Quinceañera may have a court of boys and girls to support her during the special celebration. This court may follow her down the aisle in the church procession, but it also has customary roles in the reception afterward.
Traditionall full court is made up of 14 girls (damas) and 14 boys (chambelans), in addition to an escort for the quinceañera herself, with each couple representing a year of the girl's life. Often, to make it simple, parents choose to have only half of the court. Some families decide to have seven girls and seven boys, while others have a court of just 14 damas or just 14 chambelans.
The quinceañera will typically ask friends and family members to make up her court. Like a wedding party, the girls will be expected to wear matching gowns, and the men will be asked to wear tuxes. So, etiquette experts recommend that a quinceañera fully prepare her court for what it will involve. When she asks someone to join her court, she should let him or her know what to expect when purchasing or renting a gown or tuxedo.
The “surprise” dance portion of the Quinceañera, while optional, is often considered the most fun part of the party planning for the birthday girl. A choreographer is usually hired to help the Quinceañera plan a dance featuring herself dancing with her “damas” and “chambelanes” (or chamberlains). Any fun dance song is up for grabs. The chosen dance genre is wide and varied. Tango, Cha-cha, Samba, bachata, Salsa and others have proven popular for the surprise dance. The surprise dance is a great opportunity for the Quinceañera to add personality to her party. The damas and chambelanes that perform the dance with the birthday girl dress in coordinating outfits to present the surprise dance. The birthday girl usually wears something that coordinates with her group but is a little different to set her apart making her the special feature of the performance. These costumes have to allow for movement and accommodate the dance while matching the personality of the dance.