Sunday, February 15, 2015

Social Graces Sunday

Ms. Henri Price.  Mama always said she was the prissiest little lady in Augusta.  She was the first person to teach me social graces.  An institution in Augusta, Georgia, Ms. Price and Ms. Mary Davis (who scared the living daylights out of me) operated Henri Price Academy.  I attended tap dancing with them when I was just a little girl and in the 8th grade I started Social Dancing classes with my partner Thurmond Norville, Jr. (Of course our parents got us together).  I didn't know then that I would spend four years in Social, go on to Cotillion, and then to be an Assistant to Ms. Price.  


Ms. Henri Price

We started Social at an awkward age and the girls were seated on one side of the studio and the boys on the other.  White gloves, closed-toe shoes, and stockings were de rigueur for the girls and neckties and sport coats were a must for the boys.  We learned standard ballroom dancing...how to waltz, fox trot, and cha cha cha (just in case we might ever appear on "Dancing With the Stars")!  We also learned about the importance of good posture and other social graces.

From the start of each season, we trained for the Christmas Formal and the traditional Spring Formal, which was held at the gigantic-to-me-then Bell Auditorium.

 Dance cards were given to ladies to record the name of gentlemen to whom they had promised dances.  The little cards were attached with ribbons and we wore them around our wrist.


White gloves were worn to also disguise our damp, nervous palms!




Ms. Price and Ms. Davis have both passed away but I think it's wonderful that today the tradition is continued by one of her former students who now owns and operates Social, Inc.  

Photo property of Social Inc.

The National League of Junior Cotillions also offers social dancing and etiquette programs.






These programs teach young people the importance of social graces...life skills they will use for the rest of their lives!

19 comments:

bevy said...

Love it! Now BOTH boys are in Social. S is in Cotillion and J is in his first year. Did you know that someone in Cotillion has created a David McLeod Twitter feed?! It really is quite clever...

Miss Janice said...

Bevy,
I will look for that twitter feed. Thanks!

Beaufort Belle said...

Miss Brooke was a member of the NLJC for 3 years and then served as an assistant to the local chapter for 3 years in high school. I think it is an invaluable institution for children today.

Monique Lehnhardt said...

Lovely. We had Miss De la Houssay's charm and deportment class. I don't remember a thing from Geometry but Miss D's words of wisdom are etched on my brain forever.

Caroline said...

Miss Janice, what a thoroughly wonderful post. I so enjoyed reading it and exploring the links. As an English lady who was grounded in the English way of presentation, I loved and thoroughly enjoyed watching The National League of Junior Cotillions video on their website. I was rather shocked though at the hairstyles of some of the young girls, loose and flowing didn't really look correct. The girls with beautiful up-do's and the styles which were curled and pulled back from their faces looked so much more correct and formal for such an important event. Please do more posts like this, I loved it.

Caroline said...

Hello Bevy. Please could you give the link to the David Mcleod twitter feed. There are so many 'David McLeod's' it's hard to know which is is! Thank you.

Miss Janice said...

What is the twitter name?

Kathie Truitt said...

Both of my children did cotillion. I wish this curriculum was taught in school rooms across America.

Farrah said...

Very neat!

AngelaV said...

My daughter is in Cotilion right now. The Spring ball is coming up!

Dana said...

I love this post. What a beautiful tradition, so glad it continues on.

Miss Janice said...

Yes it is.

Miss Janice said...

Wonderful!

Miss Janice said...

Yes ma'am!

Miss Janice said...

Totally agree Kathie!

Miss Janice said...

From everything that I have heard, the Jr Cotillion is a wonderful organization.

Miss Janice said...

The most important things...

Miss Janice said...

I'm still praying for Miss Brooke!

bevy said...

@Mr_McLeod is the Twitter Name... Enjoy! 💃