How the Texas Dip Became a Fixture in the Debutante World
It’s long been a treasured Southern tradition for young women to make their introduction to society via a debutante ball. There, these women can show off their deep understanding of proper etiquette, society, and socialization. But, there’s one more thing Texas ladies must master before making their debut: The Texas Dip.
According to D Magazine, the Texas Dip has murky origins but likely made its own debut sometime around 1909 by the famed ballerina Anna Pavlova. The maneuver quickly became a mainstay of the Texas debutante scene, however, it’s a move that truly takes work to understand.
In total, D Magazine explained, the move takes about 20 seconds to perform. It begins with the woman lifting her arms in front of her to shoulder height, then extending them out to her sides. From there, she points her right toe out to 12 o’clock, slowly tracing it to 7 o’clock, ending with her right foot behind her left. Next, comes the hardest part, where she must lower to a “pretzel-like” seated position while keeping her back straight and arms extended. Then, she must gracefully bow forward, while maintaining eye contact with her audience, smile, drop her head, and stand up once again.
But, really, how hard could this move be? Well, just look to Houston Magazine’s description, which reads, “Unlike the St. James Bow, this move requires strength in addition to grace. The deb, wearing high heels, shouldn’t falter, wobble, or trip on her dress.”
Perhaps because of its difficulty, but more so for its beauty, the move has become a pillar for Texas debutantes making their debut in the state, or even at the world-famous International ball held each year at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.
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“Every duchess and debutante wants to do it right,” Gerry Hornstein, an instructor of the dip, told Coastal Monthly. “I tell them to do their very best. I try to make them feel comfortable and not to worry too much.”
In truth, you may think the dip is silly, however, it’s ridiculously hard to master and can take months to perfect. Think you can do it? Go ahead and try it yourself, we’ll wait…