There was an extra pep in his step, a bright gleam in his eye and an elegant tone in his speech.
The body language exuded confidence gained from Manuel Esmie’s participation in the Applause Institute’s cotillion ball and the Escort of the Year award bestowed on him at the 14th annual event in Scarborough.
“This is just great,” he proudly pronounced after being crowned. “I made new friends and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.”
The 16-year-old Erindale Secondary School student, who enjoys reading, writing, playing soccer and drawing, aspires to become a successful filmmaker/director and author.
“I want to do that for my mom (Charmaine Esmie) because she’s a hard worker and my role model,” he added.
Denis O’Connor Catholic High School Grade 12 student Anyonam Tutu-Brenpong also has a lot for which to thank her mom.
It was Deborah Tutu-Brenpong who suggested that her 17-year-old daughter take part in the ball.
“She figured it would make me a more rounded person,” said the affable teen and 2010 Debutante, who lists her hobbies and interests as reading, music, shopping and meeting interesting people. “I met a lot of beautiful people in the process and I learned something new in the workshops. It was a fascinating experience and I am going to go back and tell all my friends they should give it a try.”
The Ball provides young men and women with an opportunity to gracefully display the protocol and etiquette they learned over the months leading up to the big night. In addition to allowing the participants to discover the elegance in themselves, the Ball also presents the best examples of Toronto’s African-Canadian community.
The other Debutantes were Zaynna Beckford, Denielle Dickenson, Raquel John, Keyauna King, Lathanna McFarlane, Michaela Pompey, Adriana Hylton, Tishanna Smith, Shanil Kogana, Stephanie Andrews, Abigayle Walker, Ahkielah Smith-Palmer and Shemimiah Cort.
Escorts included brothers Joel and Miguel LaCroix, Jason Martin, Kempton Constable-Clarke, Jamal Cherman, Ralston Anderson, Aki Bachelor, Jovaneil Cornelius-Arrington, Damion Edwards-Martin, Anthon Grogan, Daniel Baptiste, Justin Harding and Matthew Sayers.
A delightful group of Little Sisters-in-Waiting accompanied the Escorts and Debutants.
They were Nikieta Sinclair-Stewart, Vanessa Williams, Bianca Harding-Garraway, Melissa Gilmore, Quanisha Brown, Nhezziah Cort, Tayjah Henry-Dawkins, Sole Scott-Thomas, Sela Frater-Edward, Alexis Eunick-Snape, Nikaylah Clarke, Mahalia Gilmore and sisters Keiara and Khadeijah Clarke.