Rosen: I’ve always liked Twelve Dancing Princesses… I also feel the story highlights the particular difficulties for girls in growing up and the rite of passage into adulthood. I feel the bed acts a doorway to dreams and enchantment. I believe the beautiful visuals in this story, especially the description of the groves of the silver, gold, and ruby trees, represents how precious and valuable that transitional time is in our lives. By dancing the night away with princes, the princesses can act out grown-up roles, though they are not yet grown-ups.
Rumpus: Yeah, and I think the princesses, like a lot of young girls, feel ambivalent about becoming women. Their performance of adulthood only happens in a place associated with magic, and the princesses try to keep their maturation a secret. Culturally, we have this idea that girls yearn to grow up and become women, but the process of growing up is a scary and long process, and not all are ready when biology kicks in.