Ballet classes are closed for Christmas and New Year, but love of dance and ballet does not know these artificial bounds, and remains ever-burning in the princess’s chest. So, we kicked back the tons of stuff scattered on the floor in the biggest bedroom, arranged a lot of soft toys, barbies and ponies in rows and set up our own ballet class. While the princess struggled into her royal-blue leotard (30 dollars) and white ballet tights (27 dollars) and real ballet shoes (not cheap walmart but real leather shoes- 30-something dollars), I scanned my cellphone for ballet-appropriate music. The most difficult part.

The real ballet class has a real live piano player playing real live ballet piano music. None of the hundred plus songs on my cellphone seemed to come close. There is lots of French rap. No. Evanescence and call me when youre sober? I don’t think so. Eric Clapton? Doesn’t seem to follow a set tune, actually. Sting- oh wow, absolutely tons of old Police songs. Pirouetting to “Don’t Stand So Close”. It doesn’t feel right. The princess is getting frustrated as I play the first ten seconds of each song and then go on to something else. “I can dance to anything!” she declares haughtily. “Just let something play!”

Eventually I settle for “What Goes Around Comes Around” by Justin Timberlake . The tinkly sound of bells, the gentle melody and the pauses seem right. And while the song unfolds, I notice something strange: the words of the song bears no relation to the video clip.  I realise this is the first time I have listened to this song without watching the video show, and I am struck by the anomaly. Isn’t there a car-crash  in the show which ends with the death of the blond lady-love? But the song goes on about the lady being left alone at nights because “he’s doing to you…what you did to me…” – no mention of car-crash and and death. What’s wrong here? I feel puzzled. The princess sees my attention slipping and keeps crying “look at me do this!”. I murmer automatically “very nice dear.” The soft toys clap. The jeolous doll attempts to sabotage the class and trip the princess. I feel compelled to point out that this would not happen in a real class.

But then, neither would they dance to Justin Timberlake.


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