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So, This is Your First Recital

Forget-Me-Not: Tips for Recital Flowers

“Nutcracker” and Holiday Recital Season is nearly here! As our girls focus on their steps, it’s time for us parents and other assorted guests to do our share of preparing for the Big Recital Day — in this case, that means get your flowers now. Trust me.

Flowers are a Dance Tradition

London is the center of floral gifts to female ballet dancers — there’s strict social mores surrounding this act. According to The New York Times, the tradition of flowers for ballerinas dates back to the 1930s, when ballerinas were poorly paid so the audience gifted them with flowers, food, and other trinkets to thank them for their performance. Flowers were even hurled onstage in grand piles, sometimes pelting the dancers. 

Modern Flowers for Modern Girl Dancers

Nowadays, we gift flowers to our daughters after the recital — and never throw them onstage following the performance (unless that’s a specific tradition of your studio, of course!). But, adding flowers to your already-long “To Do” list can be just one more thing you forget, which is why many dance studios offer a flower package so parents can simply make the purchase and the studio volunteers will do the rest (seriously, DO THIS if your studio offers it!).

Put Someone in Charge

For our daughter’s first performance, the flowers became something else to worry about. Our beautiful girl was getting up there to dance for the first time in front of a crowd, and we wanted her to remember the night by receiving a beautiful bouquet at the end. So, of course it became the ultimate issue. I was at the venue helping my daughter get dressed, and I asked my husband to pick up a bouquet on his way to the recital. But, between the chaos of getting our 2-year-old son ready for the recital and getting lost on the drive, my husband not only MISSED her first performance, but he also forgot the flowers. Thankfully, we can laugh about it now, but we just felt like a failure at the time!

How NOT to Forget the Flowers

Now that we’re seasoned dance performance pros (or, just good at correcting our past mistakes!), we know to pick up a small bouquet the night before the recital. Leave them in your refrigerator so they stay fresh, and bring them with you to the recital. The best part — if you forget (it’s going to happen!) they’ll still be there waiting for you in the fridge when you get home. I promise you; your daughter will NOT be scarred for life if you forget!  

Remember how we neglected to give the gift of flowers for the first recital? Our daughter didn’t even notice! All she wanted to do post-recital was head home, change into cozy jammies, and watch Elena of Avalor all snuggled up on the couch.

Ultimately, flowers are probably a bigger deal for the families than for the girls. But the gesture is a dance tradition and can be worked out ahead of time to ensure your girl feels like the most beautiful ballerina that she is.