The Guru of the Quince Dances by Oscar Hernandez and Domingo Diaz of Texas Folklife

February 23, 2011 in Youthcast by Molly Adams

She enters… A photo from Flickr user Ah Zut.

Everyone loves a party. And everyone loves a Quinceañera, whether they know it or not.

During this birthday and coming-out party for a fifteen year old girl, there are a number of dances that the birthday girl does: with her father, with her friends, and with a special boy.  But how does a fifteen-year old, on the cusp of womanhood, know how to do all of these elegant ballroom dances? With a little help of course.

Producer Oscar Hernandez met the Guru at a Quince party to which he was giving lessons. Juan Pablo Estada liked the way that Oscar danced and asked him if he wanted to start coming along with him to different parties, dancing with attendees and upping the skill level. In this episode of YouthCast, the feature by Oscar and Domingo is followed by an interview with Oscar Hernandez about Quinceañera dance culture in Austin, TX.

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Learn more about Texas Folklife. Their youth radio program, Stories from Deep in the Heart, is just kicking off. Program director Diane Zander Mason told me that last year, Oscar and Domingo were just two of 10 students. This year they're working with close to forty students from two high schools in Austin! Yay for rapid growth!

And if you are now a little obsessed with Quinceañeras, like me, since I'm a girl and love sparkly things and parties, check out this website, Mis Quince Mag. It suggests good songs to dance to and has tons of videos… So emotional and cheesy! I wish I was fifteen again… but not really.