“We don’t call them ‘debutantes’ it’s considered a little derogatory. We call them sponsors.”
This is Richmond, Virginia's Bal du Bois. Each young woman has three escorts who are on rotation throughout the season, accompanying her to the various parties held by each sponsor’s family. While the reel-like procession is considered the most important part of the evening, as these women, dressed in virginal white, were processed through the main tent, I found the moments in preparation, far more interesting. They reveal a beauty in the order handed down through generations. They remind that no matter the socioeconomic class, the older generation will hold dear some trace of tradition, and the younger will (while sometimes begrudgingly) comply, and in turn continue it to the next generation.