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Take Back the Tutu 2014

“The concept “Take Back the Tutu” came about during a small meeting of some of Saint Paul Ballet’s dancers and board members. After discussing our progressive year in which we had become an artist led company and successfully put on our first full scale performance, we were brainstorming ideas that pertained to the “new” us. Some words that came up were: empowered, courageous, community.

We began to look ahead, wondering how to further reach our audiences and show them who we were. We talked about “Take Back the Tutu” in a number of ways that all came down to one basic concept – breaking down conceptual barriers that come with our art. We began to feel that we could really do something to empower our community and other dancers by sharing our thoughts on what it is to be healthy and happy when the tradition of ballet often involves a certain “look” or body type. We are a diverse company. We come in all shapes and sizes and we all have something different to say about what it is to be a dancer and happy in our own skin.

‘Take Back the Tutu’ is to be empowered to take ownership of our art and throw away the idea that we have to look a certain way to wear the tutu. Our journeys are different and what we each chose to share is as unique as we are. Please enjoy our reflections; we hope they inspire you to take back your own tutu!”

-Brittany Adams
PR Manager and Dancer at St. Paul Ballet


In February 2014 the Company and photographer Caroline Yang came together to create our first Take Back the Tutu campaign. Listen to and read the story on Minnesota Public Radio. See Company reflections on our blog, Facebook , and on Emily Program blog.

Saint Paul Ballet partnered with The Emily Program during National Eating Disorder Awareness Week February 23rd through March 1st of 2014 to “Take Back The Tutu” and celebrate dance and the dancer’s body.

“In this profession, there is a lot of pressure on dancers to have immaculate bodies,” said Zoé Emilie Henrot, Artistic Director of SPCB. “We want to promote physical fitness as well as a healthy body image, and we are thrilled to partner with the Emily Program to do that.”