10 12 2009


I went to a cotillion this past weekend and it reminded me of all the fun that I had with my cotillion. It was my family friend’s (they were our old neighbors). They used to take care of us when we were little. They’ve been to both me and my sister’s cotillions before and now it was time for us to celebrate with them. A cotillion is basically the debut of a girl into society as a woman upon her 18th birthday. Planning a cotillion takes months and you spend a great deal of money to prepare for it. I think for my cotillion, we spent around $25,000, that’s basically a brand new car, but I know others who have spent way more on theirs. The cotillion I attended this past weekend was extravagant. It was held in a hotel in Napa Valley. Usually a cotillion is held in a banquet hall or in the ballroom of a hotel. You invite all our family and friends to celebrate with you. Usually, there is the debutant, the one celebrating her birthday, her escort and 16 of her closest friends in her entourage, with a totally of 9 couples. The cotillion court prepares months in advance to perform dances to show in front of the guests. It doesn’t matter the amount of dances you do. The cotillion I went to had 3 dances that were taught to them by a family member. For my cotillion, we hired a choreographer who we’ve worked with before during my friend’s cotillion and so he gave us a discount and I was still able to have 4 dances with one being a medley of dances. For each dance, the girls of the court have a different dress. The debutant though changes more times than that. For my cotillion, I had changed 6 times. I had my big white dress as my entrance and for the father daughter dance, another for the Waltz, another for the medley, another for the broadway number, another for my 18 candles and roses, and another for a performance I did with my flag team. In a cotillion there is the 18 candles and roses. Here, the 18 candles are women and they are paired with the 18 roses who are men. Each rose comes up in the middle of the dance floor and dances with the debutant while the candle is on the microphone wishing the debutant a happy birthday and words of encouragement or even just funny memories they’ve had with her. The next couple comes up while the other candle goes and lights the cake. After all of it is done, the debutant blows out her candles after the birthday song is sung. Other cotillions I’ve been too had 18 wishes, 18 balloons, and 18 gifts as well. But after the father daughter dance, all the dances of the entourage, dinner, slide show, entertainment, and candles and roses,  there’s dancing at the end. Family and friends can come up on the dance floor and enjoy themselves by dancing to music and having a big dance party at the end. All the while, the videographer and the photographer are capturing priceless memories of the night. Another good thing about having a cotillion (for the debutant at least) is all the gifts and money you get! I got nearly $10,000 plus other gifts i.e. Tiffany’s jewelry, gift cards, etc. and you get to keep it for yourself!


Father Daughter Dance

my cake

me and my escort

cotillion entourage




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