it; there's no good reason to change the present practice.

 

What about

  • Performances seen & general discussion
  • Ballet / Dance news & information

No straplines. (​I'm sure there could be snappier descriptive titles.)

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Performances seen & general discussion

 

Ballet / Dance news & information

 

 

I like it.

Edited by Anjuli_Bai

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Personally speaking, my routine for years has been: What's Happening, then News, and lastly Links for the reviews. It suits me fine.

 

This is my routine too.

As far as the combining or splitting of forums is concerned, I'm with Don Q fan:

 

I'm quite happy with whatever is decided it is fine as it is and the suggested format is fine by me too.

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Actually I was amazed when I saw how many postings are to be seen on Doing Dance! It is great that it is popular with so many students and Mums, etc. Personally speaking my ballet dancing days are long gone, my daughter all grown up, and grandson not a fan of ballet! So the news items and reviews are paramount to me. I am also interested in the RBS though, and love to read about winners and dancers there.

 

I rather like having What's Happening and News separate, and if a certain topic is not so interesting to my personal preference, odds are the next one will be!

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Maybe I have been musing out loud a bit, but just wanted to inject some thoughts.

 

I noted about doing dance and self promotion (my specifics on this related to a posting with regard to the Bolshoi Ballet Academy some time back), I also noted how good it would be if we could get dancers themselves to post (but this is prob just too difficult and is where conerns on self promotion may come in). But given what appears to be the two distinct groups (parents in doing dance and ballet lovers in the news and whats happening) maybe this could have been a way to bring these groups closer together.

 

In addition, given that the students of the parents from doing dance ultimately graduate and move on, it seems such a shame to loose their take on the ballet world, and given that a good percentage of our UK born and trained dancers take up contracts outside of the UK, there must be a large proportion of parents going abroad to watch ballet in general.

 

A new non UK specific to post news items about our own successes (William Moore and Alex Jones at Stuttgart being good examples, rather than just difficulties we see with Sergei Polunin) and obviously there are major companies outside the UK which would be of interest without cluttering the existing news and what's happening.

 

Maybe there isn't a major demand in this thread for a non UK category, but it would be a shame to kill off new shoots before they have even started to sprout. If there was to be such a category I would go with a simple 'Ballet Abroad'.

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Maybe I have been musing out loud a bit, but just wanted to inject some thoughts.

 

Musing is good - leads to discussion!

 

Not sure if you will ever 'unite' Doing Dance and other parts of the site - Doing Dance has become very much dominated around the mechanics and day to day grunt-work of how to get training and where etc and there are only so many times I can take discussions about when the letter from school x will likely emerge etc. NOT saying its not important of course but I don't see synergy. Kids in training also have their highs and lows, physically and emotionally and many live away from home etc and i think that's best done without a spotlight (my 2p anyway). The time to take a view on students I think is when they are coming up for graduation and about to enter a company (hopefully anyway).

 

What dancers think and do we, as part of Balletco, covered much over the years with blogs by them. Now they tend to self host and user Twitter and Facebook etc. Social Media has mixed it all up.

 

Personally I don't think you have to go to Stuttgart to show successful dancers - most companies are full of them and its for fans and others to write about dancers they think dance well wherever they may be and regardless of schooling and nationality.

 

As I say the Forum Acceptable Use policy will change shortly and new moderators will move the community on. I'll try and shut up at that point!

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Well, another thing I was just musing on is: now that we don't have the ability to do tree structures any more, or to put sub-headings in a thread, might it be better to start more individual threads rather than, say, put loads of RB cast changes on one RB Period X casting thread? So for Period 2 you might have had separate postings about a) Gomes being cast in The Dream, B) Pennefather being out of Romeo, c) the casting for the forthcoming triple bill, whenever it finally gets announced (and assuming that is actually Period 2, which I doubt), and so on. After all, longer threads just go on to multiple pages now, and it might become more difficult then to keep track of things.

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Not sure if you will ever 'unite' Doing Dance and other parts of the site

 

There was one other thing I meant to mention. I was tending to think of those who see Dance not looking in Doing Dance but the converse is also generally true I think (note the generally - not always I know). I remember somebody once started a thread in Doing Dance about what magazines were best to read to see what is going on in ballet and dance. And in responding not one person mentioned the magazine aspects of Balletco. It was very salutary I can tell you and I was not a little upset. But its the closed way it is. Doing Dance, as it is now, fulfills an urgent networking need and long may it, but I don't think of it as connected into the rest of the forum/site and I'm not sure its wise to try and force any connections.

 

One thing I do miss about Doing Dance is that it used to be full of questions from dancers and students about technique and much of that has now gone. If sub-forums were used I think Doing Dance could have 2:

Doing Dance - about parents and schools

Doing Dance - about technique and equipment

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How about:

 

What’s Happening

  • Talk about what’s happening and what’s coming up
  • New seasons, tours, casting, reviews
  • Stage, cinema, TV and radio

General Discussion and Other News

  • All other dance talk and news goes here

... the idea being to keep the focus of "What's Happening" on the events that are actually happening (/ going to happen).

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There was one other thing I meant to mention. I was tending to think of those who see Dance not looking in Doing Dance but the converse is also generally true I think (note the generally - not always I know). I remember somebody once started a thread in Doing Dance about what magazines were best to read to see what is going on in ballet and dance. And in responding not one person mentioned the magazine aspects of Balletco. It was very salutary I can tell you and I was not a little upset. But its the closed way it is. Doing Dance, as it is now, fulfills an urgent networking need and long may it, but I don't think of it as connected into the rest of the forum/site and I'm not sure its wise to try and force any connections.

