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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Tutu injuries


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An article about how painful tutus can be for male dancers. Maybe male dancer bonding...a universal experience.

My son's classmate had a mole on his face ripped off just recently. A large one.


GTLS what are your thoughts on why no one makes a tutu that doesn't hurt guys?

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Moxie, there is currently (within the last week) a large discussion among the tutu building community about the hazards of the chemicals made to harden the net used in tutus. Tutu net comes in "deniers," with the most common weight being 40 denier.... and really stiff horsehair being 80 denier. The current discussion revolves around how 40 denier now feels like 20 - 30, due to the reduction of a chemical hardener, so there are certain tutu builders who are seeking out a higher denier and/or importing net from other countries with lower standards on the use of these chemicals. No one wants to injure the dancers - be it with chemicals, or otherwise - they are just trying to find the best fabric to create the best final product (a Classical Tutu).


Ultimately, net has thousands/millions of little holes. So when you have a stiff net it quite literally acts like a cheese grater (or a lemon zester). The more stiff the net, the easier the tutu stands out, but it will also be more abrasive. Unfortunately for as long as there will be tutus, there will be "tutu rashes" on the gents who must partner the lady - sure you can use softer net, and then build the tutu in a clever way to make it stand out, but those little holes will always be there::::......


Having both partnered ladies in a tutu, and having worn a tutu, I try to build my tutus to avoid the other injuries that can occur: nothing that will catch & twist a finger, trims that wont catch on another costume, beads & rhinestones that are glued down, and I select to machine sew most decorations (as opposed to gluing). I also design my tutus to be partnered - so I make sure design elements are free of the gent's hands... I do what I can within the guidelines of what the AD & audience expect to see on stage.

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So far my son hasn't been injured by a tutu. BUT, he is always careful to remove his earring before partnering classes. He had a male teacher with a ripped earlobe from getting his earring caught on a tuto. Ouch!

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For our Nutcracker snow scene - we have really old Russian built tutus that are absolutely deadly - their edges are like knives. Our costume guru made a new tutu this year for the snow queen out of much softer net in sympathy for the poor snow king who almost got his neck sliced open last year. The stiffer the net, the worse it is!

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The poor fellow who had his mole ripped off doesn't look like the same guy! He had that distinctive mole.

thanks for all the detail GTLS!

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