The only real downside to the party was that they stuck us in the "ghetto" studio, most likely because they didn't want little girls with plates of cake wrecking up their floors during Nutcracker rehearsal season. Due to Nutcracker rehearsals, they only gave us thirty minutes to set up...that meant no extravagant decorations.
But you know what? The roomful of little girls was so excited to get their party on that they could have cared less about whether or not the food coordinated with the decor or the fact that we only had a few balloons. They had a blast!
The tablecloths (plastic), plates, and napkins came from Wal-Mart. The banner came from Target, as did the paper decorations, which came in a party pack with all sorts of punch-outs, including a runner and placemats. The "centerpiece" (I use that term loosely- remember, we only had thirty minutes!) was one of the girls' dress-up tutus and my old pointe shoes from my dancing days.
The cake is another story, entirely. I normally make my own cupcakes, but wanted to keep this party as low-stress as possible since I had an event the night before. I ordered it from a well-known "high end" grocery bakery and ended up with something my dog very well could have decorated. I won't be ordering from them again.
The young ladies who served as instructors kept the girls busy the entire time with stretches, simple ballet exercises, moving across the floor, solos, and dance games!
Pass the slipper! (Hot Potato)
The only party time the studio could give me was right in the middle of lunch hour, so we had a pizza picnic...right on the dance floor! A $1 plastic tablecloth and runners/decorations from the Target party pack made a perfect picnic- for lunch and cake!
We all love presents...
And what did my girls wear?
Natalie and Michaela Byrd already had tights and ballet slippers; and the tutu Michaela Byrd wore is one that her aunt SuSu gave her a couple of years ago. I found the pink leotards cheap at Wal-Mart (Danskin) and the leg warmers are from Target. They are able to wear the leg warmers to ballet class, so we've gotten our money's worth out of them! Natalie's tutu is from Harper's Hat Box, and the headband is actually mine-- from Nikycole. Both are fabulously easy to work with!
This was the first birthday party that we've had outside our home. Lots of dance studios offer children's birthday parties as a way for their older students to gain teaching experience (and make some extra money).
While it hurt to pay for the studio time and teachers, the extra cost was worth it to me this year because it meant I didn't have to stress about decorating my home for Christmas and a birthday party in the short week after Thanksgiving. I paid for the studio time over the course of several months, so we didn't have to shell out $$$ the week of the party. Clearly, we also saved with decorations. Because it was a drop-off party, we also didn't have to worry about providing food for adults, which was a plus!
No, it is not the fanciest party you'll ever see...but the birthday girl looked pretty pleased, don't you think?
And that's really all that matters, isn't it?
Linking to Tatertots and Jello