Monday, June 3, 2013

Ballet Recital Celebration

"The dance is a poem of which each movement is a word." ~ Mata Hari

Mary Ashley and Emma's spring ballet recital is always one of the highlights of the season. For several years, we celebrated with dinner before the ballet, and last year we enjoyed appetizers and desserts before an early curtain call.


This year finds us in transition with my new job with Victoria magazine, so planning a recital soiree  a few weeks ago presented a challenge. My busier schedule didn't allow time for preparing an elaborate menu, yet I did not want this occasion to slip by without sharing special time with the girls and special friends who join us each year for the show.


With an early show time again this year, dinner at 4 o'clock in the afternoon wasn't appealing, and I wasn't sure I could pull everything together in such a small window of time. So we decided that dessert after the recital was the best way to go. I took the easiest route to celebration possible, purchasing cakes, flowers, and snacks at a local grocery store Saturday morning during the girls' dress rehearsal.


I set up the dessert spread in the family room Saturday afternoon, and we invited friends and teachers to stop by after the performance.


This fluffy pink strawberry cake from Winn-Dixie looked ballerina perfect, especially with the addition of a flower.


A petite white cake, also from Winn-Dixie, offered another sweet option. Fresh strawberries served with chocolate dip covered all the bases for a simple dessert buffet.


For a savory bite, herbed cheese and crackers were delicious.


Lush potted pink flowers and a metal dress form with a tutu (saved from previous ballet parties) added color to the display.


Plates, napkins and silverware were put in place before curtain call, and the coffee pot was ready to brew when we returned.


I really enjoy hosting handmade, homemade celebrations and always hope that my family and friends see the love in all the little details.


When time or circumstances do not allow the same level of attention, letting go of extravagant plans can be difficult. Not necessarily for my family, but for me.


What I am realizing, though, is that I see love in all the little details, but eliminating details does not diminish the love.


In fact, when the circumstances are right, simplifying the celebration allows the love to flourish.


Here is a view of our family room Saturday afternoon before the show, complete with a little ballerina who had time to relax with some quiet time before the performance.


Friends Neil and Hailey Scott joined us after the show for coffee and dessert. It was so nice to enjoy a leisurely evening together, and no one seemed to mind one bit that this year's party was simple and store-bought. Lounging on the sofa enjoying laughter, cake and a reprise of this year's sibling number, I realized that just being together was what made our special evening ballerina perfect.

"Dancing with the feet is one thing, but dancing with the heart is another." ~ Author Unknown


Louise Michie said...

I belong to a choir who sing big time. Not associated with any church; we sing with symphony orchestras and opera singers. Now you have the setting; sorry about the boasting. How do we celebrate? We have After Parties. Definitely the best way to go. Let the hair down without causing any friction. Relax and release. No deadlines. We usually, but not always, go to someone's house and chat etc. You definitely did the right thing having an After Party for your girls.

Anonymous said...

Good for you that you celebrated even without the handmade, homemade. I learned that it's about the love we share. People forget the food that was served, but they never forget the time that was shared. :) Congratulations to your little ballerinas! I am sure it was still a spectacular party!

Rach said...

Everything looks beautiful! Love the chocolate shavings on the cake.

Bellenza Bistro said...

So sweet of you to make such a lovely memory for your daughters! Mom deserves a big hug!

Donna S. said...

As a working mom who has been following your blog for years, I can appreciate the mental difficulty in not having everything exactly as you want it! I love that you shared this on your blog. It is very honest and I could completely identify!!

Cindy said...

What a great celebration! I know exactly what you mean about the "homemade everything" for parties...thanks for giving me a new insight. I think what you said is SO true....I'm the one that thinks I have to do it all...not my family. I'm sure they would prefer me more as the happy, relaxed mom rather than the stressed out one trying to "get it all done". Your children are so blessed to have you. :)

Jessica Mosley said...

Just wanted to let you know that your past ballet recital parties were inspiration for my daughter's first ballet recital afterparty. We had ballet shoe cookies, cream puff swans, pavlova, veggie crudites, punch, cupcakes and spinach dip and cheeseball with crackers. It was so much fun to put together and everyone loved the ballet themed desserts!!!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Oh, this is just gorgeous. You make everything SO special. Great job on those beautiful desserts and decor!



Nancy Carr said...

Everything is absolutely beautiful and looks yummy, too. A great celebration.

Bonnie said...

Beautiful celebration for your ballerina. I think you were smart to buy the cakes. No one will remember who made the cakes just how pretty everything was and the celebration.

Katie Clooney said...

Gorgeous photos. I am always guaranteed some eye candy when I tune into your lovely blog!!!

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