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Dancing The Night Away Macy Kincaid and Jack Bryant sharpen their dance moves at Coppell Cotillion. On-line registration begins on November 15 and classes for fifth, sixth and seventh graders begin on January 25 (six weeks on Friday nights). More information at www.cotillion.com.

Pre-teens and teens prefer texting to talking and send and receive over 4,000 texts per day, according to recent reports by USA Today. As a result, most adolescents do not have skills to carry on face-to-face conversations with peers and adults. Instructors for Jon D. Williams Cotillions teach these lifelong skills and many other aspects of social etiquette in their upcoming program.

The Coppell Cotillion is hosting its 16th annual social etiquette program beginning on Friday, January 25, 2013 at GracePoint (formerly First Baptist Church of Coppell) and continuing on six Friday evenings through March 1. Online registration for students in fifth, sixth and seventh grade begins on November 15 at www.cotillion.com.

Last year’s program was filled to capacity, with instructors from Jon D. Williams teaching over 360 students. “Registration for the 5th grade class closed within the first 24 hours and the other classes quickly filled,” explained Cherie Walker, co-chair of the Coppell Cotillion.

Instruction is separated by grade level. The Survival Etiquette Essentials (SEE) program for 7th grade includes an emphasis on communication, character and ethics. The students still learn the basics of dance, but they also focus on developing skills in areas of leadership, civility and community. Examples of topics include basics of appearance and dress, social media protocol, interviewing skills, the art of conversation and table etiquette demonstration.

Celebrating their 63rd year of social instruction, Jon D. Williams Cotillion conducts 48 programs across the nation. Cotillion classes are the foundation for learning basic social dances and etiquette skills. The social etiquette program focuses on learning the essentials in introductions, common courtesy and respect, and table manners.

Through the cotillion program, dancing is taught in a non-threatening environment where everyone is asked to dance and no one is left out. The classes change from year-to-year, with the final year focusing on students recognizing that how they act is not only a reflection of their character but a demonstration of their education and leadership ability.

Walker and Denise Thompson have chaired the Coppell Cotillion for the past eight years and have watched the enrollment steadily increase. “Cotillion is not just about learning to dance. It's about learning lessons that give our children the confidence they need to succeed,” Thompson concluded.