Gentlemen dressed in coat and ties and ladies dressed in colorful holiday dresses full of sparkles arrived at the Niceville Community Center on Sunday evening, Dec. 6, ready to put into practice all the etiquette and ballroom dance skills they had learned in cotillions classes since September.

Students pinned on nametags upon arrival and the gentlemen lined up to escort the ladies through the receiving line, composed of members of the Cotillion Advisory Board. This gave the students the opportunity to practice making introductions. After photographs, the gentlemen escorted the ladies to their seats. The ball officially began with NLJC director, Joan Freeman, leading the students in The Grand March to a variety of Christmas music selections. After the march, the students received their dance cards and would spend the next few minutes filling them out with the names of prospective dance partners. Certain dances in the evening involved presenting corsages and boutonnieres to dance partners.

Throughout the afternoon and evening, the cotillion guests would enjoy dancing the Foxtrot and the Swing to pop music, entering dance contests, and enjoying delicious cake and punch.

After refreshments, the ladies and gentlemen returned to the dance floor for more contests and challenges. As the evening came to a close, the guests thanked their chaperones via an exit receiving line followed by the gentlemen escorting the ladies to their cars.

High School Dance Contest winners

1st Place Foxtrot, Abigail Mistretta and Nathan Anothony; 2nd Place Foxtrot, Camille Miles and Hunter Brake. Swing Dance Contest 1st Place, Katherine Lay and John Hencinski; 2nd Place, Meredith Freeman and Wesley Fleischmann. Foxtrot Elimination Dance Contest winners, Jill Iten and Jon Toledo, Meredith Freeman and Wesley Fleischmann, Jayden Wright and Michael Toledo, Abby Tucker and Brice Tingle, Ellie San Clemente and John Hencinski, Katrin Woods and Christian Brobeck, Alexis Sherwin and Adam Van Belkum, and Meredith McIntosh and Aiden Ferrell.

Chaperones for the High School Ball were Richard and Rose Marie Martin, Brian and Clara Miles, Allison Sewell, Sherri Fisher, Brett and Stella Verzywvelt, and Scott and Tammy Williams. Photographers were JoAnn Brake and Connie Glaze.

Middle School Dance Contest winners

1st Place Foxtrot, Moriah Lynch and Cole Pearson; 2nd Place, Madison Mallick and Frank Lupella. Swing Dance Contest 1st Place, Tabitha Hanson and D.J. Tomassetti; 2nd Place, Victoria Sherwin and Jake Snell. Ladies’ Choice Foxtrot 1st Place, Abby Vitt and Jacob Ammons, 2nd Place, McKenna Pettibone and Andrew Daigle. Foxtrot Elimination Dance Winners, Caitlyn Stringfellow and Cole Pearson, Victoria Sherwin and Logan LaFitte, and Jillian Sewell and Owen Wolfe. Cha Cha Dance Contest 1st place, Delaney DePue and Conrad Kiel; 2nd Place, Stella Elpedes and Frank Lupella. Word Contest winners, Laura-Kate Pace, Ben Sherwin, Mary Grace Chandler, Jonathan Ott, Amy Erickson, and D.J. Tomassetti.

Chaperones for the Middle School Ball were Steve and Ruth Bailey, Holly Brannan, Cyndi Cook, Shelli Lynch, Andrea Roberts, Fred and Merchelle Hixson-Wells, Rob and Cici Hruby, Lisa Sherwin, and Allison Sewell.

Photographers for the evening were Cici Hruby and Allison Sewell.

The National League of Junior Cotillions Emerald Coast Chapter is under the direction of Mrs. Paul Freeman (Joan). For more information about the program, please contact her at joan.freeman@nljc.com. Registration for the 2016-2017 season will begin in May.