The Sugar Plum Fairy, Odette, Kitri, Aurora, Princess Florine, Giselle–every ballet dancer dreams of wearing a tutu like these. This post will give you plenty of information about the tutu and inspire you to dream more.
First of all, there are 2 kinds of tutus–the romantic and the pancake. The romantic tutu is long and flowey. The pancake tutu is one that sticks flat out and is what most people think of when you say 'tutu'. Oftentimes, the corps de ballet will wear romantic tutus while the principals will wear pancake tutus. There are exceptions though, Lise, in La Fille Mal Gardee, wears a romantic tutu and sometimes the corps in Swan Lake will wear pancakes. Here are some pictures of the different kinds of tutus
There are also different parts of a tutu. Here is the best diagram I could find. It is from this site
Most of the time, if a dancer is going to wear a tutu in a performace, she will wear a practice tutu during rehearsal. This helps her (and her partner) get a feel for how it is going to be on stage. Practice tutus are often made to just slip on without any hooks and eyes.
Wearing a tutu is often a milestone for a dancer. It means that she has achieved a certain level of technical proficiency and proven herself to be able to have the responsibilty of dancing in a tutu. For me, dancing in a tutu was VERY fun. After dress rehearsal, I didn't want to take it off. So my friends and I hung out on stage for about 5 more minutes. It's also a little awkward because you can't see your legs. But overall, it's a great experience. Tutus are one of the trademarks of ballet. They are beautiful and elegant and to wear one is a great honor.