Our teachers, all top ballet industry designers, pattern-makers and technicians,will lead you step-by-step through the magical journey of creating beautiful professional-quality Classical and Romantic tutus, and other ballet costumes.

Our professional faculty has amassed years of knowledge working in top ballet costume shops and companies, with professional dancers and directors, and with IBC (International Ballet Competition), Prix de Lausanne, and YAGP (Youth America Grand Prix) competitors.

Our teachers and lecturers are all working professionals with clients ranging from New York City Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Moscow Ballet, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, Houston Ballet, Gelsey Kirkland's Studio Company, Victoria's Secret Fashion Show on CBS, and shows on Broadway and television.

Claudia Folts
Claudia Folts is the founder and owner of Tutu.Com.  Ms. Folts has more than 45 years experience in the ballet world: onstage and backstage; as a student, performer and teacher; in the studio and the design shop; as a school owner and company director; and as a technician and author. A recognized authority on ballet costuming, Ms. Folts is in great demand as a technician and stage costumer. Her costumes appear everywhere from Cosmo to Teen Vogue magazine.

Ms. Folts is the author of an extensive series of ballet costuming books and patterns in use by professional, pre-professional and amateur costumers worldwide. Teaching ballet costuming continues to be a passion for Ms. Folts since she introduced the first tutu seminar in 1995. Interpreting the techniques of the master costumers of yesteryear with today's fabrics, technologies and choreography is her constant creative challenge.

Ms. Folts' tutus are commissioned for performance, film, television, print, and advertising, including: New York City Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet, American Ballet Theatre-II, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, San Francisco Ballet, Moscow Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre/ Charlotte Ballet, Charleston Ballet Theatre, Ballet San Jose, International Ballet Competition (IBC), Youth American Grand Prix (YAGP), Prix de Lausaune, 2011 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, ABC's Extreme Makeover Home Edition.

Catherine Zehr
Catherine Zehr, costume designer for New York-based touring company, Ballets with a Twist, joins us to teach some of her wonderful tiara-making techniques.

A graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, with a degree in Fashion Design, Catherine spent ten years working in the fashion industry for several major companies before going into costume design. She brought with her excellent pattern-making skills, and an understanding of the importance of having costumes and headpieces support the dancer and choreography, not over-shadow them.

With twenty years’ experience as a costume designer, Catherine’s designs are elegant, enhancing both the dancer and the project. Her favorite part of the creative process, by far, is creating the headpieces. She brings five new tiara designs to TutuSchool, “Odette,” a gorgeous, feathered, Swan Queen headpiece with a clip-on tiara; her “Royal” design, offered in a choice of two color combinations; her elegant, “Formal” tiara in crystal, pink and jet black; her passionate “Scheherazade” tiara offered in a choice of two color combinations; and, her whimsical “Fairy Tiara” in Karinska-inspired pink and green. 

Jeremy Bernardoni
Jeremy Bernardoni is a Professor of Costume Design at Louisiana State University. Mr. Bernardoni brings extensive training and knowledge to his costuming, beginning with his years as a dancer with several companies, including Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo. He has an MFA in Costume Design, a BA and an MA in French, and speaks five languages.

Mr. Bernardoni trained in Paris at the Chambre Syndicale de Haute Coutre, specializing in Draping and Pattern-Making. His time in Paris includes a stint as a draper for the Haute Couture Atelier of Frank Sorbier.

Mr. Bernardoni is a master designer, tailor and draper for dance, theatre and musical theatre productions. He specializes in ballet costume design and men's tailoring.

Lindsey Bruck
A talented seamstress, Lindsey Bruck finds great demand for her work. Tutu.Com is proud to have her on staff. 

Ms. Bruck has been working professionally for more than ten years in costuming. At North Carolina Dance Theatre, Ms. Bruck served as Wardrobe Supervisor/First Assistant. She works with I.A.T.S.E. Local 322, Charlotte Stage Hand Union in the wardrobe department in numerous Broadway touring productions and concerts. She dabbles as a seamstress inTV/Film, including HBO's Homeland (season 3 overhire); Max (2015 movie); andOutcast (TV pilot).

Summer Collins

Summer Collins is a valuable addition to the Tutu.Com staff. The former Costume Director at North Carolina Dance Theatre, Ms. Collins adds her considerable ballet and costume experience to our shop. In addition to teaching, Ms. Collins provides Tutu.Com client's with telephone consultation services, whether questions are about patterns, fabrics or dancewear.

Ms. Collins' resume includes stints at Ballet Met, Columbus, Ohio; Houston Ballet; Opera Memphis; and contract work for Dayton Ballet; Florida Ballet; and Trey McIntyre Project.  Ms. Collins earned her BFA in Costume Design and Technology from Wright State University.

Elizabeth Ekey
Elizabeth Ekey started her tutu career taking classes at Tutu.Com’s TutuSchool in both Charlotte and New York while still an undergraduate at Marietta College in Ohio.

She continued with the advanced-level classes - Ribbon Candy Tutus, Russian Gored Romantics, the 19-Layer Faerie Tutu, as well as adding classes in leotards and stretch tutus.

Currently, Elizabeth is finishing her thesis for a Masters degree in Clothing and Textiles, and is a Special Lecturer at the University of Akron, teaching undergraduate classes in various sewing techniques.    

Elizabeth practices her tutu-making skills as Wardrobe Supervisor for the Canton Ballet Company.  She is training to be a teacher forTutu.Com’s TutuSchool and currently is doing her teacher training as an assistant teacher in TutuSchool classes, and as an overhire stitcher in Tutu.Com’s costume shop.

Chelsea Retalic
Chelsea Retalic has been stitching for Tutu.Com for several years now.  A graduate of Catawba College with a BA in Musical Theatre, Chelsea is a multi-talented actress/dancer and costume designer.  She also works around the region designing for several theatre companies – Matthews Playhouse, Theatre Charlotte and Davidson College to name a few.  Chelsea is also a regular member of the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte’s wardrobe crew.