FYI | Record-Breaking Tutu Raises Funds

What’s up in the dance community

An auto body shop probably isn’t the first place you’d look for the world’s longest tutu. But this fall, The Auto & Tire Doctor in Truckee, California, broke a world record with its balletic creation.

Clara Jane DeRuise (left) and Kimberly Reid work on the world’s longest tutu in Jodi DeRuise’s backyard; the garment (which can be seen stretching across the lawn) set a record and raised funds for the Tutu Project.
Photo by Jodi DeRuise

Inspired by shop employee and breast cancer survivor Cindy Lain, Auto Doctor staff produced the 265-foot, 5-inch garment in conjunction with the Tutu Project, an organization that helps people diagnosed with breast cancer pay for items insurance doesn’t cover, such as wigs and childcare.

“We’ve been helping out the Project for the last few years,” Auto Doctor shop manager Jodi DeRuise told Dance Studio Life. “This year, one of my mechanics jokingly said, ‘We should make the world’s largest tutu.’ I googled it and said, ‘We can do this.’ ” The shop purchased 160 tutus, opened them up, then sewed them all together. The shop also got an assist from NAPA Auto Parts, which gave around $2,200 to the Tutu Project and donated an 84-foot tractor-trailer to wrap the tutu around. The finished tutu debuted at the shop on October 28, National Make a Difference Day.

DeRuise’s plans to relax after the event were cut short when a Tutu Project representative called her to discuss making next year’s event even bigger. Could this mean a new record-breaking tutu in 2018? “I guess I’m in,” DeRuise said.