2023 Cotillion

The Opera Omaha Guild cordially invites all Omaha Metropolitan area sixth and seventh graders to participate in a class of dining, dancing, and social graces.

The classes will take place on the following Sundays: September 17, September 24, October 1, and October 8. The students and parents are invited to celebrate the completion of the classes at the Cotillion Graduation on Friday, October 20, 2023.

If you would like to be added to the Cotillion email list to receive updates on next year, please email Rebecca Ihnen at rihnen@operaomaha.org.

Cotillion – French word for formal ball – combines fundraising for Opera Omaha with lessons in social skills “disguised” as a dance class for sixth graders throughout Omaha. A popular tradition through the 1960’s, Cotillion died out in the 1970’s. The revival of Cotillion began in 1983 and has been popular ever since.

The primary purpose of each Cotillion class is to provide the opportunity for each student to mature socially. Students learn the art of dining in a formal setting, communicating, being a proper guest as well as a host/hostess, and ballroom dancing. The emphasis will be on helping students learn how to meet new people and how to get along with others; the learning of dance steps is incidental.

Who Can Attend

All children in the Omaha area who will be enrolled in the 6th or 7th grade are invited to participate.

Dance and Dinner Classes

Cotillion students will attend a dance class at the same time every week on the dates listed below. On the Sunday of your choice, your student will attend an additional dinner class before or after their dance class. When enrolling your student, make sure the dinner class time is not the same time as your dance class.

Step 1: Choose a dance class time. Students will attend the same class time every Sunday listed below.

Dance Class Dates & Times:
4:00 - 4:45 p.m. / 5:00 - 5:45 p.m. / 6:00 - 6:45 p.m. / 7:00 - 7:45 p.m.

Sunday, September 17, 2023
Sunday, September 24, 2023
Sunday, October 1, 2023
Sunday, October 8, 2023

Step 2: Choose a dinner class time that is before or after your student's regular dance class. Students will only attend this class once. Students are served a full meal and will be guided from the dance room to the dinner room.

Dinner Class Times:
5:00 - 5:45 p.m. / 6:00 - 6:45 p.m.

Sunday, September 24, 2023
Sunday, October 1, 2023
Sunday, October 8, 2023

Both classes will be held at the Omaha Marriott, located at 10220 Regency Circle in Omaha, Nebraska.

The registration cost is $280.


Parents are invited and encouraged to chaperone one class.

Graduation Dinner Dance

The Cotillion Graduation will be held at the Hilton Omaha (1001 Cass St, Omaha, NE 68102) on Friday, October 20, 2023. Graduation will begin at 6:00 p.m. with a social hour, followed by dinner at 7:00 p.m. Dress is semi-formal.

A separate invitation will be mailed for this event.


Girls wear school dresses or skirts and dress shoes (no tennis shoes or sandals and no high heels over two inches). Boys wear long sleeved dress shirts, slacks, and socks. Cords are fine. No sweatpants or sweatshirts. No tennis, athletic or sandal type shoes are allowed. Crepe-soled shoes (topsiders) are acceptable. Graduation Dinner Event attire consists of party dresses for the girls, coats, and ties for the boys.

History of Cotillion

In 1985, the first Cotillion classes of dance and etiquette began for 6th, 7th, and 8th-grade students. As these classes grew, the format was changed to include only 6th graders. In the ensuing years, this activity has become a prime source of dancing, social graces, and fun for young people. Throughout the 34 years of Cotillion classes, this program has grown from a beginning number of 120 students to over 300 in 2011. Many recent students are second-generation attendees - their parents being some of the earlier graduates. Cotillion Reunion was introduced as a way for former alumnae to reconnect and celebrate with friends.