(Photo from TVGrapevine)
Yesterday afternoon, I received some shocking news: that a reader and frequent commenter here, Sharon Balik, had passed away that morning suddenly and unexpectedly. She commented here under the name BDC_Sharon and had just left a message over the weekend on my most recent SYTYCD post.
I’m still in shock and can’t stop thinking about her. She found my blog a couple of years ago and we’d become very good friends. She became enamored of ballroom dancing after Dancing With the Stars premiered. She began taking lessons with her husband, Tim, and when DWTS pro dancers Maks Chmerkovskiy, Elena Grinenko, and Tony Dovolani founded the Ballroom Dance Channel website, she began to work for them, researching and writing articles about various aspects ballroom dance, writing recaps of the dance shows on TV, leading discussions about such issues as whether DanceSport should become an Olympic sport, and helping to promote the website’s online ballroom dance lessons. She kindly linked to my blog and my HuffPo reviews, and brought me a load of new readers. She really became a tireless promoter of all things ballroom.
When she began writing for BDC, she’d email to ask me questions about the ballroom competition scene since she knew I had experience with that. And we just became friends. She was one of those people who’s so easy to befriend, who’ll listen to you go on and on and will end up offering you all this really well thought-out, sound advice. Whenever I had a problem with dance or with a heckler here or an angry artist writing me nasty emails about a critical review, she naturally became one of the people I’d send my “Help!” email to And of course she always had such funny, clever, thought-provoking, opionionated things to say — both in response to those emails and here on the blog. I am going to miss her so much.
It’s funny how close you can become to someone you’ve never met in person. People who say you only make superficial connections on the internet are so wrong. I am really going to miss you, Sharon.
Read the tribute to her on TVGrapevine, where she posted frequently as well, here.