One of the most fun and exciting parts of any quinceañera is the various dances that are performed during the celebration. From the waltz to the father-daughter dance to the surprise quinceañera dance, these are an important part of the event because these dances represent the birthday girl’s transition into her womanhood.
If the birthday girl is like most who are getting ready to celebrate their quinceañera, she is very excited about the dances and the choreography. She will be joined by her father for the father-daughter dance, and her damas and chambelanes for the surprise quinceañera dance.
Although the dances are a lot of fun when they’re done correctly, organizing and executing them can be a major source of stress because it takes commitment—especially for the surprise dance. Here are a few tips to keep you from losing your mind as you prepare for your surprise quinceañera dance.
Choose A Responsible Court
When the birthday girl selects the members for her quinceañera court, it’s very important that she chooses friends who will actually put in the time and commit to learning the choreography for the surprise quinceañera dance. There are many girls who are greatly disappointed when they friends they’ve asked to be on their court are late to practice (or don’t show up at all), don’t try during rehearsals, are worried that they’ll look silly, or are completely unenthusiastic. Good friends and court members should be responsible and dedicated in order to do a good job for the birthday girl.
Practice, Practice, Practice
A good amount of time to practice is at least twice a week, and three months prior to the big day. Also, practice shouldn’t stop when the rehearsal ends. It’s a good idea to practice at home as well, preferably in front of a mirror. Once you feel confident, try to stop using the mirror (since you won’t have it on the day).
If you’re 100% confident in the surprise quinceañera dance as a group, you won’t feel the need to practice on the actual day, as many girls do. This results in stress, messy hair, sweat, and runny makeup. Keep your pristine and perfect appearance by not rehearsing on your actual quinceañera day—because you won’t need to!
Try A Test Audience
There’s a huge difference between dancing alone and dancing in front of people. Because of this, once you feel like you’ve memorized your dance routine and are pretty confident with it, it’s a good idea to do it a few times in front of people. Your friends or family will make a good audience. Sure, it won’t be the same as doing it in front of all your quinceañera guests—but it will still help you get used to having eyes on you.
Practice In Your Dress
One of the absolute biggest problems with quinceañera dances happens when the birthday girl is wearing her beautiful dress and shoes, only to discover that the choreography now feels completely different than it did in practice, when she was wearing leggings and a sweatshirt. Everything changes—and the bigger the dress, the bigger the problems can be.
There are a couple solutions to this. One is, choose a different dress and shoes for the surprise dance: one that’s easy to move in. The bonus to this is that there’s a fun costume change!
Another solution is to actually practice in the dress at rehearsals. It may be disappointing to some girls, however, who are saving the dress for a big “reveal moment” the day of their party. If this is the case, try to at least practice in the dress’s crinoline and the shoes you’ll be wearing.
Consistency is Crucial
When it comes to the choreography rehearsals, it’s very important to set the dates and times and stick to them.
Yes, teenagers are all busy—but you must come together at the same time in order to get the steps memorized. Wishy-washy scheduling is not an option.
In order to set up a schedule right, it’s smart to already have a basic schedule in place when you first invite your friends to be court members. This way, you can go ahead and let them know in advance, “Hey, the practices are going to be this day and this day and this day…” so that they have that in their mind already.
A good rule of thumb is to have the practices on the same days and times every week. This will help everyone remember better.
Find Someone Responsible
Many quinceañeras have someone in their life who is willing to help teach the choreography. Perhaps it’s a friend, an older sister, or a family friend. But whoever it is, make sure they are a) a good dancer, b) a good teacher, and c) very committed to teaching.
The individual needs to be someone who will show up to all the practices and who will be patient with distracted teenagers who may not be fully invested. They need to be all in, because teaching choreography for the surprise quinceañera dance can be very stressful.
If there’s no one in her life like this, hiring a professional quinceañera choreographer should be considered. This can get pricey, but if the dances are very important to the birthday girl, then perhaps the lessons could be a gift from somebody special.
Have Realistic Expectations
Many damas and chambelanes have zero dancing experience, and it may not come naturally to them. Because of this, it’s important to have realistic expectations about their patience and what the final dance will look like. If you’re envisioning lots of complex dance moves like something out of World of Dance, you probably need to re-evaluate.
It’s important to have a good attitude and expect your friends to do their best, but also be grounded about what can actually happen with a few weeks of practice.
No matter how frustrated you become during the quinceañera choreography process, don’t become a quince-zilla. Remember to be gracious and considerate. Your friends and your choreographer are doing you a favor by being part of your special event, and you need to be kind to them—or they may simply walk out. Don’t push them away.
If you’re having lots of problems coordinating everyone for the surprise quinceañera dance and becoming frustrated, put aside a time to talk with your damas, chambelanes, and choreographer to set a practice time that will work for everyone. Together, you can work it out. Just remind them how important this is to you, and explain that they agreed to a commitment when they accepted the role.
Remember To Have Fun
Planning a quinceañera can get quite stressful. Between the dress, the cake, the food, the venue, the court members, and parents, it can be very overwhelming.
A great way to relieve stress is through the choreography practices. Use this time to let loose and have fun with your friends as you go through the steps. Be sure to use your surprise dance as a way to fully represent your personality and your relationship with your friends so that you all will put on a spectacular performance.
With the right attitude and commitment, your quinceañera dance will be just right. The worst thing you can do is stress, so be sure to put aside plenty of time for everyone to get comfortable with the choreography so that you, and they, are confident.
If you’re looking for the perfect quinceañera venue in Los Angeles, Hollywood Banquet Hall is perfect. We have a fabulous dance floor, an energetic atmosphere, and fully customizable décor and amenities. Contact us to learn more about how you can have your dream quinceañera with us!