Vail High Altitude Society column: Chivalry is alive in Eagle County |

Vail High Altitude Society column: Chivalry is alive in Eagle County

Betty Ann Woodland
High Altitude Society
A group of fifth- and sixth-grade students from Eagle County Charter Academy prepare to demonstrate ballroom dances at their cotillion program instructed by Colin Meiring.
Betty Ann Woodland | Special to the Daily |

After a season of high school graduation head shots and student biographies, school events galore as well as activities and trips for all, we send our students off with well wishes for a summer full of adventure, good clean fun and, above all, a safe return to school or work ahead.

School prepares students for the world academically, as well as socially. The Vail Performing Art Cotillion helps teach social skills and dance to area youth. On Thursday, the fifth- and sixth-grade students of Eagle County Charter Academy were prepared and dressed to the nines to show off their best manners and smooth dance moves for their parents, teachers and friends.

Under the expert tutelage of the one and only Colin Meiring, it was a feast for the eyes to behold as the young students swayed and dipped, demonstrating their traditional ballroom dance steps.

Building Confidence

Parents want the best for their children and teaching decorum and manners helps students with confidence and poise. Vail Performing Arts Cotillion classes are expertly instructed by undefeated national ballroom champion Colin Meiring, who is credited with International Dance Teachers’ Association qualifications in dance etiquette and deportment. Under Meiring’s charge, the Vail Performing Arts Cotillion has brought etiquette and chivalry to the forefront.

“Cotillion is the foundation of learning important social skills through dance. These fun-filled lessons provide the basis for students to feel confident. How students act is not only a reflection of their character, but also a demonstration of their education,” Meiring said.

The students and guests learned some of the history of dance and that these dance skills translate around the world.

“All five dances that our ECCA children are learning are internationally known. So, they could go to Israel or they could go to China and not speak the language, but dance the same dance steps with children of that country. Through movement and dance they can work together and cooperate,” Meiring said.

Chivalry isn’t dead

The students seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves as they bowed and curtsied their way through the program. Then it was off to the Chophouse in Beaver Creek to put those manners to good use at a four-course meal; chairs pulled back for the ladies and napkins in lap.

Learning manners never looked so fun.

“This is not your father’s cotillion. We instill confidence, etiquette and chivalry through a nurturing, enthusiastic experience of laughter, passion and skill,” Meiring said.

Betty Ann Woodland is a longtime local who covers social events including fundraisers, nonprofits, local happenings and soirees. She can be reached at

Support Local Journalism