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Post, Post, Post!

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May I encourage all our newcomers, both to the site and to ballet, to post whatever is on your mind. May I use myself as encouragement. I've been on the site since the beginning but was afraid to say/ask/volunteer anything. Alexandra, our Administrator, kept urging me, encouraging me, almost daring me. Slowly I began to post, and to my amazement found that others echoed most of my feelings. I've loved ballet all my life but have learned so much by participating on the board. And here I am, a Moderator, and having a wonderful time.

We've all been new. We all want to pass on the love of ballet to those just discovering the art. Ask us questions; we'll answer. Tell us what you think; you'll start discussions. Alexandra has made this site a wonderful place for ballet enthusiasts of all levels.


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Thank you, Giannina.

Giannina was one of the reasons I did this site. She subscribed to DanceView (THANK YOU Giannina :) ) and wrote me a letter once, mentioning the internet, and how she was reluctant to post because there were so many arguments. Not that WE ever have arguments here, of course.

Giannina isn't a newcomer to ballet, by any means, but said she was a bit timid to post. She'd email me what she was seeing and it looked very postable to me, so I'd say, "Why don't you post that?" and finally "goldarn it, post that!!!!!" And so she did. And lived to tell the tale :)

"Newcomers Corner" isn't the best name for this forum, unless we take a very generous view of "newcomer." All of us are newcomers in at least one, if not more, aspects of ballet. (Suggestions for a better title are welcome.) The idea is to have a place where it's absolutely okay to say:

What's the difference between a battement and a changement?

Why don't men dance on pointe? Or do they?

When did the tutu become popular?

Et cetera.

Also -- what we really hope will happen -- is that those of you who write me saying, "I really enjoy the site, but I don't know enough to post about what I'm seeing" will feel encouraged to do so -- whether on this forum, or elsewhere.

I promise you that Giannina is the most gentle and encouraging of hostesses :)

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Viviane -- thank you. I like that very much. It's sure better than "Newcomers!" In fact, it's far more appropriate than the ones we've been batting around.

I'm going to leave this thread open for suggestions for today and tomorrow, and then Wednesday night, we'll choose one.

Please think of something that would make you feel comfortable posting something in this forum.

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Viviane, your title is MUCH better than "Ballet for Dummies" I haven't seen a book like that. There is, however, an excellent (IMO) book called "Ballet 101" by Robert Greskovic (currently dance critic for The Wall Street Journal). It's written for adults and hits the basics, so it's good for those who are curious about, or new to ballet, but it's also very meaty, and so it's excellent for anyone interested in ballet. I'll often check things in it -- one of its many charms is a very complete videography.

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Alexandra, you'll never guess what I bought last weekend at the ROH-shop ! So glad to hear it's worthwhile reading :)

So far, I only finished Baryshnikov's foreword !

Yes, I noticed the videography...oh dear how tempting !

An out-of-print book I'm searching for is 'The Dance Handbook' by Alen Robertson & Donald Hutera (Longman Handbook series).

I have 'The Opera Handbook' and love it !

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I love your idea for a title: Discovering Ballet!

I, too, have Ballet 101 - wonderfully written and not without a sense of humor! Now there is a course I wish I could take!

Another thought might just be Ballet 101...or the 3 Bs: ballet basics and beyond...

So far I vote for Discovering Ballet or good ol' Ballet 101:cool:

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I think that "Discovering ballet" is more explicit, especially for people whose primary language is not English: I didn't understand the meaning of the "101" in "Ballet 101" until it was explained to me, as there is no such numbering system in French schools/ universities...

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Viviane, in the United States at the college or university level the first and most basic course for example in Economics would be called "Economics 101" - in other words the "101" lets people know that it is a basic introductory course that will give students a good, solid overview of the subject. Thus, the author titled his book "Ballet 101"....Hope this helps! :)

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Viviane, you should be :) We spent two weeks trying to come up with a name and you hit on the right one right away!

As for "Ballet 101" -- first, it's a series of books. There's also an Opera 101," for example.

It comes from the way the curriculum is organized at American universities. Courses are given numbers. First level courses, usually taken by Freshmen, are in the 100 series (101, 102, 157, etc.) Then there are teh 200 level courses, 300 levesl, 400, etc. Graduate courses are usually numbered in the 500, 600, 700 range.

The beginning courses that you take Freshman year are often the 101 courses. So your course schedule would look like this:

World History 101-102 (that means it's a two semester course, a full year)

Art History 101-102

Economics 101-102

French 101-102

Biology 101-102

These are introductory or survey courses, often lecture courses.

Hope that makes sense :)

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