Honestly, I think the ballet idea for Girl of the Year is great. My youngest daughter studies several kinds of dance, but a lot of what she does is helped by a good foundation in ballet. She's been studying ballet the longest, and she's been doing pointe for almost a year now as well. She also does conditioning work once a week and has even started using Pilates bands like Isabelle does, although my daughter uses them with her legs, not her arms. If my daughter was younger, she would probably want all or most of this set. Sadly for me, my daughter still cherishes her dolls, but has outgrown wanting to own any more, or collect more pieces.
The one thing that I dislike the most about Isabelle's collection is the name of her dance academy on her exercise mat, her barre, and even her sewing cupboard. Is that strange? To me, that ties all these pieces to Isabelle's story, instead of being something that a girl (or adult) can relate to a story of her own making.
I'm not sure why people can't picture Isabelle the doll using her ballet barre. She is pictured in a pose with one leg up on the front page of the AG website, as one of the rotating pictures. She could also do tendu, and kicks, and rond de jambe, and possibly even grand port de bras a la ronde. To me, the bigger problem is that she can't point her toes, more than that she has no elbow or knee joints. There are times when my daughter's arms and legs are very stiff, but those toes had better be pointed!