Cotillion Member Rules

As a Sarasota Cotillion member, we are encouraging you to learn proper social etiquette, which may require you to step outside of your comfort zone. The following rules and guidelines were designed to help you achieve great success in the traditional social environment for work or for play. We hope you will understand the importance of following our guidelines and we promise you will grow from your experiences.

1. Members are expected and encouraged to cooperate in meeting other Members, participating in the etiquette lesson(s), dancing, fulfilling any duty asked of them, and contributing to the success of the semi-formal dining and dancing events.

2. Cotillion membership is not transferable from one person to another.

3. All incoming 8th Graders and first-year Cotillion Members MUST participate in the August Orientation or they will lose their membership to the season’s Cotillion events.

4. Members must R.S.V.P. in writing for each dinner dance by the due date shown on the invitation.

a) If a Member is unable to attend a dance when they RSVP’d they would, they must call the Reservations Chair immediately. Please phone ASAP, as long as it is before 3:00 P.M. on the day of the event.

b) In the event that a Member must arrive late or leave early from the event, arrangement must be made prior to the event between the Member’s parent and the Reservations Chair.

5. No Member will be admitted after 30 minutes past the start of the dance unless prior arrangements have been made with the Reservations Chair.

6. Members should plan to arrive at the dance on time in order to register and greet their hosts. No Member shall be admitted into the dance early.

7. Dress Code


a) Gentlemen must wear: a traditional suit or jacket with dress slacks, button-down dress shirt with collar, tie, socks, belt, and leather-sole dress shoes, unless otherwise specified on the invitation.

b) Gentlemen may not wear: jeans, corduroy slacks, a collarless shirt, T-shirt, canvas shoes, suede bucks, boat shoes or boots.

c) During the event, gentlemen may not remove their coat, tie, or shoes.


a) Ladies must wear: a conservative, semi-formal or formal dress and dress shoes, unless otherwise specified on the invitation.

b) Ladies may not wear a dress that: has a bare midriff, is short and/or tight, has a neckline that is too revealing, is low-cut in the back (no lower than bra line), or has any cutouts in the material below the chest level/bra line. Ladies may not wear flip-flops (flat, backless sandals), boots or a hat.

c) Dress hemlines MUST extend beyond one’s fingertips, including while dancing.

d) Ladies may only dance with acceptable shoes. (They can bring comfortable shoes to dance in, but they will need to change their shoes in the bathroom.)

The judgement of the Cotillion Board Members regarding the appropriateness of attire at each dance will prevail. If a Board Member concludes the attire is inappropriate, the Cotillion Member choices are:

i. Parents return with appropriate attire prior to 8:00 PM.

ii. Ladies: If the dress is deemed too short, wear a slip skirt provided; if the dress is deemed too revealing, wear a shawl provided. The slip skirt and/or shawl must be worn the entire evening. Gentlemen: Wear the tie or suit jacket (offered by Cotillion).

iii. Decide not to attend the dance, at which point the parent is contacted for Member pick up.

8. Senior Cotillion Guests – Inviting a guest to Cotillion dinner dances is a privilege extended to our Senior Cotillion Members only.

a) Guests must pay a fee of $65 to cover the cost of the dinner. A check (no cash) and a signed Behavior Expectations Form must be mailed/received with the Member’s R.S.V.P. card by the Reservations Chair prior to the event.

b) The Senior Cotillion Member must accompany his/her guest to the sign-in area. Guests must present a photo I.D. and provide an emergency contact phone number before admission to the dance.

c) Guests must be a high school student and will be required to abide by all Cotillion rules. The Senior Cotillion Member is responsible for their guest’s behavior and attire.

d) Former Members who have been removed from membership may not attend Cotillion events as a guest. If a Senior Cotillion member’s guest does not adhere to the Rules of Cotillion, the Cotillion Member will receive an infraction letter.

9. General Rules of Conduct

a) Proper behavior is expected (i.e.: do not sit on a Member’s lap, no inappropriate dancing, etc.).

b) Bullying is not tolerated.

c) Members may not chew gum.

d) Telephone calls and texting are not permitted during the event, except under a chaperone’s supervision.

e) No electronic devices (including, but not limited to, cell phones, cameras, iPods, camcorders, etc.) are permitted at the dance.

Failure to comply with these Rules of Conduct may result in refusal of admittance or removal from any Cotillion function. After two (2) Rules of Conduct infractions, the Board reserves the right to remove him/her from membership.

10. MEMBERS SHALL NOT USE INTOXICANTS BEFORE OR DURING A COTILLION EVENT. The Cotillion Club of Sarasota has a zero tolerance policy for the use or consumption of drugs, alcohol, tobacco, or electronic cigarettes. Members who appear to be under the influence will not be admitted nor allowed to stay at a Cotillion event. The offending Member’s parents will be called to escort the Member from the event; the Member shall be removed from Cotillion membership.

a) The Cotillion Board Members reserve the right to search handbags and/or gentlemen’s jackets for both precautionary measures and suspected violation of Cotillion rules.

b) The Cotillion Board Members reserve the right to monitor restrooms for precautionary measures and suspected violations of Cotillion rules.

11. The Board of Directors is not responsible for lost articles.

12. Members are not allowed to leave the venue of an event until the close of the dance. Leaving a Cotillion function without authorization from a Board Member will result in automatic removal from Membership.

13. Cotillion events are chaperoned by Cotillion Board Members. For legal reasons parent’s may not enter the premises of the dance to watch their children, pick them up early or for any other purpose.

14. Members must be picked up promptly at the end of the dance. The use of public transportation (taxi, limousine, etc.) is discouraged. Should this be required, it is necessary that you notify the Reservations Chair prior to the dance. Cotillion Board Members are not responsible for Members after the dance.

15. Please log into your account with updates to your address, email, or phone on our website at

16. The Board of Directors reserves the right to remove from its membership and deny future membership to anyone whose actions and/or behavior is detrimental to proper social conduct, manners and/or property damage at an event. No portion of the offending Member’s dues will be refunded.

17. The Board of Directors reserves the right to deny any guest future membership or guest privileges whose actions and behavior are detrimental to proper and social conduct and good manners.

Any Member who does not follow the Cotillion Rules above may receive an infraction letter from the Cotillion Board. It is the Member’s responsibility to respond in writing to the infraction letter by the date indicated in the infraction letter. Failure to respond within the allotted time will cause future Cotillion dance invitations to be withheld. Repeated infractions may result in the removal of Cotillion membership.

Cotillion Club of Sarasota, Inc.
P.O. Box 19171
Sarasota , FL 34276-2171

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