I am so pleased and happy to share with you a brief history of myself and an explanation of what inspired me to produce a short film on formal dining. It all started at the beginning. My traditional upbringing in Savannah, Georgia, one of the oldest and most charming cities of the South and my rich heritage as one of the founding families of our country gave me the historical background and confidence to move forward in todayís turbulent world.
From the Manner Born, Old World
Fortunately, I had the opportunity to receive my college education in Europe in the late 1960s. From the 1970s and into the Ď90s I found myself intrigued in the fashion industry as a former assistant editor at Vogue Magazine, a former editor at Harperís Bazaar and former marketing director at Beauty Fashion Magazine in New York City. I have experienced many career changes from French to fashion to interior design, and now I am teaching etiquette. I knew fashion, design, writing, and French were passions of mine, but etiquette is something that was embedded in my lifestyle as a very young child in Savannah. Growing up in the South, there really was only one choice: good manners. My parents always taught me the soft and pretty social graces for survival in this crazy and fast-moving world. Often, they would repeat that a thank you alone is not enough, a thank you must be sincere and meaningful. I can vividly remember as a child, my motherís last words at the front door before leaving home: ďMind your manners. Donít forget your good manners and if you are not well-mannered - you will never be invited back to your friendís house.Ē Itís very simple! Be kind and well-mannered. And, now as a mother of my own two daughters, I still never ever would have imagined that I would be teaching an etiquette program of my own design to children. Never count options out in life!
Now before I go any further, I need to explain why I have luxuriously produced this short film. Fifteen years ago I started a childrenís etiquette and ballroom dancing program. I began this adorable program after I left my own wonderful home in Bronxville, New York. My family and I moved our lives to Naples, Florida, and regrettably the timing interrupted my oldest daughterís experience continuing a cotillion program in New York. As a result, when we arrived in Naples, I quickly noticed that there was no cotillion offered to children in Southwest Florida. Consequently, I did not want my oldest daughter to miss out on her last two years, not to mention my youngest daughter needed to attend as well! So with lots of energy and bravery, I started my own classes of childrenís etiquette and ballroom dancing. Now after 15 years of fabulous success and fun, my program has expanded and offers a six-course dining program that walks you through a six-course formal dinner. With the new dining etiquette addition, many parents whose children could not attend because of extreme distance would approach me and strongly suggest putting my class onto DVD. So I did it!
Grace & Lifestyle
In general, I would love to remind everyone that with todayís troubled and uncivilized world more than ever, we must begin to groom ourselves and our children to create a more polite society. I feel it is a parentís duty to instill social graces in our own children that new generations must learn as part of everyday life, such as politeness, kindness, respect, poise, trust, consideration for others and simply being well-mannered. Remember the importance of attractiveness and to behave well in any circumstance that we may face in society. Without a presence, you do not have credence to be heard in society. Of course, there are celebrities who are exceptions to this rule. Also, as a first impression and a lasting one, it is so important to be well dressed and have a tidy appearance to deliver your message to the business world, media or in personal life. I firmly believe that modern ladies and gentlemen who have proper social graces and values will be comfortable in any place and with any one, the world over. Truly, academic brilliance is not the only solution to high achievements in your personal life or in the business world. Being polite is magical. These social graces make us part of a very privileged society. Kindness is a life style.
Delightfully, we now have a beautiful and pleasing film of formal dining with
fabulous style. I was able to put the elegant experience and fun dinner party
onto DVD to share with everyone. The excitement is to have this extraordinary
learning tool in every homeís library across the nation. Itís the best, and
donít miss the chance.