Look into cotillion program for your kids

Published 9:05 pm Friday, February 10, 2012

Sad to say, but children with good manners are more the exception than the rule these days.

Whether it’s the fault of parents who both work and have no time to each their children social graces, society at large forgetting its manners or a combination of both, it’s rare to hear children say “please” and “thank you” anymore. And you can forget about most of them saying “sir” or “ma’am,” knowing which fork to use first, writing a thank-you note or knowing how to waltz.

I’m not saying I knew how to waltz as a child. I still don’t, in fact. But I was brought up to call those older than me “ma’am” and “sir” when speaking to them — until, of course, they told me not to do that anymore because it made them feel like their mother or father.


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The good news for today’s generation is that there is hope on the horizon. The Junior Cotillion of Hampton Roads is expanding its offerings to include a program in Suffolk. Currently, it offers programs only in Newport News and Williamsburg.

An open house is scheduled for Feb. 26 from 3 to 4 p.m. at West End Baptist Church, 105 St. James Ave. The four classes will be held on the evenings of April 21 and 28 and May 12 and 19.

The program began in 1984 with three ladies who wanted to bring a program similar to one in Richmond to the Hampton Roads area. It is now owned by Greg and Kay Martin, who started with the company as the sound contractor through his DJ company.

It’s the perfect fit, though, as the younger couple and their even younger staff have managed to bring some “hipness” to the cotillion.

Though Martin doesn’t want good manners to go the way of the dinosaur, as he put it, he still has incorporated modern topics into the program such as Internet safety, “textiquette” and modern line dances like the “Cupid Shuffle.”

The program is open to boys and girls in fifth through ninth grades.

RSVPs are requested for the open house. To RSVP or for more information, call 868-3319.