How to Start a Cotillion


Some links in my blog posts are affiliate links.


If you want to know how to start a cotillion, manners school, or etiquette program in your area, I’m happy to share! If you’ve got about 12-14 days a year to dedicate to this, you, too, can start a program that will help young people in your community improve their soft skills, practice face-to-face interactions and conversations, and boost their confidence in social situations- while also earning an income for your family!

What is a cotillion?

First off, let’s make sure we’re on the same page with this word “cotillion.”

Cotillions are private programs where kids (normally middle school aged) come together for a series of classes and events to learn manners, etiquette, and social dance.

And if the word cotillion doesn’t appeal to you, call it whatever you want: etiquette classes, social skills school, manners academy…  whatever you call it, the purpose is to teach kids modern and practical life lessons like how to:

  • carry themselves when they walk in a room
  • introduce themselves and shake hands
  • behave as a member in an audience
  • write polite emails
  • have empathy for others
  • make friends
  • hold quality conversations with their peers AND the adults in their life

We also teach them how to represent themselves well online and I even have a lesson on video game etiquette! I’ve worked really hard to modernize these topics and make them as relevant, interesting, and useful as possible for kids today.

boy and girl dancing at cotillion

What does a cotillion director do?

As a cotillion director, I own my own business and my responsibilities include:

  • promoting my program
  • registering students
  • collecting tuition
  • booking venues
  • organizing the events
  • communicating with parents
  • and the best part: teaching the classes!
instructors overseeing boys and girls at cotillion ball

How much time does it take to start a cotillion?

The way I prefer to run my cotillions is a series of six events which I break down in to: four classes, an instructional meal, and a ball. Once you take the time to learn the curriculum, a full cotillion season only requires six nights of teaching and another six or so days of prep work.

Are you starting to see how this fits in as a side business? You can absolutely run this program while also having a full-time job and being a mom. In addition to my cotillion business, I’m a homeschool mom of four and I help my dad and husband run our family farms.

Who can start a cotillion?

You may wonder what qualifications are needed to start a cotillion. Most successful cotillion directors I’ve had the pleasure to interact with are good at event planning and public speaking. They’re involved in their community, they dress well, carry themselves well, and have a good reputation both online and in-person. They have an interest in etiquette and dancing- they don’t necessarily need an extensive knowledge of etiquette and dance (to begin with, at least). And maybe most importantly, they aren’t scared of middle schoolers!

If you think you have some of these characteristics, take my quiz to see if you have what it takes to be a cotillion instructor!

boys in dress clothes at cotillion

Next Steps to Starting Your Own Cotillion Program

If you can see yourself starting a cotillion program in your area and you’d like to dive a little more in the details, check out my free class: 7 Steps to Start a Cotillion. In the video I cover the top seven mindset, practical, and financial steps you’ll need to get a cotillion up and running.

Can I Start a Cotillion?

And lastly, if you’re still wondering, “can I start a cotillion?” I encourage you to take the quiz! It’s 7 questions and will give you an idea if you have what it takes to run a successful cotillion program.



Some links in my blog posts are affiliate links.


Can you?!


Can your kid answer these 10 etiquette questions?

follow along:

are we connected on sociaL?