Professional Tutus

The Ballet Academy prides itself on a rigorous ballet curriculum and technique training. Professional tutus, hand sewn for dancers of The Ballet Academy, round out this education. Dancers throughout the academy work towards the opportunity to wear one of the tutus.These tutus serve not only as a costume but also bring a level of professionalism to our performances. It is no wonder wearing a tutu is considered a great honor by The Ballet Academy dancers.

From Design to Debut

Creating professional tutus is no small task, requiring 70-80 hours of hand sewing, 12 layers of netting, and 14 yards of tulle. Without the time and artistry of tutu atelier, Casey Sink, the dream of tutus for The Ballet Academy would not have become a reality. Often, a tutu is designed for one specific role in a ballet and cannot be used in another ballet or allow for alterations to fit different dancer’s bodies. Christi Varvel, director of The Ballet Academy, and Casey Sink worked to design the tutus in a way which allows for different body types and customization based on each character within the ballet. The tutus can transform a dancer into Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Odile in Swan Lake, or Kitri in Don Quixote.
construction process

Designing the Tutus

Design and visualization meetings are the first step in the tutu design process. Sink and Varvel collaborate to create unique and lush designs for each tutu. The dancer’s character, choreography, and overall vision for the production is taken into account when designing the tutus.
design and visualization

Picking out the Fabric

Fabrics are handpicked by Christi Varvel, in the famous Los Angeles Garment District. The design vision starts to come together with each fabric and color selected.




Constructing the Tutus

The tutu truly comes to life when Sink begins the work of creating the overlays for the tutu and bodice. The plate is created by sewing fabrics and appliques to netting, which rests on the top layer of the tutu. Hours are spent cutting, designing, and tacking pieces together to create the full design of each tutu.

Stage Debut

After over 100 hours of designing, sewing, and alterations, the final tutu makes its debut on the stage, transforming the dancer into her specific role and immersing the audience into the world of the ballet.

The Tutu Fundraiser, through the inspiration of Christi Varvel and project management of Joy Downey, raised the funds needed to create the tutus of The Ballet Academy. 

Thank you to all of our donors!

A special thank you to those who donated and helped this dream become reality for dancers of The Ballet Academy. We thank you for your support and dedication to the mission of The Ballet Academy.



Shannon Morton Photography
Thomas and Donabeth Downey



Joy Downey
Larry and Beverly Young



Dawn Harvey
The Diaz Family
The Larkin Family
The Meduna Family



Aimee Hancock
Allison Watchorn
Amanda Culli
Amanda Fortenberry
Christina King
The Diaz Family
James Bevers
Juanita Fox
Kesley Boe
Larry McEvoy and Melodie Thompson
Lisa Caro
Lisa Klett
Lucy Reza-Moralex
Monica Green
Rebecca Pena
Reva Corbett
Sylvia Reza
Whitney Cahill
Xylina Rivera

Learn more about our new nonprofit!
A Chance to Dance BCS
A Chance to Dance BCS is dedicated to providing enhanced education opportunities in the performing arts for dancers ages 2 to 18 years.