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May 9, 2013

Cotillion not just a dance

Instructor plans separate event that promotes self-respect

(Continued)

The event, held on April 28, was about enjoying one another’s company and indulging in conversation, she said.

According to Karen, 42 girls attended the tea. Festivities included a special speaker who came to talk about the dignity of being a woman and beauty.   

Karen said Jessica Rey, a designer and actress, talked about how Hollywood pushes negative messages onto girls and women by trying to convince them they need to be different from who they are.

“My intentions for the girls were to teach them to have a good sense of self-respect,” Karen said. “I wanted them to know that we have beauty that is given to us. We do not have to listen to the cultural messages that are saying you’re beautiful if you are such and such a height or if your skin is perfect.”

The gathering was about acceptance and teaching the girls there are no “ifs,” Karen continued. “There is no if you have this you’re more beautiful or if you have that you are beautiful,” she said.   

Students will begin gathering at the Otesaga for the Cotillion at about 6:30 p.m. Friday. They will begin to line up for their grand entrance into the ballroom at 7:45 p.m., and the night of dancing will conclude at 10:30 p.m.

Not only does Cotillion help students learn to dance, but according to Karen, the experience elevates something in learning respect for one’s self and for one another. She said it also gives students the opportunity to get to know one another better by breaking them out of their social circles at school. 

“We think it is good because it provides a real positive opportunity for all the students who participate,” she said. “Sometimes the culture underrates how people can behave and treat one another and the Cotillion is an opportunity to say ‘hey you can treat one another with respect.’”

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