Dance Week: Has Ballet Lost Its Little Girl Glamour?

Ballerina dollWhen I bought this ballerina doll in Florence, as a present for my niece, she seemed almost like an artifact from a lost era, and not just because she's made of porcelain. In the age of Bratz and Disney Princesses, do ballerinas still represent a glamorous ideal in the minds of little girls? Or has the childhood glamour of ballet faded as the grownup version has lost some of its cultural salience?

I do occasionally see little girls lining up for dance classes in those classic pale-pink leotards. But what about kids who don't actually dance themselves? In my childhood, a ballerina music box was the standard jewelry chest for even graceless nerds like me. Now, at least judging from the Amazon reviews, it's a "a nice gift alternative"--a clever and unusual, rather than a standard part of childhood. But maybe that's a comment on music boxes rather than ballerinas. You can, after all, still buy ballerina Barbies.

I had intended to speculate on why ballerinas were no longer as prominent representatives of ideal, grownup femininity as they once were. But perhaps my premise is wrong. What do you think? Do little girls still dream of pirouettes and toe shoes?