How to Pick your Damas and Chambelanes
One of our favorite quinceañera traditions is the quinceañera court! It’s the quinceañera’s chance to involve any of her closest friends and family members to be a part of her big day! Her damas and chambelanes will be involved in the planning, special dance routines, and of course in tons of pictures!
One of the main responsibilities that you have as a future quinceañera is to choose damas and chambelanes. If you have many friends, this could actually be a big challenge, since you may not want to leave some people out. You have to remember to choose people that will make your day special and will take being part of the court seriously. This can be quite the task, which is why we have the best tips on how to choose your damas and chambelanes below!
Determine the Number of Damas and Chambelanes
You can choose however many people you want to include in your court! You can choose between having a male-only court, female-only court, or a combination of the two! It’s really up to you and how many people you would love to have as a part of your special celebration.
- 15 Chambelanes and 14 Damas: Traditionally, the quinceañera court is made up of 15 chambelanes (one of them being the Chambelan de Honor) and 14 damas. If you have many friends, and want to involve them in your party, this is the perfect choice!
- 7 Chambelanes and 7 Damas: 14 court members is probably the most common and popular number to go with! It’s not too many, nor too few.
- 7 chambelanes only or 7 damas only: If you’re only going with a couple friends and want just boy or just girls, this is the perfect option!
- 1 Chambelan de Honor: If you don’t want to have a court, you can just have your chambelan de honor for the pictures!
- However Many You Want! We’ve seen quinceañeras with only 2-5 damas or chambelanes. You can choose whatever works best for your!
Make A List of Potential Court Members
Before determining how many people you want to include in your court, it’s good to begin with a list of people in mind. It’s helpful to make this list of potentials in the case that you need to cut down on your court size, or add more people to it.
- Think of all your favorite family members and friends.
- Make a list of pros and cons for each of the potential damas and chambelanes.
- If you think someone will cause drama, leave them out of it!
- Think about people’s schedules. You want to make sure that the people included in your court will all be able to attend the rehearsals, dances, etc.
- Rate them from 1-10.
Where to Find Your Court
Like we mentioned before, finding damas and chambelanes can pose quite a problem for some of our quince queens! A common problem is finding chambelanes. Here is a list of potential people that could be part of your court:
- Friends from school or church
- Family members, such as siblings or cousins
- Your crush
- A hired court: Yes! You can now hire chambelanes and even damas at your event! Check out our vendor page for potential chambelanes and cadets!
Qualities to Look For
When determining who you want to have as part of your quinceañera court, there are some specific qualities that you may want to look for:
- Choose people that love to dance. One of the main responsibilities of your court, will be to take part in the traditional dances. You want your court to be excited to learn some dance moves and prepare for your quinceañera waltz’s and other potential dances! You can even find professional dancers that will act as your chambelanes. Find local chambelanes in your area here!
- Choose people who won’t cause drama! The last thing you want is for some of your court members to be upset and potentially ruin rehearsals, or worse, your big day! Make sure you choose people who don’t have problems with the other court members. Aim for friends who can get along with everyone!
- Choose people who aren’t camera shy! Your big day will consist of tons of pictures and video footage! It’s good to let your court know that so they can bring their best smiles for the cameras!
- Choose someone who doesn’t have too many after school activities. One of the biggest issues you may run across after choosing your court is picking the best time and day when everyone is available for dance practice. You want your Court waltz or baile sorpresa to be amazing, so you want people who are available to practice often!
Keep an Open Mind
Choosing your court can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be! Let others help you.
- Ask your parents about your potential damas and chambelanes.
- Call up your padrinos to hear their thoughts.
- Talk to your closest friends and ask for their thoughts and ideas.
You have your court chosen! Now what do you do?
- Before you actually ask your friends to be part of your court, ask them about their schedule to make sure they will be available.
- You may also want to discuss the potential financial responsibilities of the court attire as well, if your family is unable to purchase the attire.
- Give the potential damas and chambelanes formal invitations! You can also do a courtposal! Check out this cool Courtposal Gift Box tutorial for your damas and chambelanes on our Youtube Channel! You can fill your courtposal box with little recuerditos and candy!
- Be prepared to get a no, and make sure you don’t take it to heart! Keep in mind, that you want people who will be committed to being part of your big day. If they don’t want to be a part of it, you don’t want to try to force them.
- If you are asking people who may not be familiar with what quinceaneras are, write a note to them and the parents explaining the tradition!
- Ask your court about 6 month in advance! This gives them enough time to start looking for the attire and accessories.
Let your damas and chambelanes know all the things you expect them to be responsible for when you ask them to be on your quinceañera court! Here is a general list of everything that may be expected of them:
- Attend tuxedo/dress fittings
- Be present for Religious Ceremony Rehearsals
- Attend dance practice
- Arrive early to the ceremony/reception
- Help set up
- Be present at photoshoots
- Accompany the Quinceañera on her big day
- May be responsible for their court attire
The quinceañera will also have a couple responsibilities when it comes to her court!
- Provide a time and place for dance rehearsals
- Provide snacks and drinks for each rehearsal
- Cover as many expenses as possible (choreographer fees, attire, etc).
- Keep the court in the loop of things, such as planning and court attire
- Try to give the damas and chambelanes options for the court attire.
Keep in mind that there are really no rules when it comes to choosing your damas and chambelanes, and if it feels right, then do it! You ultimately want to make sure you have fun at your quinceañera, and you want the right people surrounding you on your big day!