Mill Valley News

Cotillion recognizes five seniors for leadership and service

Seniors Ryan Williams, Ally Klaudt, Paige Nentwig, Mia Thomas and Jakob Twigg participated in the Junior League of Wyandotte and Johnson Counties' 68th annual Cotillion ball on Saturday, Dec. 1

Maddie Schaffer, JAG reporter/photographer

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For 68 years, students from various high schools have been joining the Junior League of Wyandotte and Johnson Counties in their annual Cotillion ball. Seniors Ryan Williams, Ally Klaudt, Paige Nentwig, Mia Thomas and Jakob Twigg were nominated and chosen to participate this year.

While the cotillion has always been a charity event, it also recognizes student leaders in their community, according to senior Ally Klaudt.

“Historically, cotillion is a formal ball that is supposed to be for a senior girl entering high society in which they are presented by their dads and escorted by a senior boy,” Klaudt said. “The people chosen are supposed to represent active leaders in the community through community service.”

Klaudt also enjoyed learning how to dance.

“It felt really cool to be involved because it’s a privilege to be chosen. Not many people can say they were in a cotillion,” Klaudt said. “It was super fun meeting new people and being able to represent junior league and learn a formal dance. The dancing was super fun because it’s the first time I’ve had to learn a dance.”

For senior Ryan Williams, building relationships with peers was motivation to participate.

“I really bonded with everyone in it, especially [the day of the event]. I did it more for meeting people and making friends over the fancy stuff,” Williams said. “It was fun learning how to dance. Sometimes it was a lot, but once you got the dances down it was lot of fun. The formal wear wasn’t bad at all, just like dressing up for prom with a couple of extra pieces.”

There were three dances, a waltz, a hip hop and a charleston piece. Klaudt enjoyed all the dances.

“I can’t even pick a favorite [dance], all of them were so different and awesome. I liked the waltz because it was graceful and at the end the guy dipped the girls. [It] was so cliche but cute,” Klaudt said. “Charleston was super upbeat and involved a lot of jumps and movement. The hip hop was to Fireball by Pitbull and my partner and I were middle front row for it so we got to lead and it was so goofy.”

Despite the large audience, Williams wasn’t nervous to perform, simply eager.

“[There were] about 200-300 spectators. I honestly was just ready to dance because we had been waiting for nine hours,” Williams said. “I wasn’t really nervous, it was just a lot of fun”

Unlike Williams, Klaudt was very nervous to dance in front of a crowd for the first time.

“I didn’t think I would be scared, but I think the scariest part is when we are presented. My dad and I were on one side of the stage and then my escort was on the other … and we had to walk out in front of everyone,” Klaudt said. “It was scary because there was so many people. Once we completed the first dance, it wasn’t too bad because we got used to it and everyone was applauding.”

The cotillion was fun for both students and parents, according to Klaudt.

“After we danced, there was a father daughter dance and then the escorts danced with their moms. My mom literally started crying when she [first] saw me. I think it made all the parents so proud of their sons and daughters and seeing them dressed up,” Klaudt said. “My parents absolutely loved it and they were so happy I decided to do it.”

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