WOW! Learn how to be a Southern Belle at the 1861 Athenaeum Girls' School in Columbia TN

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Belle Montgomery

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They made a documentary film about the school and here's their site but seems it's hard to find a copy even thought PBS was to air it: If you go to this site there is a five 1/2 minute long preview of the film:

http://southernbellefilm.com/



SCHOOL WEBSITE (classes up to 2020) :

http://www.1861girlsschool.com/Girls_School/Home.html

Site sample: Step back in time to experience a bygone era. Each summer since 1991, girls aged 14-19 from around the country have come to Columbia, Tennessee to experience the year 1861. The 1861 Girls School is a week-long summer camp that strives to share a love of history and a more genteel time with its students. The grace and beauty of the week and the lessons of how to be a lady can be life-changing, and the friendships made are long-lasting.


The camp is set in an authentic plantation home amid 300 acres of beautiful Tennessee farmland. Driving towards the house feels like stepping back in time, as modern sites are left behind.


The week culminates with commencement exercises and a Grand Ball where the ladies are escorted by the gentlemen of the Jackson College Cadets.


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Dates for upcoming weeks:

2018 - July 7-13

2019 - June 22-28

2020 - July 11-17

Please proceed to the other pages to find out more dear Reader......


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http://www.1861girlsschool.com/Girls_School/Home.html
 
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luinrina

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Interesting! And such beautiful dresses. :smile:

Does anyone know if it was common for women to curtsy that deep? There are two instances in the first video above too where women are sinking that low to the ground. I always thought the curtsy was much more subtle and that only royalty was greeted with a deep curtsy.
 
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Belle Montgomery

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Interesting! And such beautiful dresses. :smile:


Does anyone know if it was common for women to curtsy that deep? There are two instances in the first video above too where women are sinking that low to the ground. I always thought the curtsy was much more subtle and that only royalty was greeted with a deep curtsy.
Good question! :thumbsup:
 
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Zack

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Does anyone know if it was common for women to curtsy that deep?
I myself had this question and did a little cursory googling. It looks like the women are performing the "Texas Dip." Wikipedia describes it as:
The Texas dip is a form of elaborate curtsey and prostration performed in Texas during debutante balls. It involves the woman extending her arms completely to either side and lowering herself fully so that one knee touches the floor while simultaneously bowing her head to the side so that her left ear touches her lap. The Texas dip is believed to have originated in about 1909.

This blog post also discusses it: http://etiquipedia.blogspot.com/2013/11/etiquette-of-debuts-debutantes-and.html
And here's a vimeo video:

Another page on that same blog quotes an article from 1912:
One foot should he placed in advance of the other, usually the right, while the weight of the body is divided between the two, unless a forward or backward movement is to follow, when the body should be so slightly poised that the weight can be shifted from one foot to the other without the shifting becoming noticeable.

With the body thus lightly poised, so that no effort is required to lift it or lower it, it should first be raised by standing on the tips of the toes, when the body should be bent in a long, sweeping, graceful bow.

When making a formal curtsey the body is lowered until it almost touches the floor. Less formal ones are graded according to the depth of the bow or the bending of the body. As the knees are bent, and the body slips toward the floor, the head should be inclined and then lifted again as the standing position is resumed.

http://etiquipedia.blogspot.com/2016/05/curtsey-etiquette-and-art.html

This 1942 video off Getty shows a recreation of antebellum life with deep but not quite to the floor curtseys when the gates are first opened and during the wedding procession: https://www.gettyimages.dk/detail/video/two-young-women-wearing-antebellum-gowns-open-the-gates-news-footage/502798113?language=fr

None of this definitively answers whether it is period correct or not, unfortunately. If anyone could scrounge up a diary from the era in which someone describes the curtsey that would be the real kicker.
 

Cavalry Charger

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The Texas dip is a form of elaborate curtsey and prostration performed in Texas during debutante balls
Was thinking it reminded me of a 'debutante' ball, especially the white dresses. Nice, and I'm sure the young ladies were glad to have a young man at their side to help them up again, though they look pretty capable of doing it on their own also.
 
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Mrs. V

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They made a documentary film about the school and here's their site but seems it's hard to find a copy even thought PBS was to air it: If you go to this site there is a five 1/2 minute long preview of the film:

http://southernbellefilm.com/



SCHOOL WEBSITE (classes up to 2020) :

http://www.1861girlsschool.com/Girls_School/Home.html

Site sample: Step back in time to experience a bygone era. Each summer since 1991, girls aged 14-19 from around the country have come to Columbia, Tennessee to experience the year 1861. The 1861 Girls School is a week-long summer camp that strives to share a love of history and a more genteel time with its students. The grace and beauty of the week and the lessons of how to be a lady can be life-changing, and the friendships made are long-lasting.


The camp is set in an authentic plantation home amid 300 acres of beautiful Tennessee farmland. Driving towards the house feels like stepping back in time, as modern sites are left behind.


The week culminates with commencement exercises and a Grand Ball where the ladies are escorted by the gentlemen of the Jackson College Cadets.


unknown.jpg


IMG_2664.jpg

unknown_1.jpg



Dates for upcoming weeks:

2018 - July 7-13

2019 - June 22-28

2020 - July 11-17

Please proceed to the other pages to find out more dear Reader......


cid-5386AEDB-B253-4CB2-B13C-6617D043B605.jpg








http://www.1861girlsschool.com/Girls_School/Home.html
I think we need to have an adult version of this...I’d go, expecially if we could have a side saddle lesson! And of choice of handsome dashing male escorts of course! (Hey, I may be married, but I ain’t dead!)
 
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luinrina

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Thanks for the info, video and links, @Zack !

Armed with that knowledge, I searched google and found that the Texas Dip is apprently a twist of the less dramatic St. James Bow which originates from England and which the debutantes in Victorian era used for their ball and for curtseying to the queen. (link)

This 1942 video off Getty shows a recreation of antebellum life with deep but not quite to the floor curtseys when the gates are first opened and during the wedding procession: https://www.gettyimages.dk/detail/v...-the-gates-news-footage/502798113?language=fr
The curtsey at the gate at the beginning of the vid, maybe that is the St. James Bow. It looks similar to the Texas Dip but doesn't go down as low as what the girls are learning in the summer camp. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find a video for a St. James Bow.

There are two younger girls curtseying at about 0:30 when entering a room. That's how I always thought a nice curtsey looks like. And it looks like the one Kate and Meghan do when greeting Queen Elizabeth.

I think we need to have an adult version of this...I’d go, expecially if we could have a side saddle lesson! And of choice of handsome dashing male escorts of course! (Hey, I may be married, but I ain’t dead!)
Check out their website. They apparently do have lessons on how to ride side saddle. At least there are a couple of pics with girls on a horse riding side saddle.

They also have classes on penmanship, art and needle work - and dancing lessons of course.

I would take the adult version too - and I don't need to keep my hands to myself 'cause I'm not married. :D
 
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