A good choreographer typically costs $35-$60 an hour, and most quinceañeras choose to choreograph two routines. This typically averages out to about 20 hours of practice over the course of a few months, so this can be somewhere in the range of $700-$1200—although sometimes you can find deals as low as $500.
Across Latin America and the United States, turning 15 is a milestone celebrated with a quinceañera. Marking the transition between girlhood and young adulthood, these coming-of-age parties tend to be very stressful, with the birthday girl usually planning every aspect – from décor to party favours – of the wedding-like event.
However, nothing is as taxing for a quinceañera as the waltz/baile sorpresa, when a court – made up of several couples – performs a series of choreographed dances. If you are in the middle of quinceañera planning, you may be wondering if it’s a good idea to hire a choreographer. Yes you should! A choreographer may be necessary in order to whip everything into shape.
Hiring a choreographer is always a good idea for quinceaneras that want to make their 15th extra-special. Aside from taking pressure off the birthday girl and her mom, professional choreographers can make the difference between a great party and a mediocre one. Just imagine how smooth and elegant a father-daughter waltz will look after being practiced under the watchful eye of a patient professional.
Duties of a Choreographer
A choreographer helps design the story in a dance by putting together steps and movements of dancers that coincide with musical accompaniment. Choreographers are known to work in a variety of dance genres, including ballet, contemporary, hip-hop and jazz. Dance is a prominent fine art in which dancers interpret and tell a creative story through music and movement. Choreographers are those experts that direct the story and apply their own creative talents in putting it together.
Quinceañeras typically include a father-daughter dance, a waltz, an exit waltz, and a baile sorpresa (surprise dance). Choreographers can be hired to choreograph all of these, or just the surprise dance. Dance styles can include anything from samba to swing to bachata to salsa.
Some girls want a choreographer only for the surprise dance, and others want a choreographed father-daughter dance as well—which is often a big highlight of the celebration. However, knowing exactly how many choreographed dances you want before speaking to a choreographer is a good idea.
How to Hire a Good Choreographer for a Quinceanera
One of the most fun (and exhausting) parts of planning your Quinceanera is the dances. You will have to bring all your friends together on a regular basis in order to practice your dances. This can be tricky, and daunting. Here are few steps to take when looking to hire a good Choreographer;
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Create a Timeline
Take your time to write down a possible timeline for your reception including the following quince dances you would like during your reception, and anything else you need to practice. Note that your timeline may change but this will give you basic outline of practices. Your timeline should look like this;
- The Growing Up Dance
- Presentation with Daddy Daughter Dance
- Court Presentation
- The Quinceañera Dance (The Waltz)
- The Surprise Dance
Pick Your Songs and Dances
While watching YouTube videos, it’s advisable you pick and save the links to different videos with dance routines you like and might want to use. Save these to look at for later! Also consider writing down the time-down of the sections of videos you like.
You may already have special songs in mind, but if you don’t, listening to songs for inspiration can be really helpful. In addition, while listening to songs, see what you can picture. It can be nice to brainstorm with friends that can be creative in this way. Choose a song that best describes you, makes you proud of who you are! You could even start a Spotify playlist of possible songs you see yourself dancing to.
A Plan Of Action
At this point, start your search by making a list of your top ten favourite choreographers, if you know any. To find out who can be realistically approached, ask dance agencies which of their clients work with studios and dance teams.
Also note that agents can also tell you choreographers’ rates and what other expenses would be accrued by bringing them in. Hiring choreographers has cost anywhere from $300 to $2,000 per piece. Also, another way to find a choreographer is to ask your teachers to attend local or regional dance workshops and conventions in search of artists with intriguing styles and ideas.
You are likely coordinating with quite a few people in order to make these dance practices happen. Agreeably, it can be very frustrating to try to get all your damas and chambelanes in one room on a regular basis in order to practice with the Choreographer.
Nonetheless, as much stress as you are under, do not forget to be considerate. Your friends and anyone involve are doing you a favour by being part of your big day. Talk with your Choreographer, damas and chambelanes to get a good idea of a practice time that will work for everyone.
Consistency is Key
Always remember to set out a schedule and stick to it. As it gets closer to your Quince date, you will be practicing more and more. Always let your court know ahead of time how many practices you will have, and when they are taking place.
Additionally, if you can schedule your dance practices for the same time on the same day on a regular basis, this will help your court show up consistently. It’s advisable you start practicing about 2 months out with your Choreographer, and about twice a week.
More or less, your damas and chambelanes don’t have a ton of dancing experience. Although it is healthy to have high expectations for your dance, but you need to be realistic! It sounds totally awesome to have two of your chambelanes do handstands at the end of your surprise dance… But that might not be a possibility.
Just keep in mind that your dances can be absolutely amazing, without causing anyone to pull a hamstring! Also consider the schedules of everyone that will need to be involved, as well as their willingness, and confirm all the details with them before speaking with a choreographer.
Keep Your Dance Team Together
After asking your court to be part of your big day, start a Facebook Group, WhatsApp Chat Group or Text Message Group with your Choreographer, the members of your court, including their parents so they know the updates. You can post things like;
- Dance Updates/changes
- Discuss the schedule
- Pictures and Videos to practice at home
Always make it clear how pertinent it is for everyone to make it to practices. Schedule a designated day or 2 of the week every week for 6 weeks prior to your quince. Also ensure your members know to block off several hours (1-2) for each practice, especially in the initial practices.
Indeed planning your quince can be a lot of work! You are probably going to experience a lot of stress, so use your dance practices as a time to let loose a little bit. Have fun with your Choreographer and friends as you are practicing.
Unless you have a parent or padrinos who can help you with planning your dances, you might want to hire a professional Choreographer. If you think you might need to hire a choreographer, make sure you work it into your budget when you first start planning.
Also, while you are practicing your dances remember to wear your shoes/heels, petticoat and possibly even a crown if your crown is heavy and take getting used to. Have all of your props ready to dance with at practices.