I woke up this morning thinking about, of all things, Dame Margot Fonteyn. I knew her name when I was 6. I tiptoe-walked, pirouetted, jumped around, and wanted a tutu so bad I could taste it. I probably thought my lack of tutu was the main difference between us.
In that day and age, Dame Margot Fonteyn was huge–a household name. I watched her on TV. She and Rudolph Nureyev danced on The Ed Sullivan Show. Filmed ballets came on the television from time to time and I would go into ballerina/Fonteyn mode, probably kicking and stumbling over my poor little brother quite a bit in the process. (He wasn’t quite as into the ballet as I was–go figure.)
I guess little girls today still love ballerinas, but imagine a ballerina and her dance partner being a guest on Leno (or some primetime equivelent). When I was a little girl, that’s what pop culture (at least occasionally) served up.
Here is Margot Fonteyn as Cinderella, remembering the ball. I’m almost sure I saw this as a little girl.