(correctly pronounced “tootoo” with accent on the second syllable) is best described with a picture so check out the photo on the right. There are two main categories of tutu skirts named after the dance styles they’re normally used in:
- Classical tutus: These are the short and stiff tutu skirts that stick out almost horizontally.
- Romantic tutus: They are usually longer and hang down more. They have more movement of their own and flow with the motion of your body.
In ballet class, you usually don’t wear tutu dresses. You normally just wear tights and a leotard. For class, you have what we call practice tutus.
They are not for performances and so they look quite plain. Also they are usually just the skirt by itself while the tutu dresses for performance are basically dresses with the tutu skirt securely attached to the bodice. Practice tutus are literally just for practice. Sometimes you can buy them attached to the leotard, sometimes they come on their own.
In ballet, even men wear tights and leotards. This is normal and, even though non dancing folks like to make fun of that, in the ballet community, men wearing tights is not only acceptable but essential. Interested in taking a ballet class? Then check out my article on ballet for crossdressers.
But men wearing tutu skirts are not very common certainly not in class. In some performances, tutu dresses will be worn by men who are playing the part of a woman. Take for example Cinderella
where it is traditional for men to play the part of the three ugly sisters (Go and watch it when you get a chance - even if only for the music).