top of page

2024 Rhoyal Cotillion Information

Thank you for your interest in the Rhoyal Cotillion either as a participant or a sponsor. You will find any necessary information about the event below.

For any additional inquiries, please contact rhoyalcoillion.bos@gmail.com

What is a Cotillion?

Cotillion vs . Debutante

The main purpose of a cotillion is to teach respectful manners to young women so they can go out into society and thrive. Debutante balls are a tad bit different.  It is an event for a young woman to make a formal entrance into society with a main objective “to present young women eligible for marriage to prospective high-society partners”.

What is the tradition of cotillion?

Typically, a southern American tradition, a cotillion ball is a season of etiquette classes; the season ends with a final dinner-dance where proud parents and teachers gather to watch the participants show off their table manners, conversation etiquette, and dance moves.  It is the objective of the Beta Omicron Sigma Chapter to utilize the Cotillion as a scholarship opportunity through fundraising efforts by each participant of the “Rhoyal Cotillion”.

 

History

The history of debutante balls began in seventeenth-century England, where they were used to present young women formally to society. Initially, debutante balls existed for “upper-class” women, as they allowed aristocratic families to vie for better marriage prospects for their daughters.  However, the tradition took root in the American South after the first American debutante ball in Savannah, Georgia, in 1817.  Afterwards, the practice of debutante balls, otherwise known as “Cotillions,” in the South, became a rite of passage for well-off young women, establishing them as cultured members of their community. However, cotillion balls were segregated and expensive, and as a result, young Black girls were excluded.  

 

Debutante balls for Black Americans, which began during segregation, can be traced back to Mardi Gras balls in New Orleans in the 1890s. By the 1930s African American groups and societies had their own well-established balls for Black debs. Many of them were linked to collegiate organizations, and some even functioned as scholarship competitions. “The main objectives of Black debutante balls were to uplift the race by dismantling the negative stereotypes assigned to young Black women during this time regarding what they were meant to look, act, speak, and think like.”

 

The Beta Omicron Sigma Rhoyal Cotillion Program

The BOS Rhoyal Cotillion program will encourage great self-esteem and morality in young Black women.  It is designed to teach sisterhood, community service, love, ballroom dance, partnership, mentorship, vocabulary, inner and outer beauty, and so much more.  It will promote bonding and friendship and provide young women with an opportunity to socialize.  The Rhoyal Cotillion is a demonstration of the principles of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc., i.e., Sisterhood, Scholarship and Service.  In a world that attempts to tear down women, especially Black women, and invalidate and devalue their accomplishments, events like a Cotillion aim to empower each generation.

bottom of page