A ballerina tutu is a skirt that a female ballet dancer wears. There are two main categories of tutus. It is a good idea to become familiar with them before deciding which suits a dancer best.
A classical tutu protrudes out from the waist and it tends to be stiffer and more of a horizontal shape. It is often made of several layers of sturdy tulle or other stiff fabric. More specifically, there are two main subcategories of classical tutus. The flat tutu, or pancake-shaped variation is often referred to as the Russian tutu. The other variation is often referred to as the American version of a ballerina tutu that is shorter and softer.
A romantic tutu has a much longer skirt. The skirt tends to drape and flow like a petticoat, thus echoing the romantic sentiments of its name. The fullness of the romantic tutu can vary somewhat, but it typically has several layers of sheer or semi-sheer fabric.
Tutus are used both by young girls and seasoned professionals. Often, dancers reach a somewhat advanced level of ballet before needing to purchase their own professional tutu. Beginning ballet students usually don a traditional student uniform of black leotard, pink or white tights and ballet slippers.
Once a ballerina has progressed to an advanced level of dance, they may be chosen for a part in a performance that requires a tutu. Buying your first ballerina tutu is a big deal and should not be done without much consideration. Consider the following points before making your purchase:
Type of Tutu
You will choose from either a classical or romantic ballerina tutu. Most serious students will need a classical tutu as it is used for most major roles in the ballet repertoire. Find out what you will require.
Rehearsal vs. Performance Tutu
Some dancers opt to have separate tutus for performance and rehearsal. This can keep your pricey performance tutu looking new longer. Other dancers opt for a great basic tutu that can be used for both. Dancers can then customize the tutu for each performance with a removable overskirt layer with beads or colors to coordinate with specific roles. Most dancers that choose to have two different tutus opt for a black one for rehearsal and an elegant white performance tutu.
Custom or Off the Shelf
Many ballerinas opt to have their tutus made specifically for them. By choosing this option, they will be able to more involved in the process and have the tutu customized and tailor made for them. Many off-the shelf tutus will need to be altered for fit or embellishments.
There are various options in beadwork and colors in ballerina tutus. Good quality tutus have an attached panty. Many classical and romantic tutus also have an attached bodice, while yet others offer further customization with a mix and match bodice/skirt option to create different looks for different roles.
Price can be a huge factor for many dancers. To find the best options that suit your budget, consider both custom-made and off-the-shelf versions of a classical tutu. If you’re looking to get the most for your dollar for your first tutu, opt for a very good classical tutu that can be used in rehearsal and then customized with removable options for performances. Then, take very good care of it by wearing a nude leotard underneath to keep it clean. Some tutus can be washed very gently. Always store on a tutu hanger; with considerable care, your tutu will last longer.