World Tutu Day announced!

The Australian Ballet School announces World Tutu DayMarilyn Rowe OBE, director of the world-renowned Australian Ballet School, recently announced her retirement, but she isn’t resting up just yet. The School recently revealed a new project that will help Rowe fulfill her legacy of change.


With the School’s 50th Anniversary coming in 2014 and Rowe’s long-term goal of a student residence getting closer to reality, the School has announced the exciting plans to launch World Tutu Day.


Rowe explains: “As part of our commitment to the future of ballet, we are pleased to announce the creation of an exciting new initiative. World Tutu Day will begin as an annual fundraising event in support of The Australian Ballet School. Funds raised by World Tutu Day will enable the School to maximise its accessibility to talented students by providing scholarships and bursaries to those in need. It will also benefit all students by supporting the School’s health and welfare programmes.”


In the future the School plans to take the concept to the best ballet schools around the world, giving its peers a great vehicle to raise funds in their own countries. As a result, World Tutu Day will fulfil its ultimate goal of supporting ballet education internationally.


World Tutu Day is the brainchild of Marcus Bennett, the School’s marketing and communications manager. With the School’s funding coming roughly in equal parts from the Federal Government, student fees and philanthropy, the School is always under pressure to do more with less. It made sense then, for the School to utilise the power of social media to improve its financial position and do more to support talented students.


Bennett explains: “World Tutu Day will utilise an online fundraising platform allowing ballet lovers from all walks of life to create their own fundraising pages. Social networking integration will help fundraisers to gather supporters and spread the World Tutu Day message far and wide.”


The World Tutu Day website also uses team building to encourage participation and motivate fundraisers. Bennett says, “People can form their own Tutu Team, a fun and easy way to get their friends together and raise funds to help ballet dreams come true. They simply pick a cool name, upload a picture and then recruit their team. Team members can pick from a number of great activities and sponsorship ideas that will encourage people to donate through their page.”


Every year more young people attend ballet classes around Australia than attend the AFL or other sporting codes. Swimming is the only activity that attracts more interest. Many of these young people will grow to love ballet and dream of becoming a professional dancer with a company like The Australian Ballet.


The Australian Ballet School is an autonomous, not-for-profit organisation that auditions and accepts students from all over urban and rural Australia and overseas based solely on talent and artistic potential, regardless of their financial circumstances. Sandra Ball, the School’s general manager, explains: “Students commence full-time training at age 13 or 14 and often need to move away from home to attend the School. There are also students whose parents simply cannot afford the training and accommodation costs required each year so they seek support from the School’s Bursary and Student Support programmes.”


So, how do people get involved? The first World Tutu Day will be held on Tu Tu 2014 (2nd of February 2014). But those wishing to be involved can start raising funds now and then celebrate in style by holding an event on the day. For those who want to keep it simple and lend their support, they can make a quick donation on the website or purchase a Tutu Band or Tutu Tee.


For more information or to support The Australian Ballet School, visit the World Tutu Day website at