For 36 years, the Top Ladies of Distinction in Shreveport have showcased some of the most talented and smart young men in Caddo-Bossier.
Their annual 'Beautillion' is a chance to present the young men to society in a formal affair.
It's the premier event each year for the Top Ladies of Distinction in Shreveport, a formal presentation highlighting African American boys in their communities.
This year, eleven young men will be introduced to society at the Beautillion.
Local at instructor Edward Allen has volunteered his time from the very beginning. Allen is in charge of teaching the Waltz to the young men, known as "Beaus," and their lady escorts, known as "Belles."
On Saturday night, the young men will be dressed in tuxedo tails, gloves, with top hats, and canes.Their belles will be dressed in pastel-colored ball gowns. Allen says the objective is to put the spotlight on the young men in their communities and give them the poise they will need later on in life.
Byrd High School Senior Christopher Braggs says Beaus like him have to be dedicated and willing to learn.
The gentlemen have been meeting every Sunday since October to learn social graces, including things like table etiquette and holding doors for ladies.
Past participants say the skills they have learned have helped them win scholarships and land jobs. Beautillion Chairperson Dottie Bell says the Beautillion is always emotional when the young men dance with their mothers.
The Beautillion will be held Saturday at the Shreveport Convention Center.
Each year the beautillion is open to high school junior and senior young men.
The Top Ladies of Distinction Beautillion will take place Saturday at the Shreveport Convention Center.
Most of the boys have already been accepted into college. One was even accepted to West Point.