"Where Manners Still Matter"

Do you remember your first dance? Junior Assembly Cotillion students have for more than 78 years.

Junior Assembly Cotillion is a highly anticipated event for hundreds of sixth through ninth graders in the Richmond, Virginia area. In a time when technology is pervasive and inescapable, we bring tweens and teens face-to-face and one-on-one with each other in an exciting, inclusive and entertaining ballroom dancing setting.

Cotillion memories are made through the little things that make cotillion fun and special. Our students take each others’ arms in the Grand March. Toes are stepped on despite best intentions. The quiet boy shyly laughs at a comment from his dance partner. They twirl. A glance at the dance floor through the cotillion season leaves images of white gloves, party dresses, cowboy boots, leis, ties of all designs, school colors and holiday-festooned nosegays. Students learn to Waltz, Merengue, Military Shuffle and Jitterbug among others. And over the course of the seven events, they brush up on invaluable manners, make new friends and form closer bonds with each other through the experience of going to cotillion.

And last but not least, a special father-daughter and mother-son event make grownups proud and maybe just a little teary-eyed as they cherish every minute of dancing with their child.

Why do we do what we do?

For over 78 years, we’ve led our tween and teen students through social, manners and contemporary etiquette training over a four-year, integrated program where each year builds on the last. Generations of families tell us that our fun, inclusive ballroom dancing events build confidence, poise, maturity and better decision-making skills in their children. Our leadership has kept traditional ballroom dancing current and relevant for decades of parents and children. Though our cotillion has roots to 1920, our prior owners set 1944 as a milestone date which we honor.

“As a mother of eight children, I’m grateful that Junior Assembly Cotillion provides a safe form of weekend entertainment and socialization for my children. The biggest benefit is that they are learning to dance, interact socially, use simple manners, and engage in charitable giving.”

– Becky Gleberman

“My oldest son did Junior Assembly Cotillion from 6th-9th grade and currently my youngest is in his second year with JAC. Cary has several friends in Cotillion with him, and they enjoy going to dinner together (using their manners they learned) and having the fun of Cotillion – learning to dance in a formal setting. My boys have enjoyed it and my family loves all that they have learned from friendships, dancing and manners.” 

 Eve Alfonso DuVal