Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Presents Debutantes

Margaret Hood and William Langhenry lead a procession of debutantes and escorts at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Presentation Ball on Feb. 2 at the Meyerson Symphony Center. (Staff photo: Allison Slomowitz)

By KARLEY OSBORN/Park Cities People

It happened 47 times on Feb. 2 at the Meyerson Symphony Center, but never failed to inspire wild applause. A bouquet of hydrangeas clutched near the empire waist of a tufted gown; arms swept out in an embrace of the audience, then pulled into a perfectly level “T”; a sip of air to prepare for the high-heeled slide toward the stage; and finally, that long-awaited bow of a softly-curled coif toward the front row. This is the Texas Dip — the moment when, after emerging from a curtsy lower than a prima ballerina’s, a Dallas Symphony Orchestra League debutante enters the present-tense of societal presentation.

Though each girl executed the same Jan Strimple-designed choreography after being escorted to center stage, individual song choices kept the evening from feeling uniform. Selections ranged from Alexandra Burnett’s “Dixie” to Lauren Carrozza’s “Moon River.” After descending the steps arm-in-arm with an escort, each freshly presented femme could hardly contain her excitement — take Emily Early, for example, who enthusiastically whispered “We did it, we did it!” to John Jenkins before exiting the auditorium, all-smiles. Others, such as Alexandra Frankel, lingered before abandoning the glow of the stage lights. “I want to watch. … She’s my best friend!” Alexandra said before cheering for Kathryn Furlow.

With so many girls frosted in cupcake-style dresses (Madison Hassell’s billowing skirt, Molly Mohr’s flower-strewn layers, and the explosion of tulle beneath Jessica Jones’ drop-waist beaded bodice come to mind), the final lineup of guards and gals gave the stage the appearance of being overtaken by an assembly of cake-toppers. While ball chair Kay Weeks (lovely in a blue frock designed by gown check-in chair Patti Flowers) missed the applause of husband Peter Weeks (get this: a pesky bout with appendicitis kept him from seeing her year-long endeavor come to fruition), there were more than a few supporters making music with claps and cheers. Adding to the symphony of sound: Sharon Barbee, Lisa and Kendall Laughlin, Natalie and Mike McGuire, Patsy Donosky, Susan and Jim Duggan, Gene and Jerry Jones, Cynthia and Brice Beaird, and Sarah and Mark Hardin.

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