1888 Marlsgate Social Academy

Welcome.  It is our honor to continue the legacy created in our family over 50 years ago of sharing experiences and etiquette in the Social Graces.

Our intention is to be inclusive and to teach with integrity.

Portions of our program will be available year-round, and privately by request.

We also intend to extend “day” hours to our home school community in order to fit well into their very successful curriculum; and to our business community, to fill their need for professional training and experiences for their staff.

The Cotillion component of our program will present our students with a structured social experience that allows them to both learn and “practice” their new skills in a safe, beautiful setting with peers from across Central Arkansas.

We invite you to look over these pages, and complete an online form with your level of interest and your questions:    


The hallmark of Social Graces is confidence and kindness.  We hope to share an experience that will change lives and create a genuine community of grace.

Martha Ellen and Beau Talbot 

3rd Grade & 4th Grade

Social Etiquette:

  • How to accept compliments
  • How to share the spotlight
  • How to use a social filter
  • How to make a good first impression
  • How to be a good friend
  • How to be helpful
  • How to be a grateful receiver of gifts
  • Introduction skills
  • Proper handshake

Dining Etiquette:

  • How to set a table
  • How to order with a clear strong voice
  • How to use a napkin
  • Tricky Foods: soup, spaghetti
  • Passing and serving food
  • Making choices and ordering from a menu
  • Appropriate bites and proper chewing of food
  • Quiet feet and hands at the table
  • Dining at home vs. dining in public

5th Grade & 6th Grade

Social Etiquette:

  • How to properly introduce
  • The proper way to extend and accept an invitation
  • Courtesy in public places
  • Conversation skills
  • First impressions
  • Proper sitting and standing positions
  • Thank you notes
  • Cell phone manners
  • Sportsmanship

Dining Etiquette:

  • Host/Guest Responsibilities
  • American vs. Continental utensil use
  • Party Foods: finger and buffet
  • Entering and including others in conversation
  • Appropriate table conversation
  • How to treat servers with respect and courtesy
  • Use of each utensil; including proper holding, cutting, and resting positions
  • How to properly set a table

Middle, Junior, & High School

Social Graces Etiquette:

Dining etiquette

  • Image consultancy, including style and beauty
  • Elegant social skills
  • Graceful movements; sitting, standing, and walking
  • How to gain confidence in any social situation
  • Conservation etiquette at social events
  • Mastering effective eye contact and body language
  • Posture instruction; poised and polished to perfection
  • Social graces; dos and don’ts of society
  • Social media, email, and phone manners
  • Master social networking

Dating etiquette

  • Hosting 101; how t be the perfect host(ess) or guest in any situation
  • Social events etiquette; weddings, showers, and beyond
  • Sophisticated verbiage
  • How to walk properly in heels
  • Getting I and out of cars correctly
  • Dress codes; from black tie to casual
  • How to deal with bad manners

Dancing Etiquette:

  • Work with a professional dance instructor for a 45-minute “Intro to Classic Dance” course, including a private lesson covering the Waltz, Foxtrot, Salsa, and Merengue
  • What to wear to dance; from formal to casual
  • Understand the proper etiquette behind classic dance instruction
  • Learn the history of classic dance and how it’s relevant today

Formal Afternoon Tea Instruction:

  • Tea for two
  • Enjoy learning about the age-old British tradition of tea etiquette and social dos and don’ts over a delicious setting of tea, sandwiches, and cakes
  • Learn the history of afternoon tea
  • How to drink tea and hold a teacup properly
  • Learn & taste the difference between teas such as black and green
  • How to host a tea party
  • Dressing for formal afternoon tea
  • Become perfectly poised and feel ready for your next invitation to tea for two
  • Formal tea booking at 1888 Marlsgate (additional costs)

College, Adult, & Professional

Wedding Etiquette:

  • Wedding day timeline; achieving the perfect day
  • Cocktail etiquette
  • Dining etiquette
  • Toasting; how to make the perfect toast
  • Speech 101; getting the speech of your life right
  • Wedding day dos and don’ts
  • Dress to impress; finding the perfect dress
  • Precedence; seating and table plans
  • Paper perfect; invitations, save the dates, and thank you cards
  • Thinking of your guests; what they expect / gift registry etiquette
  • Optional dance classes with your partner (added fee)
  • Optional dress/tux/suit and tailor appointments (added fee)

Business Etiquette:

  • Greeting people and shaking hands
  • First impressions
  • Doors and coats
  • Welcoming guests
  • Introductions
  • Transportation etiquette
  • Receiving lines
  • Business correspondence
  • Job interviews
  • Business gifts
  • Dress codes for business, social, and formal events
  • Preparation and attending a business meeting

Dining Etiquette:

  • Business luncheons and dinners
  • A step-by-step guide to a formal five and seven-course meal
  • Continental, Asian, and American dining
  • Refreshments and hors d’oeuvres
  • Preparation of meal functions
  • Arranging head table, selecting menus, server instructions, finer bowls, etc.
  • Dinner protocol regarding hosts, hostesses, guests of honor, ranking of diplomats
  • Choosing China and Silver services
  • Invitations
  • Escorting
  • Seating Arrangements
  • Place cards, menu cards
  • Formal receiving lines