How to Convince Your Kid to Go To Cotillion


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If you’re wondering how in the world am I going to convince my kid to go to cotillion classes, this post is for you!

You love the idea of cotillion, maybe you attended as a child. But your middle schooler, on the other hand, is NOT feeling it. And I get it. Etiquette, manners, and dancing with a partner (gasp!) are probably not what middle school dreams are made of.

But it’s so worth it.
You know it. I know it. And, for sure, their grandparents know it.

So here’s a list I’ve compiled over my years of teaching cotillion. It’s sure to help even the most reluctant kids warm up to the idea of attending cotillion:

Sign them up with a buddy

Hands down, this is the best and most successful route to convincing your kid to attend cotillion. All new experiences are easier with a friend by your side.

Let them pick out their clothes

Show them this dress code page for inspiration and guidance on what’s expected, then let them go from there! If you give them a say from the get-go, maybe they won’t complain as much when it’s time to get dressed.

Let them know what to expect

Show them this video! A lot of kids are nervous because they simply don’t know what to expect. I recorded this video with lots of details so they know exactly what will happen when they walk through the doors.

Bribe them with food

I guarantee I will always serve snacks at any cotillion event. And don’t forget the punch! I’ve yet to meet a kid that doesn’t like punch.

And if they have food allergies, don’t fret. I’m used to it. Although I can’t guarantee everything to be allergy-free,  we can definitely come up with a safe plan that lets them continue to participate.

Observe the first class with them

Walking into a room full of new faces, in a new place, in new clothes can be overwhelming for some students. And I understand that. You and the student are more than welcome to observe from the lobby or the side of the room if you think it will help ease their mind.

I had a student once who was so nervous she was in tears coming in the door. I spoke with her and let her sit on the sidelines for a bit. When it came time for refreshments, I invited her to get a cookie with me. She obliged and then joined the group for the rest of class.

Reach out to me

If you think it would help put them at ease, I’d be glad to chitchat with them on the phone or Zoom and answer any questions they have directly. Contact me and we can set something up!

Make the decision and tell them

I’ve saved this one for last because it may (temporarily) ruffle some feathers in your household. As adults, we know the lessons, social skills, and dancing learned in cotillion will benefit these kids for years to come. The connections and social confidence that cotillion can generate will likely follow them into adulthood.

But as a 12-year-old, it’s hard to see that. Our job as parents is to weigh the benefits of an opportunity ,look beyond their apprehensions, gently push their boundaries, and support them along the way.

As far as the above list, I can only speak for the cotillion classes I host. But I would venture to say these ideas would apply to most cotillion programs. I suggest contacting your local cotillion directly to see if they have any other ideas to help your hesitant student.

Best of luck and remember- it’s so worth it!



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