Saturday, Jun. 24 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Cotillion time! -- Please come to the LP gym/cultural hall at 7:30pm on Saturday, June 24 for a night of group social dancing (vaguely Celtic, kind of like Pride & Prejudice with a bit of Oklahoma! thrown in), where you'll have fun, meet lots of people, and become very, very tired.

The Essential Points
A. By popular request, this is a reprise of the St. Patrick's Day Cotillion we had this past March (but as it's no longer St. Patrick's Day, we'll add more Scots & English dances to the existing Irish!).(Note: for folks new to the YSA/SA wards, we'll explain more in Section II....)

B. Please come at 7:25pm! (We'll start punctually at 7:30!)

As in the March Cotillion (where those who came fashionably late experienced a bit of a shock!), there's an honest-to-goodness Dance Program, with the dances building on one another. We'll again start with "Lessons" -- which themselves are an integral part of the evening's fun -- and if people look ready for it (we held off in March, given the 3-year hiatus from the last-previous Cotillion),**we might reinstate the "March & Procession"**that's historically marked the beginning of the formal program (which would greatly please the Cotillion veterans!)

Basically, if you're all mostly there by the 7:30 start, we can not only do the March/Procession, but we'll be able to smoothly get through more of the dances (though if you have to come late, then come late: we'll do our best to accommodate you)!! The dance will end when people are too tired to continue (typically at 9:30ish, though the St. Patrick's Cotillion crowd (a very festive lot!) kept going till 10:15...)
C. Please do NOT dress up! Wear comfortable clothes (you'll be working up aerobic perspiration!),and the lightest / slippiest shoes in your closet.
D. No experience necessary (we'll teach you all you need to know**), and no need for a date** (these (mostly 19th-century) dances were designed for people to meet new people).

Indeed, this is a great activity for inviting friends, classmates, roommates, colleagues, and such -- just make sure they're up for an evening of vigorous aerobic exercise, with lots of springing and jumping.... =)
E. Finally, do consider bringing something for your wardmates to munch on:

Thus far we're aware of nobody who's bringing food (which is ok -- Jessie and I will set out paper cups of water, just as in March!...) -- but everyone will be starving during the intermissions between dances, and people will be so grateful for anything sweet or savoury!!

II. For the Newcomers....
For those who've just moved into LP or CRW: first of all, Welcome to Boston (we hope you have a wonderful time here, and sorry about all the recent rain!); and secondly....
==> The "Cotillion" dances have been a mainstay in the Cambridge YSA/SA wards from ~2002 onwards (though with a 3-year Covid pause until this past March), and they'renot like any other dances you're likely to have been to (and that includes if you're into historical or Scottish/English Country dance, etc. -- they're kind of a hybrid of various 19th-century genres...)
==> Visually, they're akin to the dances in the Pride & Prejudice movies, where gents line up opposite to ladies, and everyone perambulates through pre-choreographed patterns....

**==>**However, sometime in the early 2000s, we noticed that the YSA/SA wardlings really liked the "swings", and thus over time the dances have morphed to become more Irish/Scottish and, er, "athletic". =)

Here's a "swing" from the 1997 movie "Titanic": if you'd like to see it in action, start at 0:32 in the following clip:
**==> More philosophically,**the Cotillion dances exist because 21st-century dances are often kind of stressful (your RAC himself spent many a singles-ward dance hanging around the potato chips table, wishing he knew how to salsa...), and it's nice to have an evening where you can (1) dance while (2) not worrying about your feet or hips. As it turns out, lots of folks in the 19th century had similar aspirations, in that people wanted a way to meet and have fun with other people.

III. A bit of hopeful pleading....
A. Advertising:
For the established members of the wards: "RAC" is an entirely voluntary enterprise -- and Jessie and I are now no longer in the Cambridge Stake, so we can't look up peoples' contact info in the directory! Hence this inefficient via-email general request:we could really use some help in Cotillion advertising(!). That is, we can send out emails such as this one, but otherwise....

==> As far as we know, there's no Facebook page for next week's Cotillion? Could somebody please set one up, to reach those who don't read emails? (Thank you very much!)
**==>**Similarly, if anyone could announce things in RS/EQ on Sunday (particularly in LP), we'd very much appreciate it! (We used to announce things ourselves in CRW, and ask friends in LP to say something there -- but we no longer know whom to ask....)
In short, if anyone could help spread the word, Jessie and I will be most grateful (thank you!) =)
B. A kindly request to the Pickle Ballers:
First of all, it was nice to meet you all in March, and thank you for setting up the microphone (it really made a huge difference in helping the spring Cotillion!). =) On the 24th, we'll start setting up at ~6pm (we have to mop and dry the floor before setting out the chairs, and we'll be working out various potential bugs in the evening's dances) -- so if it'd be possible for the games to be done by 6 or so, that'd be very helpful. =) Thank you (and apologies for any inconvenience!)!
C. And a final request to everyone:
Notwithstanding the many requests made in this email (e.g., please come at 7:25 if you can; bring food if you like; we'd appreciate advertising assistance, etc.!) --the main thing we ask of you (should you be interested in attending the Cotillion) is to please, simply, have fun. =)

In March we were struck by how wonderful are the 2023 YSA/SA wards (you really are a most special group of people!), and if you're laughing and smiling (and helping one another!) on the dance flooras you go through these festively archaic dances, well, then that would make a wonderful evening for your RAC and RAC-in-Law. =)
Thank you very much, everyone, and Happy mid-June!
Winston and Jessie, RAC and RAC-in-Law
RAC = Random Activities Committee
...busily working out new dances for your June 24th

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
2 Longfellow Park
Cambridge, MA 02138

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