Summer Tea Time At Cotillion

One of my favorite parts of Cotillion is getting to watch the students experience something new for the first time. Aside from my daughter, none of the other students enrolled in Junior Cotillion had ever participated in an afternoon tea. While our tea time was a bit later than traditional tea (class begins at 4:15pm), they were all too thrilled to get to try it!

Their sweet, puckered faces told me that, while they didn’t love the taste of hot tea without additions, they were willing to step outside of their comfort zone and try something new – a trait that will take them far in life.

By far, their favorite version was the hot peach tea with both honey and a spash of milk added.

My own daughter is participating this summer, so I know too well how, even with correct teachings, kids can be when at home. Put them in a different atmosphere, though, and they really grow and mature. Each student placed their napkin on their lap, and they all did their very best to not splash or clink the glass when stirring. Mouths were closed when the delicious scones and tea sandwiches (avocado ranch and strawberry cream cheese) were devoured.

Give them an opportunity to meet your expectations, and I promise they will.

A few questions were brought up during tea, and I enjoyed getting the opportunity to teach on more than what was on our class agenda. One of the questions I felt worthy of sharing with everyone, as there is a common misconception on high tea.

Isn’t high tea very fancy? This was the simple question that spurred great conversation, and I’m happy to share my answer with everyone today!

No, high tea actually refers to the high-back chairs around a dining table. Commoners often ate “high tea” on Sundays after work was completed. It is more like our supper today. It was also referred to as a “meat and potatoes tea.”

A low tea is what most Americans think of as traditional tea. It refers to the low tables one might find in a person’s home, such as a coffee table.

Teas were meant to be an informal way of entertaining. While teas may be “formal” in today’s viewpoint, you would never wear a formal gown to one. The term “tea length” originates due to the time of day. Since it’s mid-afternoon, the length isn’t full length, but it would still be considered “nice,” which isn’t a synonym for “formal,” at least in the etiquette world.

Other common terms are afternoon tea or cream tea. An afternoon tea would usually offer both sweet and savory options, and a cream tea may have only scones with clotted cream to serve with the tea.

The students learned so much while trying something new, and I truly think I enjoy as much as they do each time. The next time you’re thinking of having friends over, consider a tea!

Bonus info: When drinking tea, the pinky never goes up!

The Texas Dip

Everything really is bigger in Texas, including our curtsies. In Cotillion and Junior Cotillion, I teach the female students a traditional curtsy, which is where the person firmly plants their left foot on the ground while bringing their right foot behind their left foot. the knees are bent, and the person stands straight again. Especially given their age, this is a very appropriate curtsy.

However, at the International Debutante Ball, which is considered the most prestigious ball of its kind, debutantes from Texas perform the Texas Dip, as shown in the picture. As you can see, this requires a great deal of balance and flexibility. It is, however, quite graceful when completed. Debutantes are generally around 18-20 years of age and have completed multiple year of Cotillion courses.

Debutante balls are a fun tradition that I’m happy to bring to Sulphur Springs. Were you a debutante? I’d love to hear your feedback!

Thank you for reading!

Spring Cotillion Class Update

It was no accident that Spring Cotillion and Spring Junior Cotillion began yesterday, March 20th, which was the first official day of spring. I always love when a new class begins because I never know what to expect. The anticipation excites me. Now, I know exactly what I’ll teach, but each class contributes and extracts information differently, resulting in different results each time. The two spring classes are no different.This is the first semester I’ve offered classes for the younger grades (Kindergartern through 4th), and I have been so impressed by their attentiveness and desire to learn. It solidifies the thought that incorporating etiquette into their lives at a younger age will make it more understood and second nature for the students.

The Junior Cotillion class actually started out with more male students than female. However, the dancing portion quickly resolved that. One boy got knocked in the nose during an unfortunate Waltz spin, and another boy had his foot stomped on by accident. With two down, we were to a one-to-one ratio. 😉

Each class is not without comical times and ups and downs. At the end, though, I feel confident that the parents who enrolled their children in these classes will know they’ve gained knowledge and lifeskills that will set them apart from their peers. With that, I’m happy. 🙂

Spring 2018 Junior Cotillion Update

Hi, everyone! It’s been a few days since I’ve updated on Junior Cotillion and Cotillion. Junior Cotillion is now FULL. I am so thrilled to have this class at capacity in a matter of WEEKS. We’re still 5 1/2 weeks from starting, and your trust in me to teach your kiddos means more to me than I can say.

I still have around four spots for Cotillion. They are $75 each if you sign up and pay on or before February 28th. We begin on Tuesday, March 20th, and the class will be from 5:30-6:30, which follows Junior Cotillion. Both classes are at The Oaks Bed and Breakfast on Oak Ave. in Sulphur Springs, Texas. We meet for four weeks total, and at the end of the fourth class, we have a small presentations ceremony for the families to attend. It always means so much to the students when they get to show off their skills.

This year I’m also hosting Debutante, which I am beyond excited about. This is a dream of mine come true. Debutante is for young ladies in grades 9th through 12th. The cost is $100 per student. I try to keep my prices extremely affordable for families. I was blown away at the thousands it costs students in nearby cities. These skills will last them a lifetime, and I want to reinforce the fact that etiquette is for everyone. I appreciate your continued support so much.