2006, $2.99, at Goodwill on San Fernando in Glendale
First Impression: What is this pink nightmare?
Second Impression: “Step into the world of 3 Disney princesses with Bella and friends!”
I find myself wishing for the sudden appearance of murder hornets. But then I remind myself that I do these workouts so you don’t have to, Loyal Readers.
Bella Dancerella teaches kids the basics of dance, as I’ve reviewed here and here, and, like raisins in a perfectly good cake, spoils everything with too much cloying sweetness.
Here’s Bella with a curtain she copied from Pinterest:
“Hello my princess friends! Are you ready for a princess party?”
No. Never. But let’s just get this over with.
Bella assembles her neophytes and leads us in a quick ballet warmup.
The remote, unattainable castle in the background serves as a symbol of class division and income inequality.
Bella leads the girls in a chant as they plié. “Let’s dance! Sssssssss!” This repeats a few times.
What. What is happening.
I don’t know why we’re being directed to speak Parseltongue in a beginner ballet class, but it’s far from the most upsetting thing that happens in this video.
After a song and dance that name-checks some Disney Princesses, we find ourselves adrift in the cold, cruel ocean.
Bella leads us in some simple choreography as she sings a version of “Under the Sea” in an… accent, I guess? Oh, dear…
“Now, girls, this book tells you how to separate yourself from your family and friends, give up all your artistic pursuits, and maim yourself in order to please a man!”
“Every princess has a dream. That’s part of being a princess,” Bella assures us. “Do you have a dream?”
Well sure, Bella, closing the wage gap, equal rights for all, universal health care…
“Of course you do,” she cuts in, oblivious.
Bella leads another dance, linking each princess’ story with signature movements. The lyrics really do the job of pointing out how problematic each fairy tale is.
Cinderella is presented as a girl who had to clean houses until she just met a man. Whereas, Ariel “met a man and joined the princess team.” Meanwhile, Aurora “fell asleep and woke up royalty.” Uh, some other stuff happened in there, some of it criminal, so.
Now we transition to Aurora’s castle, where Bella teaches us to waltz. Why are you in my house, Aurora’s portrait screams.
“To be a princess, one must have a heart of gold,” Bella declares. At that, the Diva Gremlin Princess reports for duty directly in front of the TV.
The dance lesson mercifully over, Bella waves goodbye with joyless eyes. Her students give all their energy to the camera so they can win the tenuous, fleeting approval of their stage moms.