TODAY'S COTILLION....a modern twist on a Southern tradition
Today's Cotillion Director, Joanna Kunz, pictured second from right, at the April 2019 American Association of Etiquette Professionals Conference in Denver, Colorado.
Meet the Director...
Joanna Kunz has been a part of cotillion in some way-- as observer, participant, assistant, and instructor--her entire life. Her father, Mr. William Phillips, taught cotillion in Virginia for more than 60 years. A Dance Educators of America trained ballroom instructor, he encountered thousands of students during his tenure as cotillion instructor. For 15 years, Joanna taught alongside her father in Chester Virginia. Upon her father's retirement in 2018, Joanna took the reins and continues to teach in Chester, where there are 200 7th and 8th grade students, hailing from a dozen different schools. In the fall of 2013, she launched Today's Cotillion and started teaching cotillion in North Carolina. Offering two sessions a year to students in grades 6-9, the classes have grown such in popularity that there is always a waiting list.
Mrs. Kunz is a certified K-12 ESL teacher and has extensive experience working with youth both in and out of the classroom in the United States and abroad. Prior to moving to North Carolina, she lived and worked in Washington DC where she was director of a not-for-profit organization. While there she planned various large-scale fundraising events, organized a national high school language competition, and served on several interview panels for study abroad programs. Opting to follow her heart and return to the classroom, Mrs. Kunz decided to turn in her business suits for a teaching certificate. She taught middle school ESL in Northern Virginia and now, when she's not teaching cotillion, she teaches ESL part-time at her children's school in North Carolina.
From the school classroom in the U.S. and abroad, Joanna Kunz is most at home with this age group of young people. "To me, they are the perfect blend of silly and serious. You can joke with them and they will laugh with you, but you can also be serious with them and they understand."