Students Celebrate ‘Coming of Age’ at Quinceañeras

A Quinceañera is a typical coming-of-age party that originates from Mexico and that many people from Latin America also celebrate. These parties allow many friends and family to gather on a special day to dance, and eat all the goods, but mainly for the memories.
Students Celebrate Coming of Age at Quinceañeras
Donalyn Martinez in her Quince dress.
The Dress

Just as wedding dresses are particularly special for brides, a girl’s dress for her quinceañera is a key part of the celebration. The dress is most important since it has to revolve around the chosen colors and theme. Some girls have two or three dresses. Dresses can cost  $200-$1,000.

“When it came to picking out my Quince dress I was leaning more towards getting a blue or a red dress,” said Ashley Martinez, whose quinceañera was in August, “but when seeing all the different dresses there were trying them on, I fell in love with this pink dress. It had flowers a cape and my favorite part was the glitter.”

Donalyn Martinez in her Quince dress.
The Dances
The Dances

Dances are something girls get someone to choreograph, so they look clean the day of the party. There is usually a father-daughter dance and surprise dance with the court. Girls can choose any song they want for their surprise dance. The surprise dance also comes with an outfit of choice. Most include dance styles such as waltz, bachata, huapango, duranguense, cumbia, reggaeton, norteñas, and quebraditas.“Picking my waltz and surprise dance songs was probably harder than picking my quince dress for me,” Ashley said. “These dances would be seen by everyone, so in my mind they had to be perfect.”

For her first two songs, she went with something slower.
“For my surprise dance, I went with three songs that were cut and edited into about a 3-minute song,” she said. This dance included a norteñas, then a huapango, and lastly a cumbia.

“The thing I enjoyed the most were the practices,” she said. “My court and I practiced two times every week for three months; spending time with them was certainly one of the best parts of my quince.”

The Last Doll
The Last Doll

The Dance of the Last Doll represents the end of childhood and start of adulthood, and it is the last toy the girl will receive. Some people get a porcelain doll, but others prefer a teddy bear. The doll or bear they get usually wears the same color dress with the same design.

“My last bear signified me receiving my last ‘Toy’,” Ashley said. “For my dance, I decided to have three girls that each represented a different age. One represented the age of 4-5 the next 8-9 and the final age 10-13.”

The Food

Food is usually catered by friends or family. Sometimes they hire people to cook the food the morning of or they hire them to cook during the “food hour” of the party. They usually also have alternate options for kids, as well. The most typical foods you see are barbacoa, mole, and taco with sides of rice, potato salad, and beans.

“My party had a buffet-style setup,” Ashley said. “There was barbacoa, mole, and rice. People loved the food.”

The Music
The Music

Music is really big and necessary for such a large party, too. Some genres include Ranchera, Banda, Tejano, Merengue, and Bachata.

“More people came out to dance when they played huapangos and cumbia.” Ashley said. “The DJ played nortenas, huapangos, cumbia, merengue, bachata and more.”

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