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Hispanic Heritage Month: Students celebrate Quinceañeras

Quinces are an important rite of passage for teenagers in Mexican culture. Some people might also know them as quinceañera. Many Mexican-American students at Anderson High School are having their quinces at this time. 

A quince is a Mexican tradition when a girl turns into a woman for their 15th birthday. Freshman Ashley Mejia-Ramos has her quince coming up. Mejia-Ramos says that she is “nervous and excited” about her upcoming party.

A normal quince would cost around $15,000 to $20,000, and it can take up to 2 years to plan it, And it can take a year or couple of months to practice all the dances.  The dresses for the quinceañera could cost about $1,000 to  $10,000. 

A quince can be  a fun experience to go to. Attendees can do dances like, cumbia, huapango, bachata, and nortenas. For example, nortenas is a slower-paced dance where one participant leads on beat, and the dancers stay close together. Huapango is a faster dance that incorporates jumping. 

Freshman Giovanna Mendez recently had her quince. Mendez said, “I was stressed out a lot,” in the weeks leading up to her quince. She was concerned about coordinating photographers, caterers, dancers, and guests. 

Jocelyn Cruz participates in the valz dance at her quince.

 Mendez took about 2 hours to do her makeup, hair and dress. Once she was done and all the chambelanes (male dancers) and damas (female dancers) were at her house, they went into a party bus going to take pictures with the family. Once they were done taking pictures they went back into the party bus and drove around Anderson until 4:00 p.m.  to the place where the quince is going to happen. When they got there they did the entrances and all sat down at a table. They waited for the photographer to get there and take the pictures for the surprise dance.

Students also receive monetary gifts from their family and friends at a quince. This money can go to church classes, a car, or even to pay off the venue where the quince is going to take place. 

The chambalanes and damas felt nervous, but after they got done with the surprise dance, the valz, and the entrance they felt good and now they can just have fun and dance.

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