Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Guest Post:: How to Perform a Soul's Curtsy, by Heather Dixon


While I was writing "Entwined," I spent a lot of time studying Victorian dances and etiquette. I remember reading one funny piece: When a well-born girl came of age, she had to present herself to Queen Victoria, do a flawless curtsy, and then back out of the room gracefully. The only problem with this was their of-age dresses had long, long trains, and it was impossible to back out without tripping over them. Girls lost sleep just thinking about it.

Reading that inspired the "Soul's Curtsy," a curtsy so deep and graceful it must be practiced several years to be perfected. Azalea, the main character in Entwined, teaches her sisters how it is done. And, as Aubrey was kind enough to let me guest post, the visitors to My Pile of Books can learn how to do it, too.

How to perform a Soul's Curtsy (with pictures):

First: Touch your right toe out in front of you, then trace it in a wide semi-circle behind yourself.

Bend your left knee so you are lowering yourself as the right leg moves.

As you are lowering yourself, tuck your left arm behind your back, and raise your right arm out in front of you.

When your right leg reaches 8 o'clock, you should be low enough to shift your weight to it and bring your left foot out in front of you. This is the trickiest part of the curtsy--you are basically folding yourself up, and it must be done gracefully.

Meanwhile, your right arm is offered up to the gentleman, your face is nearly kissing your knee, and your right leg is folded underneath you like a pretzel.

You look absolutely gorgeous!

Here's a side view of it:

Now you can try it at home! If you dare. As far as I know they don't make curtsy-shaped coffins, so proceed with care. Especially as a Soul's Curtsy, when done as gracefully as Azalea, can render a gentleman completely speechless.

**Thank you SO much Heather! I absolutely adore your illustrations and your book! I hope all of our readers are as excited for this one as I am!


Randi said...

ha ha this is too cute!

Rae said...

uh curtsy shaped coffins????
my friend and i have been trying to learn this but always end up collapsing rather ungracefully. At least we still have a few years till getting married... :)

Anonymous said...

Lovely! To quote Bramble, "Now that's a curtsy." That right there is something worth learning!
By the way, might I ask how to dance the Entwine? I love the description in the book, and I'd like a visual demonstration!

Anonymous said...

so cool! i read the book and wanted to learn to do it and this helped a lot. i still can't do it though. i am extremely clumsy. but i really want to learn the entwine though.

Anonymous said...

OMG I would love to try this. I do ballet and jazz... I wonder how it will turn out...

Michaela said...

So cool! I agree with Anonymous, I would love to learn the Entwine!!

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to try this!!! Please tell us how to dance the Entwine!!! :)

kaylee aber said...

Pleas emake and Entwine! I can`t figure out how to do the Soul`s curtsy without doing the splits or having to wait a minute to switch the weight!

Elise said...

Oh! I am freaking out! I would love to see the Entwine, too! Ah!!!!!