The tradition of the cotillion

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The tradition of the cotillion

Kaylan Ware

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A debutante is a young woman making her formal entrance to society, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

This debut occurs at a cotillion.

“Debutante ball is a celebration of a lot of people getting together to celebrate their daughters’ sort of entrance into the adult world,” Margaret Hedberg, director and general chairman of the International Debutante Ball, told ABC News.

Cotillions are balls held to present debutantes to their community. The traditional event represents coming of age. After multiple months of practice and bonding experiences, a group of young women and their escorts impress a crowd of formally dressed individuals with the waltz. The fathers of the debutantes also have the opportunity of dancing with their daughters. This dance is viewed highly as it’s typically the most formal father-daughter dance prior to marriage.

On Saturday, March 19, 2016, the Forever Pink Foundation, Inc. hosted its thirty-first debutante cotillion at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. The debutantes, all high school seniors, were able to spend nearly five months together in rehearsal and bonding activities.

On Saturday, March 19, 2016, the Forever Pink Foundation, Inc. hosted its thirty-first debutante cotillion at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. The debutantes, all high school seniors, were able to spend nearly five months together in rehearsal and bonding activities.

The overall experience is purely educational. The process signifies young ladies entering adulthood. They participate in etiquette lessons, community service and social outings. Mother-daughter teas and father-daughter luncheons allow understanding and connections to form between the group of girls that were possibly once strangers to each other.

In addition to being presented as mature young women, the debutantes are eligible for scholarship awards. These scholarships can be awarded based on GPA, decided major or even community service involvement. Both debutantes and their escorts are able to win scholarships.

The debutante cotillion is an event whose significance is held highly throughout communities. It provides multiple opportunities for young ladies and men to develop socially and be awarded for their work in and outside of school.

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