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How to Get Your Daughter Invited to a Debutante Ball

by Robin McDaniel, studioD

Debutante balls are a time-honored initiation rite for many young women who are entering adulthood. Girls are presented to society in an opulent venue, wearing gorgeous gowns in an atmosphere of decorum and taste. Although they were once the arena of elite society, it is now possible for almost any young girl to attend the ball, if they follow some basic steps.

Make a large donation. If you are wealthy, but your daughter has not been invited to the ball, contribute through the cotillion committee for the debutante ball your daughter would like to attend. Donations can range from a few thousand to the six digits for exclusive debutante events. If the committee approves your daughter, you will receive an invitation to the ball.

Check you high school or look into local debutante programs to see whether they offer debutante programs for students based on achievements, community involvement or grades. You might also contact the National League of Junior Cotillions for information on Junior Cotillions. They offer cotillions from kindergarten all the way up to debutante presentations. They also have many tips on how to prepare for the big day.

Apply for a scholarship. Debutante balls are not the sole arena of the rich anymore. Many college sororities and organizations offer scholarships that open the doors for girls from poorer families to join in on these exclusive parties. The Arlington Scholarship Foundation covers a handbook, workshop, stylist hotel accommodations, and four tickets that include the debutante and escort, along with her mother and father.

Have your daughter complete a scholarship form that includes the required number of letters of recommendation from credible sources, a biography and application, photo, liability release and high school transcript. The committee will also want a photo and a minimum grade point average of 2.5 or above -- depending on the scholarship. A donation might also be required, but when applying for a scholarship, donations usually accepted in the form of ticket sales and advertising.

Prepare beforehand. Prepare your daughter early for her presentation party by helping her learn the necessary skills for her presentation. Debutante balls might require dance lessons, an expensive white dress and shoes and some basic social skills. For instance, a potential debutante might prepare by taking etiquette classes, learning the curtsey, and taking ballroom dance classes that include the waltz and the foxtrot.

Items you will need
  •  Scholarship application
  •  Invitation
  •  Gown
  •  Shoes
  •  Makeup and accessories
  •  Donation funds

About the Author

Robin McDaniel is a writer, educator and musician. She holds a master's degree in higher educational leadership from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton as well as a bachelor's degree in elementary education. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in adult in community education. McDaniel enjoys writing, blogging, web design, singing and playing bass guitar.