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It's Our 10th Birthday Today!


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Dear Forum Members (and Lurkers!),


On 23 December 2011, a little group of us took our first tentative steps in running an online public entity…and BalletcoForum was born!  We are the offspring of Bruce Marriott’s ground-breaking ballet.co.uk, which he decided to close in 2011 in order to establish and grow Dance Tabs.  Due to overwhelming public demand, he came up with the idea of having a public forum where lovers of ballet and dance could commune, discuss, debate, support, inform, report and generally participate in whichever way they liked (within reason, of course!).  From a small and faithful core of ballet.co.uk members who have been with us from the beginning, forum membership has grown in ten years to almost 7000!


It has been fascinating to watch how the world has changed for good or ill over the past decade, and how ballet and dance have been affected by such changes.  We have all gone through good times and bad, especially during the past two years.  The pandemic has affected everyone in some way or another, and as we all know the arts in particular have been seriously diminished.  Just as a bit of normality was creeping back in, another variant has come and ripped through the world at large and has once again adversely affected the arts.  More money lost, more artists and backstage workers suffering once again. 


However, the resilience of people far and wide will get us all through this incredibly difficult period in our lives.  I want to thank forum members, and especially the prolific posters, for having kept this forum alive and well during the darkest times of the pandemic.  When nothing was going on, you kept your chins up and kept on posting, discussing and informing.  I really felt that it was like a group of friends trying to cheer each other up.  We moderators weren’t sure what would happen when the world stopped…we thought the forum might, too.  We needn’t have worried, and we would like to thank you all for your positive attitude in the face of negative times.  We were so pleased that we have just been able to give a little something back by having a free prize draw, something that we could share with you.  A huge thank you once again to all who participated, and to the generous prize donors.


As I have said on many occasions, we try to make the forum a place of debate, discussion, and differing opinions.  I know that some people think that we ‘over-moderate’; however, in the times in which we now live we have to be very careful about what we can allow to be seen in a public place (please remember that the forum is just that, public).  We have learned this the hard way over the years, so please bear with us.  Believe me, there are many times that we don’t want to hide what someone has said but in the interests of the forum we feel we have to.   We moderators don’t always get things right, but we do our best.  As mentioned at the beginning of this post, we were all a motley little crew whom Bruce had asked to bring up his baby.  We had no experience whatsoever so have had to learn on our feet, as it were.  And learn we have…sometimes the hard way, sometimes the fun way. 


This brings me nicely to John Mallinson.  John started running the forum with us, and we sadly lost him in 2019.  He made huge contributions to the start-up and continuing success of the forum;  without his knowledge, expertise and quiet determination we might never have taken off.  Aside from his contributions, he was an all-round lovely man:  reliable, witty, sardonic, good-humoured, knowledgeable, intelligent, quirky, caring.  I could go on…but suffice to say that John is still, and always will be, deeply missed and very fondly remembered.


I would like, with my Chair's  hat on, to pause here and give huge and grateful thanks to each and every one of the moderators.  We have all worked together since Day 1…quite an achievement!  I am so proud of this, and how, despite the odd disagreement or two, we can sort things out and come to a consensus.  All of the moderators are deeply committed to the forum and its success and during easy times and trying times we all work together to keep things on track.  We have had some very difficult things (and people!) to deal with but by working together and keeping calm we always manage to sort things out.  I am immensely grateful to all of my colleagues and look forward to our continuing forum relationship.


Whilst on the subject of thanks, we would all like to thank you, our members, who make the forum what it is.  I have said it before and I will say it again:  your knowledge, your support for each other, your reviews, your suggestions, your willingness to put yourselves out there and debate and report, and everything else that you do all combine to make the forum the thriving and lively place it has been for the past ten years.  Our deepest gratitude goes to all of you. 


So…here’s to the future; to the next ten years and beyond.  Let’s hope that normality and sanity return to our world soon, and that we can once again have a thriving dance scene everywhere that there are lovers of our beautiful art form.


Until such time, please take good care, and have yourselves a very Merry Christmas and happy, peaceful and healthy New Year.


With my very best wishes to you all,


Chair, BalletcoForum Committee

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Happy birthday and HUGE thanks to the founders and moderators here. I first joined ballet.co.uk and found a lovely community. You’ve all sustained and nurtured that for us all.


the internet is largely full of trash, but this is a wonderful friendly, hugely knowledgeable corner that is definitely not rubbish 😍

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