Cotillion Charm

Cayman Hupp and Jessica Gonzales with the Charlotte Chapter of National League of Junior Cotillions dance during the opening Waltz at the end of the year European Ball, April 21 at Boca Royale Golf and Country Club in Englewood.

Seventh- and eighth-grade students participating in the Charlotte Harbor Chapter of the National League of Junior Cotillions program wrapped up their second season with the European Ball.

The event was April 21 at the Boca Royale Golf and Country Club, Englewood, centrally located for students and their families who come from Venice, North Port, Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda.

During the European Ball, a king and queen are chosen by the chaperones, rated on their cotillion characteristics and qualities of etiquette, dining manners, dance and overall courtesy and respect to others in the program.

This year’s king, Eli Westby, a seventh-grader at Punta Gorda Middle School, was crowned mid-way through the ball by the chapter director, Laurie Coventry-Payne.

Eli then had the honor of crowning his queen, Allie Rainey, a seventh-grader at St. Charles Borromeo in Port Charlotte.

For the Season II students, the year included instructional dinners and ballroom dance lessons, Winter Ball, Valentine Dance and a 1950s-themed dance party, where more fast-paced dances were taught, and ended with the traditional European Ball.

“The young ladies and gentlemen are looking forward to their third and final season with the cotillion program,” Coventry-Payne said. “After three years of training and preparations, they will be formally presented to the public, their family and friends during their graduation ball.”

National League of Junior Cotillions is a three-year program geared toward middle school students to teach etiquette and ballroom dancing.

The Charlotte Harbor Chapter meets at the Charlotte Harbor Yacht Club in Port Charlotte and hosts special events, such as the European Ball, at surrounding area venues so the students can practice what they have learned through the program.

View photos of the NLJC Charlotte Harbor Chapter European Ball

Article & Photograph by Betsy Williams