- The Court: Traditionally, the quinceañera court is made up of 15 chambelanes including the chambelan of honor (the one dancing with the quinceanera and 14 damas. A popular alternative is to have just seven damas and 7 chambelanes, plus the quinceañera who may choose to have or not to have a chambelan of honor. Other alternatives such as having a male-only court or a female-only court are also very common. Ultimately, the quinceanera can choose how many people and what style of court she prefers.
- Quinceañera Ceremony:
Though having a ceremony is not part of the tradition in some latin cultures. It really boils down to the family’s traditions. The purpose of the mass is to dedicate the young woman to God for guidance during the important transition and thereafter. Is it common to give the quinceanera a bible or prayer book as a present prior to the ceremony.
- Quinceañera Bracelet/Ring: Usually given by the parents or pradinos (godparents), symbolizes the infinite circle of love from them. Both usually have the number 15 in some form and are cherished by the quinceanera. Some rings and bracelets are keepsakes that are headed down for generations.
- Crowning of the Quinceañera
- Crowning can take place during the religious ceremony (if you are having one) or during the changing of the shoes (cambio de zapatillas).
Shoe ceremony: This ceremony symbolizes the transition from a teenage girl into womanhood. Traditionally the quinceanera wears flat shoes that are exchanged into hills by the father or a significant male figure.
Ultima Muñeca (Last Doll)
- The ultima muñeca tradition symbolizes how childhood is ending. The father gives the quinceañera her “last doll” and then she’ll often gift it to a younger sister or other girl to show how she is transitioning to adulthood and becoming a young lady.
- El Brindis (toast & speeches)
- It commonly takes place after the formalities. It can also be incorporated as part of the main vals. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and costumes.
Regalo Sorpresa/Surprise Gift
- In recent years the surprise gift has become very popular. Family members or friends surprise the quinceanera with a big box full of gifts and surprises that often takes a while to open. A different and fun surprise gift can also be the “Hora Loca”.
- Hora Loca: It’s becoming one of the more popular quinceanera traditions. It functions as an icebreaker to get everyone on the dance floor after the formalities and dinner. It’s literally just an hour of crazy partying characterized by playing popular and fun short clips of songs that do not relate to another. Hora Loca can include things like glow sticks, masks, props, LED robots, dancers and entertainers.
Dances are one of the most iconics traditions in quinceaneras. Folklore marks the difference among the wide array of spanish countries. Quinceaneras can choose the dance or dances that they prefer and best fit their personality.
Vals (Waltz )
- Traditionally the first dance of the night which can involve the father (or father like figure) by himself and with the court. It symbolizes the father being the first man in the quinceanera’s life as well as the official presentation of the daughter as a young woman.
- Vals de las Damas/Chambelanes (The Waltz with the court): Usually when the first dance was just with the father.
- Baile Sopresa/Surprise Dance
- Extremely popular!!! The quinceanera performs an elaborate choliograhped dance which can be a solo dance or with her court
- Vals de los Padrinos (Waltz with the godparents)
- There are some instances where the Quinceanera opens up the dance floor for her and her padrinos to dance together. It’s the perfect time to personally thank your padrinos for being with you on such an important day.