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Ballet Talk for Dancers

New Forum?


Victoria Leigh

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We are working on the idea of starting a special Adult Students forum for technique questions. This will be similar to the YD forums, in that we will have 4 teacher moderators to answer the questions. Students may post their experiences after a moderator has answered.

 

I hope to get this forum up this weekend, but we have not decided on a title yet. It needs to be clear what the forum is, so there is no way to make it a really short title. It needs to have Adult Students in the title. I am open to your input on this, but would like to have it by Saturday afternoon. The current working title possibilities are: Adult Students Technique Questions for Teachers and Adult Students Technique Help Desk. If you like one of those, or have another idea, please respond ASAP! :wink:

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To be honest I always had the impression that this forum serves exactly the purpose of what you are saying above!

 

So after this new forum is set up, will we have one as a "initial response by a teacher only" forum, one which is general discussion, and one as a buddy board? :wink:

 

Fish

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Yes, it does sound a bit confusing, Chinafish. But there seemed to be a concensus that people wanted a place for answers by teachers, and not where they have everyone answering. So, I guess the new forum will be for teacher moderators to answer, and this forum will remain about anything adult students want to talk about in terms of technique, classes, performances, etc. And there is still the Buddy Board, for wine couches and stuff like that. :wink:

 

If you don't feel that you want or need this forum, now is your chance to be heard. We have posts, on ami's thread about 'where has the technique gone', that led us to believe that the majority who posted there wanted a separate forum. So, we are about to comply. :lol:

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I agree with Fish....

 

I know I started this kettle, but I'm simultaneously not sure if we need a fully new forum?

 

My concerns were, in a nutshell:

 

1. An increasing tendency to only focus on the 'whine' - the difficulties we face as adult dancers. Getting around this requires us to employ some self-regulation - to whine but to move on (I'm all for the cartharthic nature of 'getting it off your chest', or having someone to commiserate with you), and to not forget/leave out/dismiss the technical questions.

 

2. A feeling that questions can't be asked, because they've been asked before so 'do a search'. I do think it's helpful to do a search, and probably helpful for the moderators to keep the board clean... but:

a) A lot of the technical questions on these boards are in the Young Dancers forum.... preventing our full participation in them (I'm not disagreeing with this policy, but simply stating it)

:wink: there's a huge benefit to ongoing discussion, re-asking, the back and forth with teachers, and students.

 

3. A lesser involvement by teachers/moderators on the Adults Boards, which is what a new forum would address. Adults are often side-lined technically in so many fashions, by so many teachers and schools, that this board does a great service by addressing our technical questions in an open, embracing way. I'm glad that the teacher/moderators will be invovled. However, as Skyish noted, we also don't want to increase 'posting phobia'.... I'm just thinking that if Young Dancers (Ages); work as titles for the YD boards, does the Adult Student Board not serve the same purpose? If we have that, and the buddy board, with the acknowledgement of the different functions of the two... would that be enough?

 

I'm not sure that we need a new board, but I'm also aware that there are some non-buddy types of discussion that happen that often involve fellow students more than moderators/teachers.... It could be just as simple as clarifying the purposes of the two forums? And remember, my fellow students, it also requires us to remind ourselves now and then to keep our chins up, and our thoughts moving forward... if that makes sense...

 

I could just be expelling hot air.... ? Thoughts?

 

Edit to Add: I was writing as Ms. Leigh was.... I initially meant my other thread as asking ourselves why we weren't asking technical questions.... but I do agree that more teacher/moderator input would be good... what does everyone think? I don't know that I want technical questions for teachers, and technical questions for others... as in two separate boards... Could we maybe have it that *technical* questions on this forum are answered by teachers first... ? Or is that complicated for the mods/teachers to fish through - which I would understand!

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Are you saying that we just make the existing forum one where technique questions should be answered by teachers first? That is possible, if you think a second forum would be confusing. Just let me know. We can hold off on this new one for a while, or scrap the idea totally. Whatever you all want! :wink:

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I guess I quite like format of the forum as it is.

 

I like getting a mix of responses from other dancers and teachers and moderators.

 

I also understand that some prefer to get the advice from our great collection of teacher moderators.

 

Wouldn't it be easier if an individual only wanted teacher moderator replies they could state so in the post?

 

this is just my opinion of course

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Ms. Leigh,

 

I absolutely love the idea. Adult dancers are often actively ignored by teachers, even in adult classes. I love the idea of having a place to go to get quality feedback without feeling like an idiot or a burden for asking a question. I'm just thinking out loud here, but I would actually love to have something like a Teacher-Directed Technique Crosstalk board where adults and young people could ask technique questions and get a response from a teacher. I learn so much from the young people, both on this board and in my class. And in general, I think our culture is so stratified by age that the generations don't benefit from each other. I know there would be lots of potential setbacks to this, but I am just throwing it out as an idea.

