Middle School Cotillion – Manners for Life

We are looking forward to our twenty-third cotillion season beginning in September.  Like everyone else, we are hoping to be back to some kind of normal by then but we are prepared to adjust to whatever changes come our way.  Our goal is to present an experience that provides social skills and manners training but more importantly one that prepares middle schoolers for the new experiences they will encounter over the next few years.  And, of course, we will be attentive to whatever health requirements are in place in September.  

Our classes will be slightly smaller this year so we recommend registering early. Tuition is required with registration and will, of course, be refunded if we cannot provide the classes. Registrations submitted without payment will be placed on our waiting list.  Dates are firm but we will be flexible as circumstances evolve. 

We appreciate your support and look forward to seeing those sweet, smiling faces in September!

Kaye and Helen

Sixth Grade Program

The Sixth Grade program focuses on basic social skills, party manners and dining skills to young students who are entering what can be an awkward age. Dances include the beach shag, box-step and other traditional dance. Our goal is to help them be comfortable in new situations, to give them skills to make new friends and to ease the awkwardness of mixed gender events. They leave with a good dose of self-confidence! Classes have equal numbers of girls and boys and students are accepted on a first come, first served basis.

Putting your best foot forward:

  • First things first: Shaking hands, introductions, sitting and standing, and buffet manners

  • The “man” in mannerly/ladies first? Not so fast!:  Rising, jackets, doors, seating, primping, and excusing yourself

  • Correspondence: Thank you notes, email, invitations, and RSVPs

  • Dining with grace: Place settings, table manners, and mini-meal

  • May I have this dance? The finale of the season is a Formal ball with dancing, contests, dessert and waltzing with mom or dad


Seventh & Eighth Grade

The Seventh-Eighth Grade program has been developed so that students who did not attend 6th grade classes can still join their classmates in 7th or 8th grade. The curriculum is new even to students who attended cotillion in 6th grade, though we do review the basics over the course of the season. The dance component is also different so everyone starts from the same place.  This program is event driven and gives students real life experience in a variety of social situations such as meet and greets, interviewing, theater, a golf and country club experience and much more.

Social Survival Skills:

  • No Blunder  Basics: Manners in Public/Meeting and Greeting/First Impressions
  • Sports and Country Club Etiquette:  Golf clinic, sports etiquette, ordering from a menu.
  • Interviewing: Interviewing Skills/Mock Interview/Dressing for Success/Following Up
  • Theater Event:  Alhambra Theater/Manners in Public/Why they're important and how bad manners affect others/Dining Event
  • Foreign and Fancy Foods: Handling food that’s hard to eat/Ordering from a Menu/Tipping
  • What's all this stuff on the table? Formal Dining/Five Course Meal/Toasting/RSVPs
  • Dinner-Dance: Putting it all together

2020-2021 Manners for Life Schedule

6th Grade

Marsh Landing
6:00 - 7:15 p.m.

9/10 (Virtual) 5:30-6:15 p.m.


10/21 (Wednesday)*

11/15 (Fifties Party SJCC)



Friday, February 5, 2021
Black and White Ball
UNF University Center

6th Grade

San Jose Class
Group A: Sundays at 1:00 - 2:15
Group B: Sundays at 3:00 - 4:15

9/13 (Virtual)
Class A: 1:00-1:45pm
Class B: 2:30-3:15pm



11/15 (Fifties Party @ SJCC)



Friday, February 5, 2021
Black and White Ball
UNF University Center
Time: TBA

7th - 8th Grade

Classes are at San Jose Country Club unless otherwise noted.

Friday, 9/11 5:00-5:45 (Virtual 45 minutes)

Saturday, 10/10 1:30-3:00 Mixer (San Jose Country Club)

Saturday, 10/24 1:30-3:30 SJCC Interview Class

Saturday, 11/14* (Golf/lunch (time TBD)
San Jose Golf Course is under renovation—subject to change.

Sunday, 12/6 5:30-10:00pm—Alhambra Theater and Dinner*
*Please note this is a school night.

Saturday 1/9/21 Monarch Ballroom Dance Lesson

Saturday, 2/6/21 San Jose Country Club Formal Dinner


Dress Code

The dress code is an important aspect of teaching students respect for each other, for their host/hostess and the shared values of our culture.


Ladies should wear dresses or skirts of knee length or longer. A dress with shoulders or spaghetti straps (sundresses, halter dresses, etc.) may be worn only if  covered with a shrug, sweater or other wrap during the entire event. Pants, gauchos, leggings, etc. are not appropriate. Ladies are encouraged to wear closed toe shoes suitable for dancing. Flip-flops, athletic shoes and boots are not allowed. Short white gloves will be provided at the first class.


Gentlemen should wear a dress shirt and tie, navy blazer and khaki or gray pants, belt, dark socks and dress shoes (no athletic shoes or flip-flops).

The End-of-the-Season Ball is black tie optional. Specific information will be provided closer to the time of the event.

Seventh-Eighth Grade Program:  The dress code above is generally used for seventh-eighth grade but some of the classes require a different dress code and will vary. Students will be asked to dress appropriately for each class (golf, theater, dance class, meet and greet)  and information will be provided prior to each class.

San Jose Country Club

7529 San Jose Boulevard
Jacksonville, Florida 32217

Marsh Landing Country Club

25655 Marsh Landing Parkway
Jacksonville, Florida 32082