Teaching Young Sarasotans Social Etiquette through Education and Social Experiences
The Cotillion Club was established in 1951 by a group of Sarasota parents as a learning experience in social etiquette for their children and friends. This idea started with a few children in attendance. We now have approximately 800 members throughout Sarasota County from various schools.
There are three Cotillion groups:
The Cotillion Club strives to provide both instruction and experiences to help members learn and practice proper behavior in social settings. Each Member is required to follow the Rules of Cotillion. New members are required to attend an orientation session in the Fall before the season begins; this session is required for participation in the dinner-dances.
During the Cotillion year, which coincides with the school year, there are three semi-formal dinner-dances for the 8th grade and Junior Cotillion groups. The Senior Cotillion group has two semi-formal dinner-dances and closes the year with a "black-tie optional" dinner-dance in the Spring.
The original etiquette manuals of Western civilization were, in fact, success manuals. As author Steven Pinker notes, they taught knights and nobles how to conduct themselves in the court of the king—which is where we get the concepts of “courtly” and “courtesy.”
Manners are standards of conduct and behavior which are not forced upon anyone yet help in distinguishing the polite from the impolite and the refined from the unrefined. Manners are laws that set standards for a human behavior. What sets them apart from laws is the fact that there is no formal punishment if you break these laws. You may only suffer from indirect punishment that is disapproval by public and society. Manners make a man/woman. You should be refined, polite, and civilized in your manners because they are the hallmark of an educated human being.
How to Join the Cotillion Club
Important Facts About Membership:
Membership to the Cotillion Club of Sarasota is not automatically renewed each year, invitations are mailed annually for the upcoming season.
Regardless if you were a Cotillion Member in the past, responses to join each season are considered in the order they are received.
An invitation to join Cotillion for siblings of current and past Cotillion Members is not automatic. Siblings must obtain their own sponsor and have their names submitted by a Director.
An invitation to join Cotillion is sent to individuals each year until he/she declines the invitation two (2) consecutive years. At that time, we remove the individual's name from our invitation list. If an individual would like to be placed on the active invitation list again, they must contact the Vice President of Membership.