1 a ball at which young ladies are presented to society [syn: cotilion]
2 a lively dance originating in France in the 18th century [syn: cotilion]
EtymologyApprox 1750. cotillon: petticoat to cotillion : cotillion. Said to be derived from the (then) popular song “Ma commere, quand je danse, Mon cotillion va-t-il bien”
- A bold dance performed in groups of eight
where ladies lift their
skirts to display their
- 1797 Mrs. Hughes now joined them, and asked Miss Tilney if she was ready to go. "I hope I shall have the pleasure of seeing you again soon," said Catherine. "Shall you be at the cotillion ball tomorrow?" Jane Austin Northanger Abbey (written 1797 first published 1818) Chapter 10.
- The music regulating the cotillion.
- 1848 I kept a parlor open for the reception of visitors, many came here to practise with me, and many more to listen to us—several young men put themselves under my tuition, and although I had never been taught myself, they progressed finely in their studies and I soon brought out, not only the best field music, but also for dinners, balls, cotilion and tea parties, weddings, &c. ''THRILLING SKETCH OF THE LIFE OF THE DISTINGUISHED CHIEF OKAH TUBBEE ALIAS, WM. CHUBBEE, Son of the Head Chief, Mosholeh Tubbee, of theChoctaw Nation of Indians. BY REV. L. L. ALLEN, AUTHOR OF “PENCILLINGS UPON THE RIO GRANDE,” &c. NEW YORK, 1848. ENTERED according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1848, by Okah Tubbee, alias William Chubbee, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, for the Southern District of New York. AN ESSAY UPON THE INDIAN CHARACTER.''http://docsouth.unc.edu/neh/tubbee1848/tubbee1848.xml
The dance known as Cotillion came from France in the 1700s and was originally made up of four couples in a square formation. The Cotillion was one of many contredanses or "country dances" where the participants (especially those from royalty) gathered to introduce themselves and to flirt with other dancers through the exchange of partners within the formation network of the dance. By the 1800s, the Cotillion evolved into more couples with many complex dance figures and was the forerunner of the Quadrille. American square dance is a form of contredanse that also descended from the Cotillion. The direct translation from French to English of the word "Cotillion" is the word "petticoat" but the more appropriate translation is the word "ballgown."
A Debutante Ball is a formal presentation of young ladies, debutantes, to polite society. It is in use in the United States, more so in the South, and some other countries. Debutantes are usually recommended by a distinguished committee or sponsored by an established member of elite society. Modern debutante balls are often charity events; the parents of the debutante donate a certain amount of money to the designated cause, and the invited guests pay for their tickets. These balls may be elaborate formal affairs and involve not only "debs" but junior debutantes, escorts and ushers, flower girls and pages as well.
In the United States, Cotillion has become training that children and young adults attend to learn manners and proper social behavior in the context of formal dance. The participants dress up in formal attire and some cotillions emphasize the use of white gloves. Modern day Cotillion takes the form of classes and parties. These programs use dance as an interactive tool that breaks down inhibitions and teaches important social skills. Some of the dances currently taught include waltz, fox trot, tango, swing, cha cha and many other ballroom dances. The parties are typically "graduation" parties usually held after a series of classes. At the party, the students sit together in tables in the front while the family members sit in tables in the back. A master of ceremony guides the evening and, if funds are sufficient, dinner and an orchestra may be included. Usually after each dance, a couple may be recognized with a modest prize for best executing that dance.
Some notable debutante balls in the United States
- Fine Arts Foundation Summer Debutante Ball http://www.blacktie-colorado.com/premiere_events/details.cfm?id=1484, held yearly at the University of Denver, which benefits the Fine Arts Foundation, an organization supporting the arts in Colorado.
- Bal de Ballet, which benefits the Colorado Ballet.
- Colorado Junior Cotillion http://www.coloradojuniorcotillion.com
- Colorado Springs, Colorado
- The National Debutante Cotillion and Thanksgiving Ball, celebrating the 59th Anniversary in 2008, and benefiting the Children's National Medical Center.
- The Washington Holiday Ball, held annually over Christmas at the Mayflower Hotel
- Kansas City:
- The Veiled Prophet Ball, founded in 1878, which caters to the members of the Veiled Prophet Organization, a secret society of prominent St. Louisans
- Fleur de Lis Ball, a Roman Catholic ball founded in 1959, named after the symbol associated with French kings and the city's French heritage, which raises money for the Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital.
- New York
- The Junior Assemblies, a collection of debutante balls held annually which comprise the traditional "debutante season" of New York society
- The Viennese Opera Ball in New York
- The Quadrille Ball
- Le Bal des Berceaux ("The Cradle Ball") is New York's Spring débutante ball and benefits needy children in the U.S. and France.
- The Northeastern Conference Coronation
- The Infirmary Ball, officially called the "Debutante Cotillion and Christmas Ball," which benefits the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary
- The International Debutante Ball, held each even-numbered year 2006, 2008, 2010
- The Thanksgiving Eve Ball, held each year, benefits the charitable activities of the New York Junior League
- The Paas Ball, held each year
- The Annual Debutante Ball and Reception, held each year by the Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of New York
- The Debutante Cotillion of the Kosciuszko Foundation Annual Dinner
- The Bachelors' Cotillion, a white tie ball at The Genesee Valley Club held since 1902. Gentleman aged 22-35 are selected by a committee from prominent families in the community. It is one of few "Gentlemans" balls in the country.
- The Lilac Ball, held each spring, debuts around 30 young ladies from the community aged between 18-20. Held in conjunction with the city's famous Lilac Festival, it benefits local hospitals.
- The Debutante and Christmas Ball
- The North Carolina Debutante Ball, held annually in September and sponsored by the Terpsichorean Club, a secret society of prominent Raleigh residents.
- The Assembly of Philadelphia (dating from 1748), an elite private party held annually around Christmas. Private membership and guests attend. Cotillon is danced.
- The Philadelphia Charity Ball (founded 1884), a debutante ball held at Thanksgiving every year for Philadelphian families, drawing mostly on prep school graduates. Proceeds go to charities selected by the previous year's debutantes.
- The Assembly
- Magnolia Debutante Club Ball
- Idlewild Club (1884), Terpsichorean Club (1898), & Calyx Club (1911) Balls
- Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Presentation Ball
- La Fiesta de las Seis Banderas
- University of Dallas Winter Cotillion
- The Assembly Ball
- Steeplechase Ball
- Ambassador Ball
- Fort Worth Assembly Ball
- Hispanic Debutante Ball
- Allegro Ball
- Houston Country Club Thanksgiving Ball
- The Assembly Ball
- Bolero Ball
- River Oaks Country Club Debutante Ball
- Lunar Rendezvous Coronation Ball
- The Junior Symphony League Ball
- The Texas Rose Festival
- The Spinsters Ball
- Old Dominion Cotillion
- The German, held each Thanksgiving by the Norfolk German Club
- The Thanksgiving Debutante Dinner-Dance, held each Thanksgiving by the Portsmouth Assembly
- The Bal Du Bois
- The Richmond German
- The Spinsters Club of Staunton
cotillion in Italian: Cotillon