Category Archives: Cotillion Photography

All About Cotillion

You may have heard of cotillion but wondered what it entails. It came to America around 1772 and is alive and well today.

We photograph our local Cotillion spring balls each year. There are seven balls with approximately 130 participants at each ball over the course of two days. The balls are the culmination of a six week course where students are taught how to be respectful, polite members of their communities.  It’s about looking someone in the eye when you speak to them, holding the door for the person walking in behind you, and asking someone who’s standing alone at a party to dance.

The word cotillion was first used in 18th-century France and England to describe a dance choreographed for four couples at a ball. Today, cotillion is typically a season of etiquette classes for middle-school-aged children that ends with a final dinner dance where they get to show off what they’ve learned.

Most of the attendees are around twelve years old in our area. They learn the waltz, fox trot, cha cha and other ballroom dances. They also learn how to greet others with a handshake and a proper “hello.” Table etiquette is another subject covered in the course. Using good manners is a continuous theme throughout Cotillion.

The first rule of cotillion etiquette is to abide by the dress code of your local cotillion class. The dress code usually requires a dress and gloves for girls and jackets ties for boys each week. Boys must have their hair combed, shoes polished, and fingernails clipped. Chewing gum at cotillion is a cardinal sin.

Check out this link to find out more about Cotillion in your area.

The formal pics below are a sample of those that were taken by Kurt Nelson, Innovative Images, during the recent Dallas area Cotillion Balls.