 

Regardless, I think it would be wiser to change the adult forum to the stricter "Teacher Responds First" forum. We don't need a third forum; it is already hard to check the forums that already exist. And if an adult wants technical feedback mainly from his/her buddies, then she can ask the question in the buddy board. I would broaden the boundaries of the Buddy Board and narrow the boundaries of the Adult Technique board, making them a lot like the young adult boards, which I very much like. I would definitely ask more questions with narrower boundaries on the technique board.

 

And I don't know if this would be possible, but I think it would be really cool to have as one of the moderators, someone who has achieved a high level of success in ballet who started ballet as an adult who could speak to how adults acquire ballet differently than children and could speak to working with the limitations of the adult body. I really believe that the moderators we already have do a fabulous job of this, and I am so grateful for this forum. I am not making the suggestion out of a spirit of discontent because I think you all are fabulous. I just think it would be encouraging to have this. But with this said, I do feel like we have a lot of encouragement from other dancers on this board in this area anyway. It would just be a cherry on the cake.

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I see the need here for a more direct Q&A type of format.

 

But adults also have a greater ability than children to taken in "advice" from multiple sources and decide what to believe or not believe, or follow or not follow. Most people on BT4D know who's who after a while, and they know what kinds of backgrounds people have and what kinds of advice they will give, what it is worth or not worth, and who is or is not a moderator.

 

So the justification for the strict moderator-only-replies on the childrens' forums makes less sense on the adult forums. There are plenty of teachers and professionals who have something to add to these questions without being moderators, and I think people have been doing well recently at giving and receiving multiple opinions without entering into flame wars. Valid differences of opinion happen quite often between professionals, in part due to the diversity of ballet itself. It would be a shame to arbitrarily shut down all voices except for just a few.

 

Maybe the forum could be set up as one in which it is requested that teachers and professionals reply, but that students hold back somewhat. And leave it up to the participatants of the forum to make this guideline work well.

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OK, so maybe an update on Mission Statement for the present Adult Students' Forum would be sufficient? I like the idea of a teacher's-help first, then anecdotal support. Adult Buddy Board is really peer-group oriented, and has been fairly self-moderating, just as it should be. I like the idea of a tech-only forum for adults, but if the group feels that the present board practices can be modified to suit their needs, we'll support you. We are, at the same time, the leaders and the servants of the members.

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I think Hart raised an important issue above. A format that encourages more questions would be good. It is a shame that adults are not provided more serious attention at so many schools, and an on-line forum can go a ways to helping remediate that.

 

One thing that is essential if people are going to ask questions is to make them feel safe. We need to be very careful about issues of mutual respect here.

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I'm sorry but I still don't see why the technique forum has to be separated between adults & teens at all.

 

I would rather have a single "Ask a teacher" forum that can be used by everyone. (Of course the buddy boards and general forums should still be separate).

 

Jane

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I love the idea. As you know, I like to ask a lot of questions about technique. I also like Jane's idea: It is a way to avoid asking the same question more than once.

 

I don't know if you would like this but it might help to answer technique questions better: A tool where we could upload or post photos or so....I am just thinking that people might have a specific arabesque problem and the picture might help. I am not sure if this will work, also for safety reasons (and time etc.)

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Okay, we have a lot of different ideas going here. One thing that is NOT going to happen is to combine the technique forum with YD. They will remain separate and we will deal with answering the same questions, if need be. Adults and children/teens process things differently, and need to be quided differently. They need their own space, and I think the Adults do too.

 

As far as maintaining status quo and just having more input from faculty on the Adult Sutdent's Forum, that is no problem. A separate forum is also not a problem. As a teacher, I would prefer that technique questions are answered first by teachers, but I have no problem with others offering their thoughts following those of our teacher moderators. As on the YD forum, if we have too many teachers and/or students answering questions, it can easily become very confusing.

 

Right now I'm just trying to get a consenus about whether a new forum is wanted/needed, or not. At the moment, it is seeming that you do not feel it is necessary.

 

The moderators will keep discussing this, also, and we will hold off on action until we have a better sense of what to do here. :unsure: Please keep posting your thoughts!

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I agree that the adult and YD forums ought to be kept separate for the reasons that Ms Leigh gave. YD can still be a useful read, but we should give them their own space.

 

Regarding the adult forum set up, I don't think we need a new forum but simply to keep the Adult technique board and the buddy board distinct from each other. I would prefer the technique board to be one where the moderators and teachers were most actively involved in answering questions and then anecdotal answers from other students came afterwards. Personally, I don't think this would create posting phobia; it would simply mean holding off a little on answering until a moderator had answered first. I've learnt a lot from other adult students' discussion of their experiences and certainly wouldn't want a forum where we couldn't share these things, but ultimately I would like to hear from teachers first and then broaden the discussion. The buddy board seems to run itself just fine, but I think somehow there has been a blurring of the edges recently and the technique board has suffered for it.

 

It seems to me that what is coming out of this is just how keen adult students of all levels are for serious technical advice, which is a really great thing and makes me look forward to all I am going to learn from reading and posting in the future.

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