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- Letters & Notes -

- Parents’ Comments -

“They weren’t too crazy about the idea, but when we picked them up afterward, they were higher than a kite.  It’s an exciting, entirely different stage of life for them; they love it.”

“I thought third grade was too young until I saw them in action.  It’s now obvious to me that I should have understood that parents send their children at that early age because it works.  The early foundation is wonderful for them.”

“If I’d had something like this, adolescence might have been a little less painful.”

“Succeeding in life without things like cotillion is a little like needing braces on crooked teeth.  You could get along without them but it does make a lifelong difference.”

“My first two boys didn’t go to cotillion; my second two who did dated less frantically and behaved as young gentlemen.”

“Thank you for your cotillions backing up all the things my husband and I have taught our children through the years.  They believed what they’d heard when they heard it from you too.”

“We go out ot dinner after every cotillion.  It's wonderful to see the good cotillion manners spill over.”

“My husband and I chaperoned the last school dance.  Except for a half dozen, the only children dancing were those who had been to cotillion.”

“I about fell over!  As we were about to leave a recent party, my son strode off stating ‘I’ve got to find the host to thank him.’  All the years of cotillion were worth just that one moment.”

“He likes opportunities to dress up now.  The other day he actually asked me if he could get a haircut.”

“On our Caribbean cruise, our 5th and 7th grade boys went from table to table asking the ladies to dance.  It was unbelievable.”

“Now when we go out to dinner, I hear them reminding each other of what Miss Martine would say.”

“At our daughter’s wedding our son asked the ladies in the bridal party to dance... without our suggestion.  People were so impressed with him that they lauded praise on us as his parents.  I didn’t tell them that his new found confidence came since cotillion.”

“Now our son spends less time with his friends who act up and more time with those who are growing up.  I credit cotillion with that.”

“You have such a wonderful way with them.  You refer to them as ladies and gentlemen, expect them to behave accordingly, and they do!”

- Childrens’  Comments -

Girl - 12, Boy - 13

“We didn’t want to come at first, but now we enjoy cotillion.  It’s helped a lot.  They’ve shown us how to use manners and to dance.”

Boy - 10

“I didn’t know these kids could be so nice to each other.”

Boy - 9

“I love Cotillion!  Why can’t it be every week?”

Girl - 8

“I already know everything.  I just come for the games and the fun.”

Boy - 13

“I didn’t know how to dance.  I’ve developed more self-confidence and I’m not as shy as I was before.”

Boy - 12

“Cotillion has helped me be more polite.  I’ve learned things I can practice at home.  But the thing I enjoy most is meeting new people.”

Boy - 13

“The things I’ve learned will help me when I go to parties.”

Girl - 13

“If the kids at school knew how we treated each other at cotillion they’d think we were really weird.”

Boy - 13

“We travel a lot.  Manners are important.  I like to leave a good impression.”

Girl - 9

“My favorite days are the ones when I go to Cotillion.  They’re especially fun because I have a great teacher.”



Hi Miss Martine,

        I am Kaeline Kine's mom - I saw that you made a comment on a graduation picture I posted.  I just wanted to tell you how often my three children who are now young adults have used the lessons you taught them over the years in Cotillion.

        Kaeline actually mentioned how helpful Cotillion and supper club lessons were just last week - the weekend of her graduation. She had the privilege of being invited to the home of the president of the university since she was the student commencement speaker.  She and her date were the only two students amongst and the college faculty and honored guests.  She said that she felt perfectly comfortable in that setting thanks to the Cotillion lessons that are now an integral part of her.

        I just thought you would like a little feed back about how your lessons live on in your students.

Hope all is well with you and your family and organization.

D'arcy Kine -Long Beach

Dear Miss Martine,

     I wanted to write to you and let you and your colleagues know what a wonderful experience we have had over the past year.  My son, Ryan, has had the pleasure of participating eagerly in your Yorba Linda program throughout his fifth grade year.  We have seen him grow in confidence and social skills and cannot wait for the next season to begin.

