Beaufort County may get national cotillion chapter

Published 3:33 pm Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Staff Writer

The National League of Junior Cotillions, a program of etiquette, character education and social dance training for middle-school students, plans to bring its national program to Beaufort County in 2011.
“We will be selecting a director for a local chapter who will receive complete training and an exclusive territory for expansion,” said Elizabeth Anne Winters, NLJC national director. “The program is making a positive impact on students across the nation, and we are delighted to know that more young people in the area will have the opportunity or this vital training.”
NLJC, which has active chapters in 37 states, provides instruction to students to learn courtesies and manners for daily life.
According to Winters, there are a number of courtesies involved with cotillions, such as proper etiquette regarding honor, respect, ethics, sportsmanship, acknowledgement of gifts, behavior at cultural and civic events, correspondence, interaction in groups, introductions, paying and receiving compliments, table manners, instructional dinners, electronic areas and other areas of social conduct.
“A student in our cotillion program will attend a class once a month with other ladies and gentlemen of their age,” she said. “They enjoy a class focused on manners and etiquette and the instruction of basic ballroom dance.”
Winters added the NLJC program equips students with the life skills necessary to fully succeed in life.
“The mission statement of the National League of Junior Cotillions is: ‘To learn to treat others with honor, dignity and respect for better relationships with family, friends, and business associates,’” she said.
“One of the best parts of the program is when the children have the opportunity to learn how to properly dance,” Winters said. “Standard ballroom and line-dancing is taught, and we have nationally approved top-40 music.”
Winters said the word “cotillion” comes from an old English word which means “party.”
NLJC was formed in 1979 to encourage civility and common courtesy in today’s society.
“The program has met with equal success in metropolitan areas including Atlanta, Orlando, Minneapolis, Houston and small communities across the county,” Winters said. “We believe it will be an important addition to the training of young people in the area.”
According to Winters, with more than 400 chapters across the country, NLJC would be a great asset to Beaufort County because once a chapter is established, it is there to stay.
“We have chapters still active that started in 1979, when NLJC was founded,” she said. “And a director may sell her chapter to another director to keep the program in the community alive.”
The next directors’ training session is set for the first weekend of February in Charlotte. However, the process is used to create an all-inclusive training to help the director prepare with all the skills he or she may need to run a successful program in Beaufort County.
“If an applicant is approved and attends this training, they could potentially begin the Beaufort County Junior Cotillion Chapter in August of 2011,” Winters said. “We are now searching for directors in the community who want to lead a cotillion program, as the program builds self-confidence, character and boundaries of behavior, and we are looking forward to finding a director in the community.”
Some of the benefits of a cotillion are social and character education that will allow a student to easily adapt to high school, assist with college admission and give students a cutting edge when it is time to search for a job, according to Winters.
“Upon completion of the program, a student is more comfortable in interacting in social settings and understands the character traits necessary to treat others with honor, dignity and respect,” Winters said. “The program instills confidence and skills that children will have for the rest of their lives. And we would love to have a chapter in Beaufort County, and are currently in a search of a director to lead one in the area.”
For more information on the program or to apply to become a director, call 1-800-633-7947 or visit or send an e-mail to Also visit and