The tradition of the Quinceañera dates back to the times of the Aztecs and the Mayans.
However, it is believed that the Spanish conquerors were the ones who “modernized” the feast of the Quinceañera.
The celebration as we know it today is an adaptation to Christianity from the Women Ceremony of the Aztecs.
The conquerors took the celebration and brought it to religion and church, hence the Mass of thanksgiving is derived.
The indigenous dances were replaced by the waltz. Emperor Maximilian of Austria and his wife Charlotte introduced the waltz and the glitzy dresses.
Also, the tradition of the waltz has its origins in Europe, where the debutantes of the French and English courts (aged 15 or 16 years), attended great dances to meet young wealthy men and thus choose her future husband.
Even today it is very common to dance the waltz to the rhythm of the classical music, although modern songs about the passage from childhood to adulthood have been incorporated.
When the time of dancing the waltz finally comes, all the guests will be dedicated exclusively to admire the Quinceañera who is in the middle of the dancing floor ready to dance.
The ritual of the waltz is divided into different types of dances according to their significance:
The Presentation Waltz: At this moment the Quinceañera becomes the center of attention.
The Quinceañera dances accompanied by her chamberlain court, those young boys that she previously chose.
The Last Toy/Doll Waltz: It represents the stage the Quinceañera is leaving behind.
The usual practice is for parents to deliver the latest toy or doll that she will keep as a memory of her childhood.
The Slipper Waltz: This waltz marks the stage the Quinceañera is about to begin. Here is where the ritual of changing shoes takes place.
Usually, when the Quinceañera starts dancing she does it wearing flat shoes.
As in the previous waltz, parents are responsible for changing the girl’s shoes to high heels representing her pass to adulthood.
The Crowning Waltz: This is the waltz where the Quinceanera is recognized as a woman.
The Family Waltz: Finally, this is the waltz led by the father who welcomes his daughter to this new stage.
When she finishes dancing with her father, the Quinceañera dances with all the male members of his family starting with her granddads and then continue with uncles, brothers, nephews or cousins.
Nowadays the Quinceaneras may or not include various waltzes or the rituals of the shoe and the last doll incorporated in some way in the celebration.
No matter how you dance your waltz, remember that the important thing is to enjoy it. This is the key moment of the celebration where you and only you will be the center of attention.