Yale students + cultural diversity = show-stopping performance

Inside of Schwarzman Center

As a celebration for the end of midterms, many student groups pull out their costumes and prepare for the stage. It’s performance season now! Performance groups throughout Yale finish their last touches and roll out the carpet for the performance. For the first major dance performance at Yale, the South Asian Society (SAS) hosted a dance performance titled Roshni — meaning “light” in Hindi. The performance is full of light as multiple dance groups (4 total) perform their signature dance styles, with other members of the community doing special solo or group acts.

In Woolsey Hall, which is in the newly renovated Schwarzman Center, the auditorium is filled with students and families alike, waiting to watch the 4 official South Asian dance groups file on stage.

Here, we saw The Yale Kalaa, performing a traditional dance as the newest classical group out of all Roshni performers. The dancers showed amazing facial expressions and emotions during the dances, so even though many in the audience couldn’t understand the song, they could still understand the story and message.

Group of Kalaa dancers
Wonderful dancers working together for an amazing performance

Solo dancer from Kalaa on stage in orange dress
Here is one of the captains on the team doing a solo dance filled with emotion

Additionally, solo performers who are part of the SAS community also took part in the showcase to perform their special talents. One of them was a juggler who was able to juggle up to 10 balls while staying on beat to the song and seamlessly switching between different techniques. Talk about coordination skills!

Fast-paced juggling act in a one-man show

Another dance group I want to highlight is Yale Jashan Bhangra, known simply as Bhangra among the student population. These dancers participate in national competitions and display their school spirit with a Y on the back of their costumes (unfortunately not on display in these pictures). This celebration of colors is apparent the minute these performers set on stage, taking their heritage into the spotlight. 

Colorful Bhangra dancers
Truly a celebration of color across the stage

Although these dance groups are associated with the SAS community, Yale cultural affinity groups are open to all, creating a welcoming environment to learn about different cultures and traditions.