The student online newsmagazine of SHS

The Journal Rewired

The student online newsmagazine of SHS

The Journal Rewired

The student online newsmagazine of SHS

The Journal Rewired

Fifteen and fabulous

Exploring the traditions and customs of a quinceañera
Junior Zamantha Loza and her father share a father-and-daughter dance at her quinceañera. Photo contributed by Loza

A quinceañera marks the 15th birthday of a Latina girl. It’s a celebration to commemorate a girl’s transition from adolescence to womanhood. On Oct.12, junior Zamantha Loza, together with families and friends, celebrated her long-awaited quinceañera.

While the celebration only lasted for one night, it took almost two years to plan the entire process of the quince. However, Loza and her family are willing to put in the effort to make her dream quinceñera come true. 

“It’s a dream for almost every girl to have a quinceañera,” Loza said.

There are many components to a quince. The girl’s dress and tiara are among the most essential. It is one of the rare times when a female can wear an extravagant gown and make the night her own. Finding the perfect dress was a big deal for Loza. Fortunately, she received her dream dress from Mexico just days before the quince. The dress was custom, and all of the measurements were done through FaceTime. It took seven people to make her dress, and she fell in love with her dress the moment she saw it. 

“I didn’t take off my dress for like half an hour because I was in awe,” Loza said. 

Another important component of a quince is the involvement of the parents as they are the ones letting go of their little girl and sending her off to womanhood. One example of this is when the father of the girl changes the girl’s tennis shoes to heels. The tennis shoes represent childhood whereas the heels represent womanhood. 

Similar to the changing of the shoes, there is also a tradition to give the girl her last doll. Loza’s family gave her a teddy bear that wore a similar dress. This last doll symbolizes Loza letting go of her childhood.

After the changing of the shoes, it was time for Loza and her father to have a father-and-daughter dance. This tradition is when the father presents his daughter to the world as the first man in the girl’s life. The dance continued with Loza’s mother to symbolize her last dance as a little girl.

Dancing is a big part of the celebration. Along with the dances with the parents, there are also dances that the girl and her friends prepare. The group of friends is often referred to as the court where the girls are known as damas and the guys chambelanes. In Loza’s case, she had four damas and five chambelanes in her court. The court took roughly two months to prepare two dances, the waltz and a surprise dance. They met every Sunday to practice for Loza’s big day. 

Junior Andrea Perez-Xiquex, one of Loza’s damas, had her first experience as a dama at Loza’s quince. Through this experience, Perez-Xiquex met new people and created new friendships. One of her favorite moments includes when the court had their breaks and played sports together. It was also a routine for the court to enjoy home-cooked meals made by Loza’s mother after practices.

“It was such a unique experience,” Perez-Xique said. “I doubt I would ever feel this much happiness ever again.”

The quince was an emotional scene. Eyes wept with people smiling as Loza’s family and friends each shared heartfelt speeches about their love for her. 

As the oldest child in her family, having a quince was always a dream. However, Loza was not aware of the significance of quince until she experienced it herself. To her, this quince meant a new beginning and an end to a chapter in her life. 

“This quince for me meant a new start to my life, ending the childish era and entering a more mature stage,” Loza said. 

The night ended as Loza’s family and friends danced the night away. 

“It was such a magical experience and I wouldn’t have changed a single thing…,” Loza said. “ it was a dream come true.”


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About the Contributor
Elisabeth Pointer
Elisabeth Pointer, Culture Reporter
Hi! I’m Elisabeth Pointer. I’m a junior, and this is my second year writing for culture. I never took a journalism class, but after learning about journalistic writing and how to do it, I have really started to love it. I’m a competitive gymnast and have been doing gymnastics for over 10 years. I also coach little kids at my gym to help them with their gymnastics career. I really like animated shows such as “Steven Universe” and “Gravity Falls.” My favorite color is purple, and my favorite animal is a seal. A close second place would be cats. I have a cat named Sassy and a dog named Blair. I have a little brother named Gabe who is in eighth grade. I’m very passionate about school, and my GPA and grades are some of my biggest achievements. I eventually want to major in plant biology and/or molecular genetics. My dream is to become a genetic engineer and to work on creating new medicines in the future.

Comments (5)

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  • R

    Rose ParDec 18, 2023 at 8:05 am


  • C

    CodyDec 5, 2023 at 6:18 pm

    This was an amazing story written I truly enjoyed reading this

  • D

    Dan DDec 4, 2023 at 9:33 pm

    Wow, great article!

  • C

    Cindy MillsDec 4, 2023 at 5:25 pm

    Very informative and very well written. Nice job.

  • M

    MichaelDec 4, 2023 at 11:08 am

    Great job; fantastic article, Elisabeth! – Michael, Reynolds Farm Equipment