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Dear Friends,

In a few days, I will retire as Administrator of Ballet Alert! I'll be teaching four days a week next semester (ballet history and appreciation at a local ballet academy) and as much as I love all of you and the forum, I no longer have the time to administer it.

The board will continue, though under a different name -- Ballet Talk, which is its nickname any way. (The dancers forum will be Ballet Talk For Dancers; there will be no detectable change there, as Victoria Leigh has been administrator since the begnning and, with Mel Johnson, has put together an admirable moderating team.)

Most of what it takes to run a forum like this is not visible (we hope!) to most visitors; 90 percent of what happens goes on behind the scenes. There's so much work that it's more than any one person can do. Therefore, we've put together a team of administrators and moderators so that the work is shared. Leigh Witchel has (thank Terpsichore!) agreed to head a transition team and give advice or help as long as needed, which we would expect to be about a month. Ari and Hockeyfan have agreed to become the board administrators. Mel will take over as the technical guru. Carbro will handle registrations and related problems. Dale, Estelle and Treefrog will be Board Moderators (able to move posts on any forum and generally oversee things). Dale and Natalia will keep things running on the NYCB and ABT, and Kirov and Bolshoi forums respectively. We're still working on putting together a team of moderators for the different forums; look for announcements about this from Leigh in a few days.

We will be moving the board to a new location -- with apologies, because I know this is disruptive. It will move off the Ballet Alert! web site onto one of its own. We expect this to take place Friday afternoon or evening. We'll put up the new URL then for both this forum and BT4Dancers. After the boards have moved, I'll keep a little box on the Ballet Alert! home page that points to the forums and (I hope) put up redirects so that if someone tries to access the current URL, they'll be automatically redirected to the new one.

One very positive thing that I think will come out of these changes is that the board will no longer be "Alexandra's Board" but belong to all of you. We're going to put up a suggestions for the future thread tomorrow and we really want your suggestions! What would you change about the board, what would you like added, etc. All of the changes might not be practicable, and the new team will have its own ideas of what's best for the board, but we want to have a sense of what the members want as the new team makes plans for what's ahead.

When I first put up the site six and a half years ago (!!!!!) I hoped that, oh, maybe 50 people who really loved ballet would find it and come together to talk. It's a little bit bigger than that now, and that has its advantages and disadvantages. We've had astoundingly few crises. The site has worked because you've made it work, and I'll always be grateful for the friends I've made, and for all I've learned from everyone who's posted here. I can never thank the Moderators enough for all that they do to help keep things going. Leigh has been an invaluable help. We've tackled many of the board's challenges together and I don't know what I would have done without him.

I'll certainly be checking back when I can to see what you all are up to. I'm not going to post for the first few weeks, because I want Ari and Hockeyfan to be able to set the course for the board without my hanging around making "helpful suggestions."

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Hey folks -

I just wanted to thank Alexandra for everything she's done, and for giving all of us a home in cyberspace. We'll try to take good care of it.

Most of you know the new administrators and moderators as fellow posters. I've been working with them for a bit as they familiarized themselves with new tasks and duties. We're in very good hands.

If you have any questions, please ask them. There will be a thread dedicated to discussing the changeover, and you can ask questions to me or anyone else on the moderating team. We'll put that up tomorrow.

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I think we all share in our gratitude to Alexand4ra for the work she put into establishing and maintaining this clearinghouse for us all. I hope to remain involved (slightly more than I have been able to in the last year) and know that we will all work to make this a site for lively discussion, timely and pertinent information, and thoughtful and considerate discourse.

Here's to the future!

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As the founder of this site, Alexandra put in years of hard daily work developing and maintaining it. Those of us who have been helping her out know how much work and dedication was involved, and, unbelievably, she did it for years by herself. She built it into a site with literally thousands of members and a high reputation for integrity -- no small accomplishment when you look at all the fly-by-night sites out there.

