Before I got to Yale, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to continue my favorite activity in the entire world: dancing. I started dancing when I was four years old. Like every other four-year-old in dance I started with ballet but when I was around six, I took my first hip-hop class where we danced to Ciara’s “1,2 Step.” And since then, I’ve been dancing hip-hop at home, at dance class, at parties, and really anywhere hip-hop music is played.
When I got to Yale, I didn’t know much about dance opportunities. At the extracurricular bazaar––an event for all students, but especially first-years, to learn about hundreds of clubs––I found the table for Rhythmic Blue, Yale’s hip-hop dance group. After the bazaar, I obsessively watched Rhythmic Blue, aka “RB,” videos on YouTube. And while I was intimidated by how good they were, I knew I had to audition.
I started dancing with RB my first semester at Yale, and it’s been one of the best experiences I’ve had here. After I (very nervously) auditioned, I got into the team! Immediately, everyone––especially the upperclassmen––quickly made sure to get us newbies, who we affectionately call “RBabies,” acclimated to the group. Every semester we do social activities like weekly meals, optional excursions (my favorite: the Halloween haunted trail), and fun social gatherings for the group where we dance, eat a lot of food, and have a good time. More than a performance group, RB really is a family.
Photoshoot for our semester showcase (RB Ultra), Fall 2018
The structure of RB was something I had never experienced as a studio and competitive dancer. Every Sunday we have group rehearsals from 2-4 pm and throughout the week we have individual group rehearsals; these are smaller group dances that you get placed into at the beginning of the semester. All the choreography is completed by members of RB and every member must choreograph at least one piece before they leave the group/graduate. Surprisingly (to me!) I signed up to choreograph the RBabies piece my first semester. Since then, I’ve choreographed every semester (except the last year because of Covid) and became Co-president of the group my junior year. Every dancer chooses how many pieces they want to be join––I usually end up being in 7 or more because they’re all so good––and we work the entire semester to put on a semester showcase.
Fall 2019 showcase during the piece I choreographed with Ke’ala
Aside from semester showcases, we also perform at university events. My favorite performance we do every year is either the Harvard-Yale showcase during H-Y weekend, or the Bulldog Days showcase in April. And while the last two Bulldog Days have been virtual, it’s always so fun to share our pieces with incoming first-year students. Now that I am graduating soon, I am finishing––with my good friend and favorite person to dance with, Ke’ala––my last piece for RB. The theme of our first-ever virtual showcase––all the pieces posted to our IG page––is Y2K (early 2000s), from the outfits to the music. After almost an entire year of not dancing with my friends in person, it’s been amazing to have outdoor, masked rehearsals alongside some of my favorite people on campus.
2019 Harvard-Yale performance