I'd never been to a quinceanero (a young woman's 15th birthday party celebrated in many Latin American cultures). When I was invited this year I jumped on the chance. William came along as my translator and it was crazy.
We pull up to this reception hall and I get comments like, "Whoa, Ms. S. You're ... pretty!?" And there is my student, the birthday girl, standing in a wedding like dress...
There are damas and chambelanes, the birthday equivalent of bride's maids and groom's men, except their all for the quinceanera, the birthday girl. There's food and beer and a lot of waiting. Turns out we're waiting for the dance. Part of the quinceanera's introduction into society is a dance presentation. Apparently there can be up to 3 dances, but this quince had just one, a waltz.
Apparently, they take their practice lessons as seriously as their homework. Because after the first minute of so, the birthday girl goes up to the DJ stand and has him turn of the music, she leaves the room in a huff. Now, having never been to one I had to have my translator explain what happened. According to William, they were all messing up the steps and not doing what they were supposed to. So there's more waiting while the birthday girl is outside crying and yelling, I'm guessing.
I took that time to examine the cake, 4 levels, 5 different cakes with a fountain in the middle.
Half an hour or so passes with no music, just people sitting around and the presentation begins again. The damas and chambelones are introduced. The birthday girl is presented and they dance again. No one is smiling, but they've all got their turns synchronized.
After this, William and I choose to head off for some sushi. The quinceanera gives me a bit of her poutiness, "But you just got here!" However, we'd been there two hours and my camera was out of batteries. To see more photos go to my Flickr Quinceanero Set