On tonight’s episode of MTV Tr3s’ hit show, Quiero Mis Quinces, we meet Marissa of Houston, Texas. A fluid and passionate dancer, 15-year-old Marissa had a difficult time juggling the grueling hours of practicing for her quinces dance and the pressures from her mother, who had her own vision about the party details.
Marissa spoke to Latina.com about her quinces, her non-traditional route, and how emotions ran high during her special day.
Tell us about your episode of Quiero Mis Quinces.
Marissa: I had an amazing experience – the day of my quinces was just a dream come true. I went through a lot of things, especially with practicing, because of my hip. It hurt so much and there was basically nothing I could do for it. That was something really hard to go through. And then me and my mom didn’t agree on a lot of things – that was also a lot to deal with. Having my family there was important – it was an amazing adventure to be at MTV Tr3s. I think my family all got a little bit closer for it.
You’re half Black and half Mexican. Did that affect how you planned your quinces?
Marissa: Sort of because we went more with the non-traditional quinces. We didn’t follow all the rules as a traditional quinces would have been, like with the shoe changing and the doll – and the dancing and the church.
I understand you’re a dancer. How important was your dance in your quinces?
Marissa: Dancing in my quinces was very important because it was my time to show everybody how hard I’ve been working for this and how many years and how I’ve built up to this moment. I rehearsed about 30 hours a week for my dance – I’m very serious about dancing.
What kind of pressures did you experience from your mother during your quinces planning? How did that make you feel?
Marissa: One thing we didn’t agree on was my dress – the color. A huge thing was my cake. I wanted to go with a more traditional type and she wanted to go with the colorful, topsy-turvy. It kind of made me feel like she was kind of going against me at times but I know that she had the best interest for me so I tried to listen to her sometimes.
Can you tell us about your dress?
Marissa: My dress is navy blue and it’s beautiful. It’s like a corset on the top and it comes out poofy at the bottom.
What were some of the other details of your quinces? How many people did you invite?
Marissa: Honestly I just started passing out invites everywhere at my dance studios, at my school, and at another school that had all my friends. At my party, I had rice, potatoes, chicken, and green beans – nothing very traditional. For the DJ, we played mostly pop music and R&B. My grandpa had a band, mostly funk – Brick House. My Oma [German word for grandmother] dedicated a song to me.
What was the best part of your quinces?
Marissa: I think the best part of my quinces was having everybody there, knowing that my family was there to support me. And my dance with my father – it was very emotional and at the end I cried. Some of my court members and family members started to cry. I knew my dad wanted to cry but he was too manly to cry.
What advice would you give to other girls who are planning their quinces?
Marissa: To always have an open opinion, they might think they know what they want for their party but their parents also have a say in it. That’s important because they also have some good ideas.