If you’re out on the town on Saturday night in your old beater of a Mercedes and wondering what fabulous party everybody else is going to in their stretch limos, that party would be Cotillion. A Wellesley tradition since the 1940s, the Cotillion is a formal dance to which all Wellesley public and private school juniors and seniors are invited. This year’s event will take place on December 13 at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel.
I asked the Cotillion Committee, a group of tireless volunteers who back in the day used to go by the title “Patronesses” but now are generally known as “mom”, to tell me a little bit about the dance attended by over 600 students. Here is what I learned from a combination of email correspondence and conversations:
What do attendees wear?
Suggested attire for the black tie event are suits or tuxedos for the young men, which add an element of sophistication. Female guests undergo an amazing transformation, where they feel ready to ‘walk the red carpet’ in their dazzling dresses and glamorous gowns.
Are there any other formal components to the event, other than attire?
Proper decorum is also expected. Cotillion guests will model impeccable manners and show respect for both fellow guests and parent volunteers. Cotillion protocol calls for each guest to join the receiving line, where they first greet the Cotillion committee, then introduce themselves to the various chaperones. We do not breathalyzer our guests. Our event is staffed with Wellesley parents, chaperones/ who know most of these guests personally. Hotel security is also present.
So how did the decorum component of the event go last year?
The 2013 Wellesley Cotillion was a spectacular event even with an early winter snow storm! No one was asked to leave and it was a well-behaved group of young men and women
Does all this formality carry over onto the dance floor in the form of waltzes and foxtrots?
Ballroom dancing has undergone a significant evolution – transitioning from the 1940’s swing bands, fox trot and waltz to the ballroom scene today where the DJ picks tunes designed to get the party started, keep it energized and inspire guests to dance the night away. This year’s DJ is Adam Averback of Party Excitement Entertainment.
Is food served at the event?
Sandwiches and Brownie Bites, Cookies, unlimited soda and water.
Who pays for the event?
About 50% of the contacted parents contribute. The requested donation this year was $85. We are always looking for volunteers and contibutors. Please visit www.wellesleycotillion.weebly.com.
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