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Dama Selection 101: 8 Steps on Who to Choose

Having your damas beside you to share the excitement and joy of your big day really makes your Quinceanera something special. Choosing who those damas will be, though—that can prove to be tricky. But selecting the ladies of your court does not need to devolve into a nightmare if you remember to balance your family’s wishes with your own and most importantly of all, keep a check on your emotions. Here are our best tips for going about the process of choosing the coolest damas without losing your cool!

1. Choose slowly

Choosing damas is a little like choosing bridesmaids: Don’t move too fast! You can plan all you want in your head, but until you sit down with your folks to find out how they see things—particularly in regard to the budget and who they want you to include—do the smart thing, get a little notebook, start dreaming and put those dreams on paper. But don’t talk to anybody until you talk to your folks.

2. Put Family First

Talk to your parents about any family members or relations they really want you to include. Many Quinceañeras opt to “keep it in the family” and have no friends at all, or just select two or three for the court.

The other important thing is to let you parents have the final say on the maximum size of your entourage. If they give you the go-ahead for the full 15, then have fun collecting damas! But if they ask you to limit your court, honor that.

If you honor your parents’ wishes first, it’ll all work out in the end—we promise!

3. Determine the Number of Damas

The size of your court will depend on some of the decisions you and your parents made in that preliminary meeting.

Tradition holds that a Quinceanera court consists of seven damas, seven chambelanes plus one male escort. But even if your parents only ask you to include one or two family members—if you can’t think of five or six more gal pals with whom to share your big day, just opt for a smaller court.

4. Next, choose your friends—on paper

Make a tentative list of who you think you’d like to ask. You might also find it helpful to list the reasons why you want them in your entourage.

Tip: You might find it useful to “rank” your friends in order of how you want to ask them. Then as you begin  the invitation process, if one of them says no, you can approach the next person on your list while giving yourself time to think of a different friend to invite.

5. Keep an open mind

You’ll find out soon enough that balancing different personalities and opinions can be a challenge. None of your damas will agree on every single minute detail, but you need to have girls in your court who will generally get along well together.

You will also have to listen to a few gripes now and then, and while you can’t control your family as much, you do have a little more control over your friends so this next suggestion should help you a lot.

6. Who Exactly to Invite: a Q & A Checklist

Your damas will need to step up and help you with the planning and preparations as much as possible in order so that you don’t stress yourself into being a Quincezilla. You will have to include whatever family your parents ask you to invite, but before you put a friend on your list, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is she reliable?
  • Does she already help you calm down when you’re stressed?
  • Does she know how to let other people shine without trying to steal the show?
  • Is she really fun to be around or is she just funny—meaning goofy, silly and making people laugh?
  • Does she balance having fun with taking responsibility for home and school work and such?

The answers can be a little hard to handle if you’re honest, but this is what making adult decisions is all about: Honesty.

Remember, too, that just because your friend doesn’t make the cut to be a dama, she’s still invited to the party!

7. Be Prepared to Hear “No, Thank You”

Once you have your list and are ready to start talking to your friends, be prepared. You might be surprised to hear “No” from someone you thought for sure would say an enthusiastic “Yes!”

There really are a lot of things your friend will have to do if she’s part of your court, and there may be a lot of different reasons why she says no. Maybe it’s money, or the dance rehearsals will be too much, or maybe she’s just shy, but you didn’t realize it before now.

It is OK to ask once—just one time—“Do you mind if I ask why you want to say no?”

No matter what the answer is—even if it’s just a shrug, or “I can’t explain why” or “I just don’t want to”—give her a hug and then let it go.

Honest friends are sometimes few and far between, so be grateful—very grateful—that you have a friend who’s willing to be honest with you up front!

8. Our Most Important Tip: Keep Your Cool!

The absolute best thing you can do to make dama selection go as smoothly as it possibly can is to keep your cool! Bite your tongue as much as you need to so that you don’t get defensive with your family or any friends who tell you no. This is where that little notebook works like a charm:

Before you say anything to anybody, write it down. If conversations start to heat up, ask to take a break, then walk away and get to writing.

The reason this matters so much is that the #1 sign that you’re a real Quinceanera—a young woman who’s really ready to take her place in the adult world—is the ability to keep your cool!

To read all about how to go about asking your friend to be in your court, click here for Dama Selection 102: How to Ask

And for even more tips on how to Ditch the Dama Drama and make things go smoothly check out this blog: http://qbydavinci.com/blog/how-to-ditch-the-dama-drama-dodge-quincezilla-syndrome/