As a Valentine's Day special event last week, the Philadelphia Dance Center invited aspiring ballerinas' dads to take class. The results were, predictably, ridiculously funny—and totally endearing.

 

So very many creative variations on a piqué turn:

Dad's moving right along the floor tonight!!! Jumping turning, so impressive!!!

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Tchaikovsky's "Waltz of the [Dads]":

Daddy Daughter Valentine's Ballet Class ❤❤❤

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You GUYS. The tutus! I just can't. It's too amazing.

Dad's are MOVING ALONG TONIGHT!!!❤💯

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It's also worth pointing out that PDC invited moms to take a hip hop class last week, too—and, uh, they kinda killed it. Werk it, moms!

 

How do you think your parents would do in your dance classes? Let us know in the comments!

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A very special New York City Ballet Swan Lake tutu (photo by Travis McGee)

Hello, friends! Since we're entering prime performance season—odds are good you're gearing up for an end-of-the-year showcase and/or Nationals—it seems like the perfect time to talk a little about costumes, yes? And since it's also #TutuTuesday, we thought we'd focus on that most glamorous costume of all, the one that every little girl dreams about but only those of us who put in years and years of ballet training actually earn the right to wear: the tutu.

We've done lots of tutu stories over the years, but here are a few of our favorites. They should scratch all your various tutu-related itches (not literally, of course—though, ugh, #ballerinaprobz): Some feature practical advice about wearing and caring for tutus; some talk about the "lives" tutus lead on- and offstage; and some are just delicious tutu candy, which, YAY.

-Ever wonder what goes into the creation of a tutu? Meet seamstress Sara Bacon, who makes costumes for many Youth America Grand Prix competitors. (And watch some very cool time-lapse footage of the tutu-making process.)

-Nervous about the challenges that come with dancing in a tutu, from not being able to see your feet to getting poked by overly-aggressive bodice boning? Check out our handy tutu troubleshooting guide.

-In love with your tutu, but not sure how you should care for it—and don't have a full-service costume department to assist you? Here's how to clean, maintain and store your costume like a pro.

-Ever wonder what stories a tutu would tell if it could talk? We went inside New York City Ballet's costume shop to learn about the "life" of one very special Swan Lake tutu (worn by both Darci Kistler and Wendy Whelan!).

-Just want to look at some absolutely gorgeous tutus? Oh, have we ever got you covered. Ahem. Ahem. AHEM.

-Also, this.

Happy #TutuTuesday, everybody—and merde for the performances ahead!

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American Ballet Theatre's gorgeous new-old production of Sleeping Beauty—you know, the one with the gloriously old-fashioned tutus—got us thinking about the history of the tutu. Tutus have evolved a heck of a lot since their debut in 1832, but the basic premise of the costume has persisted. Their hemlines rise and fall, their circumferences increase and decrease, but tutus never go out of style.

Some of the beautiful tutus from ABT's Sleeping Beauty (via @PaulinaWaski on Instagram)

Partly that's because the workmanship required to construct a tutu, even a simple tutu, is so extensive that each one becomes a work of art. In fact, many museum exhibits have treated tutus as just that: precious artwork.

A tutu has a special power onstage, but in a museum setting, it acquires a different kind of magnetism. Seeing one of these costumes up close—close enough to acknowledge not only the incredible detailing and  craftsmanship, but also the sweat stains, the tiny tears in the tulle, the missing beads—is almost overwhelming. It becomes at once more magical and more real.

In honor of #TutuTuesday, we've rounded up some of our favorite photos from museum exhibits honoring the tutu. Take a look!

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Hey hey hey! What's going on, TSwift nation? We're guessing that, even six months out, you're still obsessed with "Shake It Off." Because who isn't? It's straight-up the Best Gym Song of All Time. (Seriously, it's the perfect elliptical machine tempo—try it!)

It also, of course, boasts one of the Best Crazy Dance Videos of All Time. There's nothing quite like Tay Tay in a tutu. Which brings us to the real subject of this blog post: Those "Shake It Off" tutus? Turns out, they're actually Ballet West's Swan Lake costumes. Such a great factoid, right? And now, BW is giving fans a chance to win one of the very tutus used in the "Shake It Off" video. That's right: This is your chance to own a part of both music video and ballet history.

Left: BW in Swan Lake. Right: Taylor in "Shake It Off." TWINSIES. (left photo by Luke Isley via BW)

The costume in question is currently being displayed at Salt Lake City's Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre, where BW is in the middle of a Swan Lake run. But you don't have to be in Utah to enter the giveaway. Just click here to fill out the entry form. (The contest is technically free, but there's a suggested donation of $10 per entry, with proceeds going to BW—a worthy cause!)

After you've hit "submit," feel free to commence daydreaming about doing this...

...and this...

...and maybe a little of this. (Or, OK—a lot of this.)

Every dancer dreams of the day she'll get her first tutu. Her first real tutu, that is. Not a puffball of pink tulle designed for pre-ballet class—though, hey, when you're 5, those are pretty great, too—but a big, glorious platter skirt with a corseted bodice. Ballerinas wear many tiaras over the course of their careers, but putting on that first tutu is the true crowning moment of a young dancer's life.

And the people who create tutus are seriously accomplished artists. Recently, L.A. Weekly introduced us to California-based seamstress Sara Bacon, who makes many budding ballerinas' tutu dreams into beautiful realities.

Sara in her workshop with a tutu-in-the-making (still from L.A. Weekly video)

Yes, you probably already know that constructing a tutu is a long, labor-intensive, complicated process. But L.A. Weekly's story and video about Bacon hammers home just how much love goes into each costume. She only has time to sew handful each season—this year, she's working on five—which means that they basically become her babies. "And just like children, I love them all equally," she says in the video. Aww!

Bacon makes a lot of tutus for Youth America Grand Prix competitors, and the video follows the creation of one YAGP hopeful's colorful costume for her Le Corsaire Odalisque variation. We see time lapse footage of the patternmaking, the layers upon layers of ruffles being stitched together, the fittings, and finally the dancer rehearsing in the finished product. It's fascinating.

Prettyyyyyyyy (still from L.A. Weekly video)

Take a look—and check out the accompanying story here.

Feel like playing a little dress-up this Halloween? Why not try one of the fantastical tutus below on for size?

Well, OK—maybe you can't quite try them on. But now you can view them, plus many more, on Google Art Project, which has made the National Ballet of Canada one of its 180+ partners. The project has added tutus worn by some of Canada's most famous ballerinas, plus imaginative tutus by Canadian fashion designers, to its gallery. There are images of everything from iconic Don Quixote and Giselle looks to tutus made out of pointe shoes. It's pretty neat.

Check out our favorites below, and click here to see the full collection.

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