     I wanted to share with you one way your Cotillion has enriched our lives that we did not expect when we began.  Ryan’s grandmother has dementia, and sadly, has gone from a beautiful, dignified lady to unfortunately a shadow of her former self.  When Ryan began his Cotillion experience last Fall, I began to video Ryan’s Cotillion experience each time, and I bring the videos to show to my mother in her care facility.  She is truly enchanted and excited to watch every time.

     As I observe her watching the video, I get the wonderful and unexpected joy of watching my mother increase in focus, interaction, and sheer joy every time.  I used to only do this after every new Cotillion meeting.  However, as her memory fades, I have begun showing her the videos every time we visit, and each time she is as thrilled as the last.  She honestly laughs with joy as she watches them, and she even hums along with some of the music, stopping now and then to share with us her own experiences as a young lady… memories that would otherwise be lost forever due to her condition.

        So I want to thank you for the program you offer not just as it benefits our son, but as it brings generations of our family together and brings an elderly lady such joy in the sunset of her life.  I just wanted to let you know our personal story, so you are aware of even more ways your lovely program has touched the lives of the people who participate. 

        We are looking forward to seeing you all again next year… although probably Ryan more than anyone.


My best to you,

Debbie Greenbaum -Yorba Linda

Dear Martine Cotillion Instructors and Chairs,

        I just want to say thank you for your dedication and effort for the Cotillion.  This is our son’s first year to participate and I want you to know how much he is enjoying it.

        Before he attended he wasn’t too sure he wanted to do it.  After the first night he was so happy, and excited that he had such a good time he wanted to know if he could come more that just once a month.  Dressed in a sport coat and slacks, he asked if he could have a suit to wear to Cotillion.  He made his mother’s heart swell with happiness and relief.  He looks forward to attending each party.

He practices his skills at his friends’ house with parents, when we dine out - to order himself and shakes hands when introduced to adults.  We are very happy and proud of his behavior and manners that he has continued to learn through Cotillion and not just his parents repeatedly reminding.

We look forward to many more years of Cotillion.

- Huntington Beach

Dear Ms. Martine Santoni

        Our family moved to Newport Beach from Westfield New Jersey three years ago.  We love Orange County.  One of the true gems of Orange County is The Martine Cotillions.  Keep up the good work.  I believe this is one of the greatest gifts I am giving my children.  As a parent, I am truly indebted to you.

- Newport Beach

Dear Gena,

        Thank you so very much for your comments regarding the dress code.  I so appreciate your strict guidelines ad your concern in this area.  Our children are used to such a casual lifestyle in Southern California, yet need to be taught what is appropriate and when.  I have two boys (4th and 2nd grades) and a five year old daughter.  I am often amazed at the clothing out there.  I am often frustrated shopping for my daughter.  It seems the styles available in little girl sizes are more geared toward teenagers.  And even then, it’s most often not what I would consider acceptable.  Thank you for all you are doing to make a difference.

- Newport Beach

Dear Ms. Santoni,

        As we approach the conclusion of the Cotillion Season, my husband and I wish to express our gratitude to you and your entire staff for the wonderful experience offered to our children.  My husband and I are are blessed to have five daughters who range in age from 21 to 9; the three oldest have moved beyond to Cotillion age - much to their dismay, for Cotillion evenings were a much anticipated and much enjoyed experience. Our two younger daughters currently are enrolled in the Ventura Cotillion, loving every minute.  We would like to extend a special thank you to The Martine Cotillions.

  1. -Ventura

Dear Ms. Martine,

Thank you so much for five lovely years for my two sons.  We were at your Long Beach location.  Cotillion has brought civility into our lives on a monthly basis.  I wish that Cotillion could be a daily way of life for everyone.  Sometimes I worry that my boys won’t find any girls that have manners and act like girls.  My younger son is attending summer school in order to take geometry in 9th grade, and the behavior and overall appearance of these girls is frightening.  With strong parental guidance, a good moral foundation and a lovely program such as yours - his foundation has been set.  Hopefully both the boys will choose good mates.  I’ll miss receiving the newsletters, but keep up the good work.  Common Discourtesy was particularly touching.  We thoroughly enjoyed our time with you.

  1. -Long Beach

Dear Mrs. Santoni,

        My son is in the Rancho Santa Fe 5th grade Cotillion and it has been a wonderful experience for him and for our entire family.

