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Where Long Beach Kids Learn to Dance

Burgess Cotillion enters another season on September 24! Early bird rates will be available until September 15.

It’s another Monday night in Long Beach, but the children aren’t home. They’re not playing video games or sitting on the couch staring at their phones. They took the night off of sports practice, scouts, tutoring, and everything else that’s become the routine of their 21st century lives.

But where are they?

Long Beach’s adolescents are out in dresses, suits, and ties dancing the night away. Bet you didn’t see that coming! But you should have, because Burgess Cotillion is a Long Beach staple and one of the longest-running parties in the city.

And yes, I know from experience. I, like many of my local friends, am a graduate of Burgess Cotillion.

Burgess Cotillion does a great job of throwing fun, monthly parties while teaching kids to dance. However, another important focus is basic manners and etiquette—key life components that have been left out of curriculum elsewhere.

“We’re finding more and more that parents love the etiquette portion of our evenings in today’s world,” said owner, teacher, and Long Beach notable figure Bobby Burgess.

Bobby’s fame started as a teen when he was one of the original Mouseketeers from “The Mickey Mouse Club.” You may also recognize Bobby’s name from “The Lawrence Welk Show,” where he was a resident dance expert for 21 years. In fact, he’s still on the PBS reruns often today.

Though the name Bobby Burgess is famous in Hollywood and across the nation, he aims to carry on the cotillion legacy in Long Beach that gave him a start.

Call’s Fine Arts Center was a booming institution during most of the 20th century reaching as many as 10,000 to 11,000 students at a time.

When Burgess, a Poly High School and Long Beach State graduate, took over for his teacher Chloe Call in 1990, his main goal was to keep the cotillion fun, informative, and different from other “cotillions” around the country.

How is it Burgess Cotillion different? It’s fun! They play contemporary music, and there are refreshments, dance competitions with winners, a nightly ticket-raffle with prizes, and themed nights with fun dress-ups.

Bobby’s wife, kids, and long-time staff help make each night magical and always welcome new students. You can join before the first class in September or join late at a prorated cost.

Speaking of cost, that’s one of the best parts. It’s only $225 for the season and $200 if you sign up before Sept. 15.

Trust me when I say Burgess Cotillion is a great investment. It may seem like yet another thing to sign your kid up for, but it helps your child lay a foundation for basic ballroom dancing and manners; it definitely pays dividends later in life.

The 2018-2019 season starts on Sept. 24 and runs through April. If you’re interested in joining the party, sign up at and Burgess Cotillion will mail your child an old-fashioned invitation to their first dance! Now that’s classy.

Here’s some more basic info to help you get started:

Who: Kids in 3rd through 12th grade

When: One Monday each month from September to April

Where: The Grand - Catalina Ballroom

Attire: For girls - a party dress or skirt and blouse. No bare midriff, pants, or strapless.

For boys - coat and tie, hard-sole shoes

Contact: (323) 874-7393


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