Gus Hernandez started the Dream Team Cadets in 1998 after years as a dance instructor for quinceañeras.
Girls celebrating their 15th birthdays select friends and family members to stand up as their escorts and ladies — chambelanes y damas in Spanish — to perform for party guests, and they often hire someone to teach them coordinated dances. But convincing a group of teenage boys to take the task seriously and show up in suits is sometimes impossible.
So dance troupes like this one often are hired as chambelanes. They perform traditional and popular dances, and the team captain usually brings the princess of the night to the floor for a spotlight dance.
Jefferson Boulevard is a vortex of the quinceañera business, drawing customers from all over the Southwest. During busier seasons, Hernandez says his dance troupe performs at three quinceañeras on a typical weekend.