Theo started taking Cotillion this fall, the first year it is available for a 3rd grader. He was apprehensive about starting since he has to dress up in formal clothing (coat and tie!) and wasn’t excited about the prospect of taking “etiquette” classes. But after the first class he thought it was actually pretty fun! It helped that he had friends from school (both boys and girls) who were there to share the experience.
The classes that Theo attends are run by the Jon D. Williams Cotillion program. They have classes held in Salt Lake City at the Salt Lake Country Club and in Park City held at Temple Har Shalom. The first classes are for ages 3rd/4th grade, then one for 5th/6th graders, and a Social Skills class for 7th/8th graders. Classes are once a month and last through the spring, which culminate in a final party at the Grand America hotel or La Caille restaurant.
The classes that I have observed include a lesson around a certain topic (for example, “Conversation & Listening” or “Table Manners”) and include lessons for a dance. It sounds about as cute as you can imagine: 8- and 9-year-olds learning and dancing the Fox Trot together! The kids are learning about being respectful towards each other along with proper manners and being polite. It has turned out to be a fun activity and highly enjoyable to watch!