I am writing to say how much I appreciated your article in the recent Cotillion newsletter about appropriate dress for young ladies.  What you wrote was refreshing and very insightful.  Thank you for taking on this issue.  It is so sad to see  young girls and young women dressing in such devaluing ways.  Your article was much needed and I hope it will be much heeded in Cotillion.

-Rancho Santa Fe

Gena and Suzy,

        I have truly enjoyed working with you both and with your Cotillion team.  I am glad to have been chosen as a chair.  I have met some wonderful people over the years - those who shared the same desire to engage our children with a unique experience and strong values.  Something that seems to be lacking with today’s lifestyle.  I know my sons have both benefited from this positive environment, and I thank you.

- Ventura

Dear Mrs. Santoni,

        Tonight marks the very last evening that our family will attend The Martine Cotillions as members since our daughter will graduate tonight.  I would like to express to you and your family how much we have enjoyed the last eleven years as members.  Both our son and daughter started Cotillion in their third grade years.  Both of them speak with fondness about their time spent at Cotillion, and the skills and values that you helped to impart will serve them well in their future endeavors.

My husband and I are grateful that we were asked to serve as Patrons this past year.  The Martine Cotillions are certainly blessed to have such wonderful volunteers to chair the Cotillions and to work so diligently in the service of our children.

Please extend our heartfelt thanks to your family and fellow Cotillion instructors for their kindness and concern for the children.

We will truly miss you all and will remember our years at Cotillion always.  May your future be richly blessed.

- Yorba Linda

I am compelled to write to rave about the Cotillion.  It is such a special part of our lives.  My daughter, who never wants to wear dresses to school, is turning into a “little lady.”  Her manners are the subject of other parents.  “How did you do it?” they ask.  I smile and say, “had some help from friends - at Cotillion!”  Thank you again.

- Santa Barbara

To the “Cotillion Team,”

Thank you to all of you for providing such a necessary and enjoyable activity for the children in Laguna (and all of Southern California!)  My son has been participating since the 3rd grade and will now have the honor of attending the Evening Cotillion. We are very exited about the prospect of live music.

Here is an example of why Cotillion is such a big hit - the enthusiasm and talent of the instructors in unparalleled.

Good luck with this upcoming season.  We look forward to seeing the now familiar faces.

- Laguna Beach

Dear Miss Martine,

        With the Cotillion Season coming to an end, I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to be a Cotillion Assistant this year.  I have enjoyed it very much and hope that I have been helpful to the members.

        As you are making plans for next season, please keep me in mind.  I would very much like to be considered for another year as Cotillion Assistant.  Having had a year to become aquatinted with the members and an assistant’s responsibilities, I think I could bring a great deal to next year’s season.

        Again, thank you for a wonderful season.  It was fun and I hope to see you next year.

  1. -9th grade graduate of the Ventura Cotillions

Dear Mrs. Santoni,

        As a third grader, this was our son’s first year in the Martine Cotillion’s Villa Park chapter.  Although there was some grumbling on his part, he seemed to really enjoy every session.  I’m very impressed with the content and quality of your program.  We are looking forward to next year.  Congratulations on a great season!

  1. -Villa Park

From a mother to her Cotillion Grade Chair:

I just had to tell you about an experience we had with our son this week at a family funeral.

Tons of family were there - people I hadn’t seen in a very long time.  As soon is my son had on his suit he was all manners!!  He was confident, outgoing, and friendly.  I did not have to ask him one time to settle down or be still or anything!  It was so wonderful.  He was like that all day long!

We got more compliments on his demeanor and manners than ever before.  He walked around with his grandfather and had very cordial conversations and would immediately put out his hand.  People wanted to know what we did to get our child to be like that.

Cotillion has been so wonderful for him, and we are truly grateful for the opportunity you’ve given him!  He enjoys it.  He can hardly wait for the next dance.  He comes home and performs all of the dances for us and talks nonstop about it when he gets home.

I just had to share that with you because Cotillion has truly influenced him. 

We truly appreciate hearing from our families and hope you will enjoy reading what parents - and the members themselves - think about their experience of Cotillion over the years, and the benefits they have received .


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