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I have noticed that Russian Tutus are much flatter and less floppy than Tutus they wear in, say, the Royal Ballet (they slope downwards). Also, where is the tutu (round plate around body not the leotard) meant to be? below the waist? Around the waist? And if below, by how much?

It would be really cool if someone could indicate to me where I can read about and see how a tutu is made!

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In one of the studios next to the one our beginners' class uses, there are stiff practice tutus used by advanced students and, I suppose, the women in the company. Just the bottom part, with a zipper to hold it to hip and waist.

We (men, too) were encouraged to try them So I did.

They are quite disorienting, and not only because you can't see the lower half of your body, or get close to your partner. They seem to have a will of their own, moving to their own rhythm, quite unconcerned about where you want your body to go. Grands battements become quite an adventure. And they do turns even slower and wobblier than I do.

It was a pleasure to take the thing off!

(I should add that my teacher used to dance with several quite good companies, including Les Ballets Grandiva.)

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