My Last Cotillion*


(Courtesy photo)

Loud music, flashing lights and a dance floor so packed with unhealthily sweaty, adrenaline-filled teenagers that their restricted movements are hardly recognizable as “dancing.” This is the life.

Cotillion is an annual tradition in which, starting sophomore year, the female students of SJS — and the boys fortunate enough to get asked — have always had the pleasure of participating. I personally really like the idea of Cotillion — it’s all the fun of prom, but I don’t have to go through all the trouble of asking a girl to go with me or organizing groups. Sorry ‘bout it, ladies.

In a society in which guys are generally supposed to be the ones being sweet to girls, it’s a nice change to put us on the receiving end once a year. Unless you don’t get asked, which was my Junior Cotillion experience. But for the most part, having a girl create a clever, cute way to ask you to a dance is a good feeling. Like this year, my date got the keys to my car, put creepy makeup on a doll and left it in my driver’s seat. Adorable, no?

Besides just the fun of getting asked, the actual party was a blast. Senior Cotillion this year was at Hughes Hangar, a lovely little lounge with an outdoor area for the dance. The Hangar was perhaps a bit too lovely and too little for a party for three schools, and the outdoor dance floor quickly maybe became a tad too warm, comparable to the inside of a furnace located on the sun. But despite the heat, Cotillion managed to be a great time. The live band from Austin was fantastic, the song selection blew me away, and I think every girl found the flip flops to be good for the sole. The dance ended with me wishing it were just a bit longer.

However, my first experience with Cotillion was not quite as pleasurable as my last. Sophomore Elliot somehow managed to be even more socially inept than Senior Elliot, and back then, dances weren’t really my cup of tea. I was flattered to be asked to go, but I spent most of the night at the blackjack tables that were set up in the back while my Kinkaid date partied on the dance floor. It’s a bit sadly ironic that once I finally start enjoying dances, I only get one last Cotillion.

Whether my experience was good or bad (or neither my Junior year), I’m going to miss Cotillion. The invitations, the dance, the sleep deprivation afterwards, the online columns written in this sleep deprived state (shout-out to my editors for their valiant attempts to comprehend what I’m writing)… Cotillion is a unique experience that I’ll be sad to see go. To all the sophomores and juniors out there, cherish Cotillion and have a blast. You only Cotillion thrice, so make each one an experience. As my last Cotillion slips into the past, I will treasure the memories made forever.

Of course, this doesn’t have to be my last Cotillion if any of you sophomore or junior ladies still needs a date 😉

UPDATE (Oct 11): Elliot received, and accepted an invitation to Sophomore Cotillion.

Elliot Cheung

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