2011-04-08 / Front Page

Young people fine tune their decorum

By John Dixon

Chloe Hamilton and Boyd Parr go head to head at the Annual Junior Cotillion Year Two Spring Ball Chloe Hamilton and Boyd Parr go head to head at the Annual Junior Cotillion Year Two Spring Ball Having completed their second year of training in dance and etiquette, the young people and the parent chaperones enjoyed a fine meal sprinkled with polite conversation before the dancing began at the Annual Junior Cotillion Year Two Spring Ball March 20.

Hostess Jan Cohn instructed the diners on the finer points of western style formal dining. After dinner, the gentlemen escorted their dinner partners to the dance floor for some last minute practice in the foxtrot, shag, waltz, and electric slide before the contests began.

It became readily apparent how much the contestants had learned as the parent judges circulated around the dance floor looking for the most skilled pairs. Prizes were awarded to the most adept dancers but these were not the only ones recognized that night.

One of the most thrilled recipients was Anna Holden Price who won accolades for her essay about her best mannered teacher. Price acknowledged that it was “quite exciting” to win the contest and even a little unexpected.

Anna has had a very challenging couple of years as she fought a tumor that threatened to rob her of her sight, but as is her nature she once more turned challenge into triumph.

Junior assistant John Ingwersen, who made it to the top 100 contestants of America’s Got Talent entertained the crowd with a dance of his own choreography and drew rave reviews, giving the students something to strive for.

Jan Cohn, director of Greater Columbia Junior Cotillion noted, “It is so amazing to see the transformation that the students make over the two year period from the initial Year I class to the final Year II Spring Ball. They begin as timid, insecure boys and girls and end up as outgoing, confident young ladies and gentlemen ready to face the challenges of today’s world.

“Being in class with students from 20 different middle schools throughout the Greater Columbia area provides them with the perfect setting for learning how to meet and get along with new friends. Practicing these life skills together with peers helps to build their self–esteem, which is essential to a successful future, and is especially important in these challenging times in which we live.

“Junior Cotillion gives students the necessary tools to grow into mature and productive adults.”

The relatively large group of senior assistants unanimously agreed with Cohn’s assessment about participation in Junior Cotillion. They all leave well prepared for future challenges.

Tabitha Jeske is headed into the Marine Corps while Katie Yeago is headed to Catholic University to study voice in hopes of becoming a performer.

Andrew Askins has not yet determined where he is going to college, but he has been accepted to USC, College of Charleston, and Furman.

Author’s note: I am headed for Presbyterian College this fall to study English literature and composition with a minor in secondary education and drama. My time in Junior Cotillion has left me much more comfortable in my own skin and armed me with a set of skills that will serve me well. Thank you, Jan Cohn.

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