The Quinceañera Court of Honor

The Court of Honor is a rite of passage in the Latino custom of a Quinceañera. Every court of honor is different and varies in size. Traditionally, the Quinceañera court consists of seven females which are Damas, and seven males which are Chambelane’s. The Chambelane’s are the escorts of the young Quince. The members of the court represent the age of the young girl before her fifteenth birthday. The court along with the young Quince makes up fifteen in total, hence the age at her birthday. Members of the court typically dress in formal attire and consist of her closest friends, cousins or other relative to the young girl.

Quinceañera Court of HonorA Quinceañera has many traditions with some presenting the young girl with a scepter which represents her transition into womanhood. The scepter is often given to her by her parents along with family.

The court of honor is very involved in her Quinceañera. Those who are chosen to take part in her court must take this task with honor and pride. Traditionally, they will learn a dance which is generally choreographed and taken very seriously.  They must meet for each dance rehearsal to perfect the entrance dance. This performance is her grand entrance into her reception presenting her to her honored guests. The dance is called a Val, but for some, it is known as the birthday waltz.

A Quinceañera is much like a wedding…there is a ceremony, reception, a court of honor/bridesmaids and groomsmen. The difference is that a Quince is a transition for a young girl to a woman and a Bride is joining hands with her best friend. In both traditions, they are surrounded by family and are both a rite of passage.

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