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The Quinceañera Court of Honor: What is a Dama?

Teen girl wearing a sparkling blue quinceanera damas dress.
Once you’ve decided to celebrate your quinceañera, you may find yourself wondering about your quinceañera court of honor (corte de honor). Most especially those damas! So what IS a dama in a quinceañera? Simply put, they’re your girls! They’re your friends and family that are closest to you and who will want to be there for you on your big day. The friendship you share will support you as you plan and celebrate your sweet 15.

Traditionally, a quinceañera would have 14 damas (and chambelanes to escort them). Nowadays, you can have as many or as few damas with you as you wish! Whether you have a small, tight-knit group that you want by your side or many friends and family members, the important thing is to surround yourself with loved ones. If you’re finding yourself with a huge court, you may want to consider one special girl (maybe your BFF?) to be your dama de honor. Wondering what a dama de honor does? Much like a maid of honor in a wedding, she helps you plan your event, herds the rest of the crew as needed, and sticks closely by your side through the ceremony and celebration. She’ll listen as you bounce ideas around for the party and dresses, give you feedback, and hug you when you need it! Whether you choose a dama de honor or not, there are some things that all of your damas are expected to do.

A Dama Should…
  • Be there for the birthday girl (and don’t upstage her).
  • Wear a fancy party dress of the birthday girl’s choosing.
  • Go to all the dance rehearsals to learn the traditional waltz or modern group dance.
  • Prep and practice the baile sorpresa with the birthday girl.
  • Take part in any photo shoots or video productions that are scheduled for the court.
  • Be on time for both the ceremony and the party.
  • SMILE and have fun!
After reading that list, did you immediately have a few girls in mind who would perfectly fill in for the dama’s role? That’s great! But before you invite those special people to join your court, you’ll want to make sure you tell them everything they need to know about stepping into the role of a dama. Then they’ll be able to truly decide if it’s a commitment that they’re able to make for you and your celebration.

When Choosing a Dama, the Quinceañera Should…
  • Make sure the damas are aware of the time commitment.
  • Be upfront about expenses right from the start.
  • Share what you picture for the role of your damas (use the list above as a starting point).

Now that you know all about your damas and their role in the quinceañera court of honor, it’s time to start selecting your chosen ones! Consider close friends and cousins who you think would step up to the damas’ roles and make your cumpleaños one you will remember fondly for the rest of your life.

Looking for more answers to all of your quinceañera questions? Head back to PromGirl's Quinceañera Guide to check out all of the FAQs and topics available.

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