Dinner & Dancing in Downtown Southern Pines

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If you’ve been reading for awhile, the title is a play on last year’s “Dinner & Dancing in Downtown Savannah,” because here we are in another beautiful town, at another wonderful school, and our kids are still learning about the social graces–how to serve, how to be served, and how good manners make everything nicer.

Is it the most important thing in the world?  Certainly not.  Is it something we want our kids to learn?  Absolutely.

Our posts contain affiliate links.  If you make a purchase after clicking on these links, we will earn a small commission, which helps to keep our content free.  You don’t pay a cent more than you would otherwise, since that would be tacky! Read our full disclosure policy here.


|  Dress {from eBay!}  |  Shoes  | 

Our daughter’s 7th grade cotillion was last week–and our son’s 8th-11th grade cotillion is actually tonight–so I wanted to share a few pictures with you.  We did it a bit differently in Savannah last year, but this was a similar (and equally wonderful) experience.

You’ve probably already noticed that we went for a fairly modest dress…we do have a school dress code that we have to follow, but I’m pretty reserved when it comes to my own clothing, much less my 12-year-old daughter’s.  My mother was always classy (and fabulous) in her attire and I’m trying to teach my young Padawan the same.

The 7th graders were released at 12:30pm to get ready for a 6pm dinner time.  Belle and I went to lunch and then to get her hair done.

This was my daughter’s first up-do (not including the ten million ballet buns she’s had in her hair!).  Since her dress had a cowl neck, a la Audrey Hepburn or Jackie Kennedy, we figured we needed to put her very long hair up.


I debated on letting her wear the vintage mink stole (too much for a 12-year-old?  Probably.).  Then I decided that we have nice things so that we can use them and decided we should just go for it.  I left the pelts home to keep Harley company, though.  He is in love with them in a sort of Silence of the Lambs way!  (Fortunately, the pelts survived an evening alone with the dog)


Dinner was at Beefeater’s on Broad Street, and in addition to the restaurant’s waitstaff, the sixth graders helped to serve dinner.  They took dinner orders, served our beverages, and brought dessert.  They did a fabulous job!

The seventh graders sat at a table together and the parents were close by at several additional tables.  Place cards were thoughtfully oriented and in perfect accordance with my Miss Manners book (alternating male-female and across from our spouses).


Cotillion attire was jackets or suits for the boys, and cocktail or long dresses for the girls.  There was a good mix of both long and short and everyone looked wonderful.


I was told that the boys were instructed in proper dining etiquette and knew that they had to rise whenever the girls stood up, so I watched to see how many trips to the powder room occurred during dinner.  I was expecting about two dozen, but there were only about three–still more than I tend to make in the course of a meal!!

See the “waiter” in the background?


After dessert, we all walked down the street to the dance studio.  The kids have taken ballroom dance lessons since the beginning of the new year in lieu of their regular PE class, and tonight they were ready to show off their newly learned skills.

Each girl was presented by a gentleman escort…the 7th grade has more girls than boys so some of the upperclassmen assisted, including our son.  The escorts and dance partners were all assigned ahead of time so that everyone got to dance with several partners.


The boys pulled their dance cards out of their jacket pockets frequently to check their next partner, and the girls wore their dance cards on their wrists.

We were so impressed that they learned the basics of six different ballroom dances in two months.  It’s taken me more than twenty years to learn half that!


As you know, my daughter spends many hours a week dancing, so this was so much fun for her.  Check out that head snap during the tango!



My two kids even had a dance together, but of course they were recalcitrant and wouldn’t even look in my direction for a proper photo.  Why do I feed them?

C and A dancing

The evening ended with a waltz–each student grabbed their parent for a dance.


At tonight’s cotillion, I’ll be waltzing with the fellow on the left.  We’ve been working on our turns, so it promises to be nothing short of amazing.


It was such a fun night, and I was so impressed with how grown up everyone acted!


Until we let them be themselves again, and the usual silliness ensued. 🙂


You all know that we were so sad to leave our school in Savannah when we moved this summer; everyone there was like family.  We chose Southern Pines because of this school, wanting to continue with our kids’ classical Christian education and provide as much consistency as possible for our high-schooler.

The good news is that we’ve been just as blessed in our new school here in Southern Pines, so hurray for answered prayer!  I know we have quite a few readers who are in the military, so if your orders ever send you to Ft. Bragg, shoot me an email {[email protected]} if you want more information on our school.  We. love. it.

Wish me luck with my waltz tonight, and thanks for stopping by.


Final New Christy headshot 2015




  1. Oh my, such great pics and they all look like such wonderful ladies and gentlement. Brings back fabulous memories of my children when they were growing up. Can’t wait to hear about your Waltz.

    • Thank you, Marty! Both nights were such fun…my son didn’t step on my foot during our waltz, but I think I stepped on his! 🙂


  2. I remember my youngest’s cotillion. She was tall for her age and towered over most of the boys!! So much fun. Your daughter looks beautiful.

    • Yes, we had a quite a few ladies who were taller than their dance partners. That seems to be a common issue in the 7th grade, but I’m guessing they’ll even out over the next few years! 😉

  3. What a beautiful young lady your daughter is. And how lucky your children are to have such opportunities to learn and be comfortable with the ‘social graces’. It’s unfortunate that more of their generation aren’t exposed to the ‘niceties and manners’ and traditions such as these.
    You have a lovely family and young people such as your two give me great hope for the future of our world.

    • Thank you, Sue. I wish more schools still did this sort of thing; fortunately, we’re still able to find (and support) the ones that do.
      Thanks for writing–


  4. Well, Miss Annabelle is definitely your mini-me! She is beautiful and looks gorgeous with her hair up and the lovely dress. The color is perfect! Your son looks like such a gentleman and I can’t wait to see/hear about your waltz. I’m so glad Annabelle loves to dance ~ she’s really into that tango! 🙂
    The schools my kids attended didn’t have Cotillions, however, my daughter went to “charm school” as she calls it. She hated every minute of it! I made a point of having formal dinners on occasion ~ linens, china, crystal, candles, etc. Both of them hated it but were very appreciative later! I told them they must learn social graces and how to behave when they were older and attending different events. They had to dress and my son hated the ties! Lol Anyway, the process was painful for them but made them very comfortable later on. Kids!

    • I remember you’ve told me about your dress up dinners before–I love that you’ve made a point of both using your nice things regularly and also teaching your children lovely manners. Don’t you wish everyone remembered their manners these days (especially on social media!!)? Thanks so much for your kind words, Pat. XO, Christy

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