Showcasing our Talents during the Timothy Dwight Community Night

photo of a student band and singing performance

Every semester, Timothy Dwight, one of the 14 residential colleges at Yale, hosts the Timothy Dwight (TD) Community Night, which is essentially a very low-stakes talent show for students in the college. In prior years, some notable acts have been jump roping performances, comedy skits, covers of popular songs, and dance performances of all genres, and some students have even performed their original pieces. Even though Yale has many performances to showcase students’ talents, from its many dance groups, a cappella groups, and instrument-based groups (think the Yale Symphony Orchestra, Davenport Pops, and Low Strung), to improv and sketch comedy groups, they do not evoke the welcoming and supportive crowds of TD Community Night.

After being an audience member for the last seven community nights, I was especially interested in finally performing at Community Night this year. Luckily, many other seniors also shared this sentiment, so I was able to gather a group of seniors to join me in our first and final community night performance. Before our performance at community night, many events had to take place for the execution of the performance. First, I had to recruit my friends to join me in the performance, which was successful with enough pestering and text reminders. After a routine was settled on, in our case it was a performance of “We’re All in This Together” from High School Musical, we had to learn the routine. Last but not least, a rehearsal was scheduled around everyone’s tight schedule, and the rest was left to chance.

standing in a row formation before dance performance
Moments before our High School Musical performance

As a Co-Chief Aide for Timothy Dwight College, I was in charge of organizing the schedule for Community Night, so I conveniently placed us as the closing act. Even though our talent was questionable, I was confident that the energy from our performance would be more than enough to make up for it. This TD Community Night, I was also an emcee and stage manager with Jai, so we introduced the acts and set up the stage in preparation for the upcoming performances. Thankfully, the bulk of my job was just before the performance, and by the nature of my role in community night, I was able to get front-row seats to the performances TD has to offer.

emceeing with Jai for community night
Emceeing with Jai

While I am biased about my performance with my friends being my favorite act of the night, I must admit that students at Timothy Dwight College are exceptionally talented in a plethora of ways. Even though I have seen my peer’s performances in their respective showcases, when I put them into the context of a fellow neighbor, buttery (late-night food shop) acquaintance, or someone I greet at the dining hall, their performance stuns me. As much as I would like to rave about each performance, my words won’t do them justice, but some photos from the night will do.

student singing an original song with guitarduet to the cover of "valerie"
Some amazing vocal performances from the night

senior dance performance
Performance from TD’s “Octinental Congress” performing The Octet Show

Like every Yale event, the TD Community Night comes with food. So to top off the already wonderful night of wholesome performances and funny skits, there were many boxes of hot pizza waiting for students to enjoy at the very end.

If you told high school me that I would be performing a dance routine to an audience of 100 students and staff, I would not have believed you. Fast forward four years and I could see this happening, and as of yesterday, I can confidently say that I have already done this. And on a whim, a bucket list item I would have never thought to have was marked off. Growth comes in many different forms, academic, physical, and skill-based are some that come to mind. At Yale, I found growth in my confidence and while I can’t attribute this growth to any one person or class, I can attribute this growth to my friend’s endless support, and the welcoming community in Timothy Dwight College.