Friday, March 5, 2010

I Might Be Choreographing A Quinceañera Dance

And I'm freaking out!

If you aren't familiar with them, quinceañeras are the Spanish-speaking Roman Catholic world's version of a Sweet Sixteen party. No, we won't have MTV's My Super Sweet 16 here filming at NPH (oh darn), but for the girls in the home, it's quite possibly one of the biggest events of their lives.

The quinceañera is celebrated for a girl's 15th birthday and is considered an incredibly important coming-of-age ceremony. Traditionally, each girl is escorted onto the dance floor by her father, then handed off to her date during a beautifully choreographed waltz.

At NPH Guatemala, we celebrate one huge Quinceañera event each June in honor of all the girls in the home who will celebrate their 15th birthday that year. Each girl spends months making her own extravagant quinceañera gown, and the day of, they spend literally all morning having their hair and makeup done. Takes you right back to high school dances, don't it? At NPH, since many fathers cannot be here for the quinceañera, the girls are escorted in by the older boys, volunteers, or employees. They still get to pick the date of their choosing though --- how exciting. :)

So it's already March, and last night at dinner, the all-important sign up sheet was floating around the comedor (cafeteria). This year, 15 girls will celebrate their quinceañeras (kind of perfect, right? 15 girls for their 15th birthday?), and yesterday, each of them had to write down who their entregador (escort) and caballero (date) for the big event will be. As you can imagine, the comedor was all abuzz.

Since the quinceañera season officially kicked off this week, there was also talk among the volunteers during the past few days about who was going to teach the waltz -- the big dance -- the pinnacle of the quinceañera event -- to the group of girls and their partners. In the past, volunteers or employees of NPH have signed up for the job, but apparently no one had spoken up yet this year.

"Carrie. Why doesn't Carrie do it?!"

Oh god.

I guess that's what I get for teaching Boxilates classes in our kitchen, rarely turning down an invitation to salsa dance when we're out on the weekends, and letting it slip to my section of girls that I danced forever and can therefore still do the splits.

So yes, folks, nothing's official, but I think I have been volunteered to teach the waltz for this year's Quinceañera. I'm hesitant already, because:

a) I don't know the waltz?!
b) I've taught a lot of dance classes in my day, but never in Spanish
and c) when I mentioned to my section of girls that I might be teaching it, they screamed with excitement...right before they sternly looked me in the eye and said "just don't make it ugly."

Yeah, no pressure.

I'll be sure to keep you updated if this actually pans out. I'm sort of scared to death, but also pretty excited at the same time. Four of the 15 girls celebrating their quinceañeras this year are girls from my section, and I already know a few of the others too. I kind of feel like I'd love teaching my girls their dance and then watching it all come together on the big day.

That is, as long as I don't make it ugly. :/

Lord help me.

1 comment:

A said...

BAAAAHahahahaha. I haven't even read this post yet, only the title, and I'm in love. Please attach video next time...

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