 

One thing I do miss about Doing Dance is that it used to be full of questions from dancers and students about technique and much of that has now gone. If sub-forums were used I think Doing Dance could have 2:

Doing Dance - about parents and schools

Doing Dance - about technique and equipment

 

I think once we have Doing Dance moderators in place we'll be in a better position to see if the present structure meets their needs.

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There was one other thing that struck me: whether it would be a good idea to encourage ticket offers to be posted in the tickets forum, and if so, whether the wording of that should be changed accordingly.

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When I first came here - about 2002 - the Doing Dance Forum was VERY quiet. There were very few postings on either technique or schools/clothing, etc. But when a question on technique did come in, I tried to answer the question to the best of my ability and others began to chime in and the Forum began to spark a bit more.

 

Then I wrote a series of articles - one a month for a few years - called "So, You Want to Learn How to Dance" (long before any TV show). The premise was to discuss and answer the fears and questions of an adult beginner in ballet class - which also applies to children in many areas. Though written with a light touch (with a smile and a chuckle) in a question/answer (conversational) format it did address serious questions and concerns. Bruce did a beautiful job in putting it into the magazine with each article connected to the previous ones. That series engendered a lot of response and really woke up the Doing Dance Forum.

 

It also caught the attention of the BBC (I think it was channel 4) and I was asked to be on a panel - until they realized I was in San Diego and the time difference made it impossible. But it was gratifying to see the response.

 

 

As time went on, the Forum became livelier and livelier. Then it slowly began to take shape as it is now with more and more parents networking on schools, auditions, exams, etc. Since I am not part of the local (UK) scene I cannot participate in "which dance store is better" or "when do the auditions take place?" etc. So, my participation has fallen off - though I check in to see if a dance technique question has arisen or other subject to which I can (hopefully) contribute.

 

One of the advantages to not being part of the local scene is that I'm seen, I think, as an impartial voice. I have no stake in a school or particular syllabus. For that reason, I do get a number of PM's and e-mails asking for an opinion or just someone needing reassurance. I am most humbled by that trust and I take it very seriously. And, when appropriate, I do encourage the correspondent to post the question on the board so that others can participate.

 

So -- that's Doing Dance through my perspective. It might be interesting to divide it as Bruce suggested above and see what happens. It might keep the technical stuff from being buried amongst the various school/dance store stuff.

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I think once we have Doing Dance moderators in place we'll be in a better position to see if the present structure meets their needs.

 

Yes - seems eminently sensible.

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Even though I'm quite heavily "involved" in the Doing Dance section, I too find the contant stream of "when will my letter arrive" tedious at times, but for those parents at that time, it is important. I've been trying to think about how best to "tidy up" Doing Dance, and wonder whether we could have sub-headings (obviously as few as possible) to include "Auditions - vocational schools, associate programmes & performances" (that would keep all of those discussions in one place) and "Advice on technique" (this is where Anjuli might find it easier to keep track of when her advice might be appreciated!) and then an "Everything else"

 

What do you think?

 

As Anjuli said - Doing Dance is a different beast to how it was when I first found the site about 9 years ago. At the time I was looking for advice about applying to White Lodge and I think there were about two comments when I searched. This has changed dramatically, and I think it's great that parents from all around the country now log-on to find out what's going on and hopefully some of them "stray" into other parts of the site/forum. I did..... (bit like churches who encourage parents to have their children baptised even when not regular church-goers in the hope that they'll see something they like and start attending more often :P )

 

As a moderator :D I would hope to gently enourage and point people in the direction of the other sections - but it's "horses for courses" isn't it - if they're only interested in the Doing Dance section, who are we to say that they should look elsewhere too? (I'm astonished that most of the children at our local dance school - heavily ballet-based - have never been to a ballet. Drives me nuts and I don't understand it, but I take a deep breath and remind myself that it's not up to me!!)

 

And just had a thought - so going back to technique and Anjuli's input - I think we've got quite a lot of new users who may not have seen Anjuli's articles on the old site and don't know what they're missing - we should start something again - even if it's just re-posting your old articles Anjuli - I'm sure they'd love them

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However it is decided to divide up Doing Dance, including as JulieW suggested above, I'm fine with (uh oh a stray preposition!)

 

I am also more than fine with JulieW as a moderator of any or all Doing Dance.

 

I would be happy to have the "So, You Want to Learn to Dance" articles republished sa JulieW suggested above.. There were actually a couple more that never got submitted/published and could be this time. I have them all on my computer if they cannot be retrieved from the former site. I think it would be interesting, if it is decided to do this, to have them in an interactive thread so that new people can respond rather than the magazine format. What we did before was to have them in an interactive thread and then Bruce put them into the magazine format.

 

As an aside response to JulieW above - I can't understand a ballet school which does not encourage attendance at a live performance. And, if that is simply not possible because of assessibility -- then at least DVD's. I used to do both with my students at least a few times a year and it was very successful.

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I've been trying to think about how best to "tidy up" Doing Dance, and wonder whether we could have sub-headings (obviously as few as possible) to include "Auditions - vocational schools, associate programmes & performances" (that would keep all of those discussions in one place) and "Advice on technique" (this is where Anjuli might find it easier to keep track of when her advice might be appreciated!) and then an "Everything else"

 

What do you think?

 

That sounds pretty sensible. I know I only stick my head in once in a while, but on the old forum I remember I posted the odd thread and it quickly got swamped under numerous others.

 

Edit: And I too can't understand the mentality of not exposing students to dance in some form, either - even if it's the dreaded YouTube. I remember a number of professional dancers who've said something along the lines of they only really started wanting to do ballet properly after they'd seen it in performance.

Edited by alison

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Subdivision of technique, audition, would be very useful, too many useful/helpful topics are swallowed up among 'how many funded spaces do schools have and waiting for my letter' type questions on an annual basis.

 

Perhaps a sixth form area would be useful too?

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