Quinceañera Dances 101

Quinceañera dances are a huge part of the quince celebration. Dancing at your quinceañera is a tradition that literally represents your transition into adulthood. Traditionally, girls were not allowed to dance with a young man until they reached the age of 15. Nowadays with school dances and times changing, we see that this is not true for most girls. However, it is still a large part of the quinceañera tradition because of what it symbolizes.


Remember the purpose of your dance: being presented as a young woman to your friends, family, and all of society. When you plan out your dances, you need to keep this purpose in mind. Your quinceañera dances should represent all the most important aspects of your life; your beliefs, your values, and your relationships. So, the people you choose to be your chambelanes and damas help you represent those relationships and values as well.

The Father-Daughter Dance

CREDIT: @jerssonlunaphotography

This dance is a special way for you to say thank you to the father figure in your life. If you have more than one father figure, you can dance with all of them! Your story is unique, so your dances should be as well. One of the most popular quinceañera traditions is the Changing of Shoes, which sometimes takes place during or before this dance. The quinceañera traditionally wears flats during the ceremony. Then, at the reception, before the first dance, the quinceañera’s father (or another special family member) will change the quinceañera’s shoes from flats to her new high heels. This is another perfect way to symbolize the quinceañera’s transition from childhood to adulthood!
When you dance with your father, grandfather, or other father figure, you have the chance to choose a meaningful song to represent their influence in your life. Some quinceaneras choose to coordinate a dance with their father figure, while others do a simple slow dance- the choice is totally yours! If you want to make it a little more special, you can play a slideshow of photos while you dance!

The Quinceañera Dance

Credit: @jerssonlunaphotography

Your quinceañera dance is also symbolic- it should focus on you and your journey through life. The style of your dance will be determined by the song you choose. If you have a special song you’ve already thought of, then let the song lead your dance ideas. If you’re still thinking of songs, try to find one that is meaningful to you and represents something important about you.
Your court will be helping you with this dance. The most popular choice for the quinceañera dance is dancing a waltz. Some quinces also choose a modern dance style, or model a dance after their quince theme. Whichever type of dance you choose, your court will likely need to learn it in order to perform with you at your quince, so you will need to practice!

The Surprise Dance

Credit: @irizimages

Now comes the real fun! While all the dances are about representing yourself and your story, this is the one where you should let your crazy, silly, awesome side show! Your surprise dance can be literally however you want it to be. Many surprise dances feature a combination of two different styles- sometimes representing the combination of two different cultures!
Whatever you choose, you will likely be dancing with your damas, your chambelanes, or both. We have even seen some surprise dances that the quinceañera’s mother joins in on! Usually the quinces and her court change into different outfits for the surprise dance. This is because it is usually a fast-paced dance that is hard to do in formalwear. Your surprise dance clothing should match the style of your dance. For example, if your dance uses hip-hop elements, you can deck out your court in Nike gear and sweats. If you are looking for something cute for your damas to wear during the surprise dance, check out these awesome bomber jackets and more in our shop!

Dollar Dance (Baile de Billete)


Instead of a surprise dance, or sometimes just as a fun extra, quinceaneras have a dollar dance. This is a Latino Wedding tradition that we have seen in a lot of quinces lately, especially quinceaneros. The dollar dance is usually a longer waltz, where the quinceanera dances with many different people. Anyone who wants a turn dancing with her can come up and pin a dollar to her dress.


Ready to Plan?

Are you feeling a little more confident in planning your dances? While the dances are a huge part of your reception, you shouldn’t let the stress get to you. Remember, the whole thing is supposed to be fun! Find ways to express yourself through your dances and don’t feel pressured to overcomplicate things. Your guests will be thrilled to see you dance however you choose to!
Read on for Tips on Planning Your Dances with Your Court!


Planning on DIY Quinceanera Choreography?

Check out our top tips on Do-It-Yourself Quinceañera Dance Choreography

Discussion17 comments

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I want to use the songs “How to save a life by The Fray” or “Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol” but I don’t know where these songs should go. Should the how to save a life be in the waltz. And should chasing cars be in the father-daughter dance? Help

Hi Sarah! The waltz or parts of the surprise dance would be good for these songs. You could do a mixture of those two songs together as well, to use in one of the dances. Or, in the father-daughter dance you could combine both of those as well. Happy planning!

hi I have a question because I am very new to this and I am very confused haha. I was wondering if the Quinceanera will dance with only one of her chambelanes individually

Hey Aidan! We’re glad you found our site. Hopefully, you find many of our other planning guides helpful with your quinceañera planning. Usually, in the Quinceañera dance or waltz with her court, the quinceañera takes turns dancing with each of her chambelanes. She then ultimately ends up dancing with her Chambelan de Honor. There are many variations on how the quinceañera dances with her court though! It’s all based on what you ultimately want! Check out some videos on Youtube for inspiration.

Hi I need someone to teach my daughter how to dance for her quince but don’t know where do go we live in San Francisco can you help me

Jesse and Charlene Angel and that we do that dance I know that one Song is Can I have this Dance come From High School Musical 3 From Jesse James Litscher

Due to current circumstances my quince has been cut back. I will be doing most og the traditions including the father daughter and the dollar dance, but I don’t think we have time to coordinate a dance. Is it a mandatory thing to to a Quinceanera dance?

Hi Sophie !! One of the most important things in a Quinceañera is to create beautiful moments to remember, so a Quinceañera dance is not mandatory, although there are always other options and you can definitely improvise.:)

I teach dance in a public middle school in Texas. I start the year teaching my 6th graders the dances done at Quinceaneras. I teach waltz, Caballo Dorado, cumbia, huapango, etc. I’d like to know what other dances I should include.

Hello Gayle!! For a Quinceanera, any dance is good, it all depends on what musical genre you like to dance. The important thing is that you enjoy it. 😀 🙂

Hey. I’m having my quince in July of this year 2021 and it’s going to be in Mexico and I live in the U.S. I’m going to be there 4 weeks before my quince and I’m not sure I’m going to have enough time to learn my dance routine. Do you think that’s enough time if I practice 3 days a week and about 2-3 hours each day?

Hello Ashley 😀 of course! The time you have marked is enough when you do it with a lot of concentration and fun. We are sure that you will enjoy it 100%

Hi! So I will be having my quince in February of next year. I am very new to all of this so I wanted to know when do you do the dances, what order, at what times, stuff like that. As well as when in the night should you do the surprise dance? Thank you!

Father daughter dance. Where can they go to take classes to learn.

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