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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Posting Expectations---Important Social 'Netiquette' for BT4D


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One of the wonderful things BT4D offers each of us is an opportunity to inquire of others advice and suggestions in sticky situations and to share perspectives and experiences about some of the more 'sensitive' areas of our or our child's pursuit of ballet. For many of us this is a very strange and uncharted world we find ourselves in as we attempt to help our kiddoes navigate and sail toward their dreams. Because the dance world--and especially a dance school--is a small one, sometimes questions we parents, dancers, or teachers want to ask need the most delicate touch. Often, the more sensitive a subject, the less we want to be identified as the questioning poster. But, yet, it is in those most sensitive matters that we so desperately need to seek guidance and perspective from those who have either been there, are there, or who can provide some objectivity.


Posters often hesitate to bring these sensitive questions or concerns to the Board because, although we all have 'anonymous' screen names, it is often startling how easy it can be to 'unmask' or match a poster with a real live person, place, or dance school. That 'unmasking' can cause unease for the poster, who then worries whether their sensitive concern will be exposed to others in their 'real-life' community without their consent or in a way that upsets them or unintentionally causes harm or discord.


Therefore, in participating in this wonderfully supportive and insightful community, I would encourage each and every one of us to remember the 'social fiction' of the anonymity here on BT4D. Most folks here strive to maintain some disconnect with the 'real world' identity so that they can ask their more sensitive questions without worrying about being 'outed' or causing others to be either uncomfortable or defensive.


Please realize that, for those of us who are active for any real length of time on this Board, no matter how circumspect or careful we are, we inevitably leave footprints, bread crumbs, and clues as to our locations and/or associations. Some of us are more adept at putting together the pieces of these little puzzles and sometimes the whole picture just falls into our laps. Sometimes new member don't realize that later on they may wish they had not been so 'open' with some of their identifying information. For example, sometimes folks identify where they are located for whatever reason. Most of the time, folks play that a little closer to their vest (SI attendance notwithstanding). Usually when a 'sensitive' issue arises, the last thing the poster wants is for their school, company, or association to be identified with them.


So, the question becomes how do we each individually handle this slip of the veil? I would suggest that we politely continue the fiction of anonymity and don't refer to the inadvertant exposure, don't comment or call attention to the 'clues' that swirled into view, and let those 'clues' swirl back underwater without catching them and laying them out for all to see.


It is something like politely looking the other way when something embarassing momentarily peaks out from the bottom of our skirt, our sleeve, or our person--like spinach in the teeth when there is simply no way our friend can discreetly remove it at the time we notice it.


I would encourage members to respect the amount of information a poster chooses to give about their location within the thread at hand when discussing or offering suggestions. If a poster thinks that a more intimate knowledge of shared location might be useful to the poster, might I suggest that that offer (or acknowledgement of location) be done via a PM rather than adding information to the public thread that might identify the original poster more completely than that poster has chosen. In other words, let's try to respect the amount of information a poster is comfortable revealing in a particular thread and not add anything that might further identify their location or association. Especially in those 'sensitive' and 'delicate' matters, further exposure of their location or association can cause consternation, worry, and stress--even if done inadvertantly.


It is up to each and every one of us to respect the trust and confidence that we offer each other here and, sometimes, go a little bit further in protecting each other from our own lack of circumspections.

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Thank you so much dancemaven for that wonderfully written and heartfelt post!


I know I have been guilty of saying to someone "I know your situation" as well although in pm. And the person told me how uncomfortable it made them although they were thankful for the advice. It gave me pause that not everyone wants to be "outed" as you have stated and I have tried to be more cautious about that since then. You are correct, when a poster comes here for help, they would like that help based on the situation they have described in that particular thread (and leaving out what they have not described). We will better be able to help them if we allow them that bit of anonymity and just answer their question globally and allowing them to divulge more if they so choose rather than us forcing the admission.


Thank you again for bringing this up as a reminder to us all!

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That was so well written - such good points. I like to hope it is like an information underworld. One of you could know me in the studio, but won't let that on there - even to me. If I suspect I know one of you - once I leave my computer room, our comments here remain behind the closed door. Right now, I'm not sure I care who knows who I am. But I don't know how I'll feel down the road - if I'll regret being open. My other concern is dd. It isn't up to me to decide what she wants the world to know about her trials and tribulations. That should be up to her. So, I appreciate the thread, dancemaven.

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This "veil of anonymity" becomes even more important when dealing with information disclosed, one way or another, on the Private forums, like PTA, or for teens, Buddy Board. We've said this before, but it bears repeating that "What happens on a Private forum, stays on a Private forum." Readers are free to reason as much as they like, but are asked to refrain from disclosing sensitive information.

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Agreed. About a year ago, I posted some information that involved the company I'm with (namely in regards to RDA). I wasn't necessarily trying to hide my identity (though my username is nothing like my real name) and I did mention which pieces we performed, etc.


Imagine my surprise when, during rehearsal one day, a fellow dancer asked me if I was "GretchenStar" and laughed. I was shocked to say the least, because I'm pretty sure none of the dancers visit this board. Apparently, someone not involved in our company had read my posts and told someone that is involved with our company. And that person (the one involved) went around asking some students if they were GretchenStar.


It's fine for me if individual people know who I am - but to have my "online identity" revealed in such a manner (this took place during a tech rehearsal, by the way) was just mortifying. Like it was some guessing game or something.


In some ways, I feel that if someone figures out who I am, please just keep it to yourself and let me remain somewhat anonymous. On the other hand, I think I might feel conflicted if I found out that someone from the outside world is also a regular here and never mentioned it to me - then I'd be going back and trying to remember if I said anything that I might not be comfortable saying at the studio (e.g. a comment about this, a suggestion about that, etc).


But I think it's a good reminder for all of us to respect everyone's privacy and anonymity - and if one should choose to let someone else know that they actually do know who they are, do it tactfully!

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Just a reminder - the dance world can be a small world at times. All members are reminded that while honest discussion is encouraged, care should be taken in revealing specific details of locations, events, or situations as this can cause distress both to the poster and other members.

Please refer to Dancemaven’s original post on this thread, and keep this in mind while posting.

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