History of the Deb Program

Debutante programs have come a long way in the last few centuries. Although the original balls were intended to introduce young women into society, they have now evolved into charitable events, as is the case with the Alpha Charter Guild’s program.

The debutante tradition here in the United States has roots in Europe. "Debutante" comes from the French word "debuter," which means "to lead." In 1748, 59 colonial families held "dancing assemblies" as the forerunner to the modern debutante ball, also called a cotillion.

Although the rules for the original debutante dresses varied depending on the current monarchy, they were all traditionally white, accessorized by white gloves and pearls. Today, the tradition of the white debutante gown continues.

The Alpha Charter Guild’s debutante program begins in early Spring, features numerous events through the summer and culminates in the Hourglass Ball in November. Deserving, young woman of our community are taught etiquette, modeling, waltz lessons and interview preparation. What isn’t taught, but gained through their months of preparation together, are lifelong friendships, an appreciation for their community and the satisfaction of volunteerism.