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De-Lurking 101

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Picking up on Alexandra's 5th Birthday Wish that more members would post, I must say I am always amazed by the numbers of views opposed to the numbers of posts here on BalletTalk and thought I'd tap out some tips and call it De-Lurking 101.

Firstly, let me say that there's nothing wrong with merely viewing. I myself visit a few other forums and have yet to post. But based on the comments many first time BT posters make, such as “I was afraid to post because I don't know as much about ballet.”, I thought I'd encourage Those Who Hold Back with a short course. (By the way, I'm basically a Ballet Dad, so some of these comments are for other Ballet Parents...)

1. If you've read a thread and find yourself having an immediate response, go ahead and say it. It is a little scary at first, but when others respond, it feels great. How do you know you've got something to say? If you find yourself talking to the monitor! Just listen to what you said and type it.

2. It doesn't matter how much you intellectually know about ballet, your feelings are just as important. It's ok to say “Wow, that really big jump the main guy did was awesome!” (The Younger Dancers talk like this all the time.)

3. Afraid to ask a stupid question? Read the following at least three times:



Besides, we could never giggle at you as much as we all chuckle at Major Mel when he gets started on some archaic minutiae. If he can take it so can you.

4. Want to remain totally anonymous? Easy: don't enter a Location, don't talk about specific local companies or schools. And oh yeah: don't use your real name.

5. “It's my dancing daughter/son's world not mine.” Oh really? Who's doing the driving, writing the checks and giving up eating out for a pair of pointe shoes? It is a big part of your world now!

6. My dancing daughter/son will not approve of me yakking about ballet....

(see answer #5)

7. Feeling like you can't keep up with the connasewers? If all else fails, make up stuff. Like this:

“I found the purjette of the Ultimo Ballerina to be reminiscent of Ashcanivelli during her seasons with the Imperial Freedonian Ballet Ruse.”

I'm sure you can do better than that...and it will drive the historians on the forum crazy trying to unearth more info on the exquisite Ashcanivelli. Don't worry, most of them are pretty close to the edge already.

8. Becoming part of an online community is not only fun, it can make a difference in your day. There are times when my BT friends have picked me up and kept me going through a tough day. It's like getting a letter in the mail from a friend: it perks you up.

9. The last reason I can think of is particular to this forum. The Moderators here, in addition to being extremely warm and welcoming, are careful to maintain a civil tone. They do this with vigilance and humor. It is one of the reasons this forum stands out from so many others. One feels secure here, like eating out in a nice restaurant in a safe neighborhood, as opposed to ducking chairs in a biker bar.

I hope other Ballet Talkers will contribute some more delurking advice.

Dr. Watermill,

Professor of Lurkology

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