Those of us who are following her hope to continue in this tradition. Take a bow, Alexandra! :yucky::(:clapping::clapping::clapping:

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I want to add my voice to the chorus here -- this board has evolved into a lively and provocative place to discuss ballet, and I'm grateful to her and her colleagues for fostering that process.

I noticed that Alexandra's message announcing this transition was her 10,236th posting. Although she often has many interesting and enlightening things to contribute to these conversations, I know that many of those postings were about "how to use this board," "welcome to the community," "I've moved your post to a more appropriate section of the website," and on and on -- the bottom line housekeeping of webmistressing. So, although I appreciate her intelligence and style, I want to thank her for her willingness to do miles and miles of grunt work -- without it, we would not be here.

I appreciate your decision to step lightly for a while, but don't go too far!

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I'm feeling the onset of separation anxiety. :yucky:

Just taking one one itty bitty aspect of this operation makes me realize what an enormous labor of love (I emphasize labor here, but obviously Alexandra's emphasis has been on love) this has been. Over the years, she's put together a great team, but look how many it takes to cover all the things she's done!

Again, Alexandra, thank you a million times.

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thank you so much -- your name should be permanently displayed somewhere on the site

this is such a wonderful forum

only a ballet "nut" can appreciate another "ballet nut" - whether they agree on issues or not

this site has been a well-managed and easily used display of viewpoints and a source of so much dance information for all of us

most appreciatively


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Alexandra, you founded a cyber-country, and, when the time was right and ripe, handed it over to a parliament. Truly an act of noblesse oblige. We all thank you forever, and I want to add that I am happy to see that you are teaching--and we know you are a wonderful teacher-- the next generation of dancers and dance appreciators. That will be the best way of all to keep ballet alert for all of us. And yes, please, adminstrators, find a way to incorporate Alexandra's name into the site, if she doesn't mind! A reverence, Ballet Alert Mistress, deep and heartfelt. You are taking a curtain call with cyber-roses raining down from all sides, in a theater you built, and filled to the rafters.

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Adding my voice to the others, I just wanted to thank you, Alexandra, for building a warm, engaging, thought-provoking, important forum for ballet. Your dedication to the enterprise was awesome and I hope we can carry on the mission as expertly and gracefully as you did. (Don't leave us too long).

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I can't believe how saddened I was to read this thread. I had to chuckle to myself because it seems there is nothing to be sad about. Understandably, Alexandra wants some time for herself and she has seemed to have given careful consideration to how the board can continue. So, my reaction is really unreasonable.

But as a frequent visitor to the site, it's become part of my life. As a non-dancer and someone not involved in dance in any other capacity, this board has been my education and guide. The tenor and quality of discussion, as well as its wonderful organization, can't be an accident. I don't find it elsewhere, regardless of subject.

I just want to offer my gratitude and thanks. I hope Alexandra stays involved in some capacity. She has certainly given a gift to the arts with this board.

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Ohhhhh, I feel like having a good (virtual) cry. :D You're a class act, Alexandra, and I'll miss your guiding spirit. You should be proud of what you created; merde on your new venture!

And a big thank you to all of you who are carrying on what Alexandra started!


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I'll add my voice to the chorus: :bow::bow::thanks: , Alexandra! You have created a wonderful, thriving community of ballet lovers from around the world. This is probably the only place on the internet where people can get together, talk about ballet, air their often radically differing opinions, and discuss them in a civilized and intelligent manner. You have provided a "safe space" to discuss ballet, and perhaps the only online discussion group I've been to (and I've posted on several) where I can state my opinions and be reasonably assured that I will not be sucked into a "flame war." I've seen plenty of flame wars on most of the other ballet/dance boards, and they aren't pretty; they are also hard to avoid, but you and your team have managed to do it. Congratulations, and thank you!

Thank you also to the new moderators/administrators, and the continuing ones, for keeping this wonderful community alive. Ballet Talk has been a lifeline for me, and I'm sure it has for other Ballet Nuts (that's my name, don't wear it out :3dnod:) as well.

So, another curtain call for Alexandra! :D:wub::D:(:(:bow: Your efforts are appreciated, and you will be missed.

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