The National League of Junior Cotillions – Faulkner County Chapter held its annual Holly Ball on Friday evening, Dec. 13, at the Brewer-Hegeman Conference Center on the University of Central Arkansas campus.

Dressed semi-formally the sixth through eighth grade students participated in the elegant evening, complete with dance cards, contests, prizes, corsages, and boutonnieres.

The Holly Ball gave these Cotillion members the opportunity to put into practice all the dances and etiquette that they learned during the past half year in Cotillion classes. They danced the night away doing the Foxtrot, Cha cha cha, Swing, and the Cupid Shuffle.

Refreshments consisted of chocolate gateau and sunshine punch. The refreshment table was decorated with an antique silver punch bowl, silver candelabras, lighted garlands and topiaries. Ornately wrapped gifts and topiaries adorned the tables clothed in white with red and green napkins.

Prizes were awarded to Jackson Murphy, Alex Trawick, Payton Riddle, and Lillee Mahan for the Foxtrot contest; John McKenna, Mackenzie Glenn, Ryan Barnard, and Grace Oaks for the Swing contest, and Parker Borden, Lina Rein, Riley Andrus, and Elizabeth Ward for the Cha cha cha contest. Winners of the Snowball Elimination Dance, which required holding a ball between their heads while doing the Foxtrot and Cha cha cha, were Zach Hammons, Alison Fisher, John Michael Scherrey, and Marissa Pennington. The Jingle Bell Elimination was won by Elizabeth Kennedy, Cameron Tefteller, Kelly Zhao, and Parker Prock. Prizes were National League of Junior Cotillion T-shirts.

"The members and parents, as well as the director, all had a great time!," according to Susan Humphries, director.

Parents who chaperoned for the evening were Mr. and Mrs. Will Fisher, Traci Smith, Kim Newman, Laurie Rapert, Sara Givens-Cato, Savannah Butler, Angel Scherrey, Mandy Johnson, Paula Rein, Mario Berry, Ashley Adams, Dana Umbholtz, and Penny Vaught.

Serving as the program’s assistants for the year were high school students Miss Grace Hawk, Miss Caroline Herrod, Isaac Powers, and Corbin Capps. The local Cotillion began in 1993.

The seven-month program gives sixth through eighth grade students instruction in etiquette, proper manners and social dances. Skills taught included table manners, correspondence, proper introductions, good first impression skills, good posture, paying and receiving compliments, opening doors, assisting with coats, and the like.

"It’s designed to train students in the courtesies that make life more pleasant for them and those around them," said Humphries. "In just the three classes for this year, I have seen these ladies and gentlemen grow in poise and self-assurance. And our second year students are becoming very mature ladies and gentlemen."

"The program gives these middle school students the opportunity to learn and practice in a structured, yet fun, atmosphere with their peers," said Patrick Humphries, husband of the director, who also helps with the program. "We know the self-confidence that they gain helps them to withstand negative peer pressure."

Membership is open to any interested sixth, seventh, or eighth grade student in the county. For information, or to get your child on the list for the 2014-2015 Cotillion program, call Susan Humphries at 501-262-5054, or contact her via www.nljc.com/chapter/faulknercounty.