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Two SA teens featured in HBO documentary series

Nina Parafina, Jackie Ayala appear in installment of '15: A Quinceanera Story'

SAN ANTONIO – Two San Antonio teenagers are being featured in the HBO documentary series, "15: A Quinceanera Story." 

Nina Parafina and Jackie Ayala found out that HBO was looking for Escaramuza riders to feature in a documentary series about quinceaneras, so they submitted a video.

"They asked us to submit a video of us just being ourselves, and we just submitted a video of us feeding horses," Parafina said.

The installment the teens appear in shows them compete together in Escaramuza, which is a form of horse dancing with roots in the Mexican revolution. Escaramuza features a team of eight girls wearing dresses that are colorful and representative of Mexico while riding side-saddle on horseback.

"It's kind of like dressage and synchronized swimming," Ayala said about the sport.

The teens have made it to the national competition three times.

"We're both Mexican, and Escaramuza is such a big part of our lives, and we really needed to speak to that in our quinceanera," Parafina said.

The girls celebrated their quinceanera together, celebrating their heritage on a ranch with families, friends and of course, horses.

"Some view quinceaneras as a thing only really privileged girls could have, and we've been incredibly fortunate to have horses and to be able to ride," Parafina said. "But it was only because we put in as much work as we could."

Ayala said quinceaneras are special and every girl should celebrate her coming of age.

"Even if it's in the backyard of your house, or anything, it's your quince. You do what you like. You enjoy what you want to be," she said.

The series begins Tuesday night. The installment that Parafina and Ayala are featured in will air Friday.