The Martine Cotillions provides a fun way for young people to learn and practice important manners and build confidence and self-awareness that will smooth social interactions in all facets of life - and for the rest of their lives.
Today, sports and academics dominate children’s lives. Cell phones, television, popular music and video games are often negative inputs. Texting has replaced face to face conversation as the preferred form of communication. Many parents feel strongly that practice in the social arena is becoming ever more important to balance these other influences and help to create a well-rounded child, one equipped to handle the future with confidence.
The Martine Cotillions provides an invitational social development program for third through eighth grades which gives young people a place to practice good manners both with adults and with their peers, allowing them to build confidence in their own ability to handle a variety of social interactions that can only come from regular practice.
Cotillion is not a lecture, but rather, a party - a party that is led by skilled directors who continually keep the children focused on the importance of whatever they are doing. Whether dancing with a partner, shaking hands with an adult host, practicing polite conversation or learning the techniques of dining etiquette, members of Cotillion truly enjoy themselves as they practice social interactions.
What sets us apart from other Cotillions is the emphasis we put on conveying the importance of personal responsibility and leadership. We encourage our young members to think beyond the basics of protocol, not just what good manners are and when to use them, but why. Empowerment comes from knowing we can affect the world around us. Thinking like a leader stems not only from self-confidence, but from an awareness of how our actions and words affect others.
Since 1857, five generations of the Martine family have nurtured the self-confidence of young people as they learn and practice the manners and high personal standards that are perennially important for a lasting society. We intend that the poise and ease of manner our members develop over the course of many seasons of Cotillion will become a natural part of who they are and smooth the way for personal excellence.
"One of the true gems of Orange County is The Martine Cotillions. Keep up the good work. I believe this is one of the greatest gifts I am giving my children."
How Children Benefit
Children spend much of their lives looking at screens instead of interacting with people.
Texting has become the most comfortable form of communication between tweens and teens. Television, computers, video games, ipods and cell phones dominate children's lives at school and at home. They need a place to focus on the subtleties of face to face communication: eye contact, body language, conversational skills, tone and inflection. To be successful they must have the interpersonal skills that help them feel and appear confident and make a great impression wherever they go in life.
Everything in life is social.
From school to dances, to college interviews, dating, careers, travel and even family gatherings, life is social. Giving children the skills they need to be comfortable and confident in their ability to handle life’s social activities early in life helps them become more confident and successful people forever.
There are very few places for children to practice their good manners, mature respectful behavior, dressing up, etc.
It sometimes helps to have someone other than Mom and Dad telling them that manners are important. Attending Cotillion gives young people a chance to practice good manners with their peers and become more comfortable using them. Cotillion reinforces the manners they have already been learning at home.
Cotillion is not really about the dancing! It is about becoming comfortable with social skills, developing self-confidence and respect for others.
Cotillion could also be described as interpersonal relationship development. It gives children a place where they are expected to treat one another with thoughtfulness and respect - something they don’t have the opportunity to practice very often these days. Some people consider Cotillion to be just another activity for their child, but when you consider the myriad life-applications of the skills learned, and the self-esteem and lifelong confidence those skills build in a child, one can see that Cotillion is really quite important.
The experience of Cotillion creates greater opportunities for children for the rest of their lives.
After years of attending Cotillion, the good manners become more and more integrated into the child’s behavior until they are automatic. Children who go through Cotillion are more comfortable everywhere they go, know what to do, what to say, stand out, think of others, and just generally have an edge all of their lives.
Adults who went to Cotillion as children give Cotillion a great deal of credit for the way they felt about themselves, their increased self-confidence, and their ability to carry themselves well and more comfortably than most of their peers.
A Harvard graduate who had attended our Cotillion reported that the experience was invaluable in all aspects of his success with school. He said Cotillion gave him an edge in interactions with people and professors, interviews, and generally feeling and appearing confident in his own social abilities. Also, he felt much more confident at social gatherings and dances than the other young men he knew. The investment of Cotillion in childhood lasts a lifetime.