Lukas Flippo, Senior Photographer

Yaledancers is turning 50, and they are celebrating the occasion with a “Golden” spring show.

The show runs from April 13 to April 15 at the Educational Center for the Arts Theater on Audubon Street. It features YD’s classic mix of dance styles, ranging from contemporary to classical ballet. The anniversary will also be marked by an alumni reunion, something the company has never done before. 

“I’m really excited to have the alumni here this weekend; we’re having alumni all the way back from the origin of the company,” YD Co-President Sophie Mickus ’24 told the News. “It’s very fun to see the evolution of the company over the last 50 years.”

That evolution — which Mickus and Co-President Rhea Cong ’25 described as the incorporation of new styles such as hip-hop dance and competition jazz — was on full display in the group’s Wednesday night dress rehearsal, which featured dances set to music by artists as stylistically diverse as Frank Ocean and Nancy Sinatra. 

Mayah Monthrope ’25 told the News that she thought “Golden” was more “mature” than previous YD shows, adding that the themes of this program were “a little bit more subtle.” 

One dance, set to Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black,” featured heel-clad dancers and chairs as props. Another, titled “Final Groove,” saw performers step on each other in a sprawling, 14-person dance set over a love song about addiction.

Nora Faverzani ’23, who choreographed “Final Groove” for her last show with the company, spoke passionately about the stylistic mix she had achieved.

“It doesn’t really fall into any specific category or style of dance,” Faverzani said. “It’s most similar to contemporary dance, which is flowy, and somewhat technical, stemming originally from a combination of ballet, jazz and hip-hop influences.”

As is YD tradition, the show’s final dance is a full company piece, featuring choreography by the group’s co-presidents. Taylor McClure ’25 told the News that the company piece was the dance she was most excited about presenting. 

Dancers expressed excitement about the collaborative nature of the show, which was the result of weeks of choreography and rehearsal. 

“Everyone comes from a serious dance background, which often means a toxic dance background.” Madeline Art ’25 said. “And I think the fact that it can be such a healthy place is wonderful.”

For McClure, the opportunity to choreograph in a student-run environment had been a rewarding part of her YD experience.

A lot of times [choreography] is finding what works,” McClure said. “It’s kind of awesome that you get to have the opinions of everybody introduced instead of just a dictatorship of, ‘Okay, we’re gonna do this.”

As for the alumni reunion, the co-presidents have planned an exciting weekend, including a Saturday brunch at the Graduate Hotel, a happy hour and a reserve section at the Saturday night show. 

Cong estimated that approximately 40 alumni would be in attendance, including a large number from the tap class of 1978, simply because one of them had found the link online and sent it to their internal chat.

“I think that having the alums coming and having everyone thinking about the fact that it’s been around in pretty much the same form for 50 years is like, ‘Oh yes, it’s been that special for so many hundreds of people,’” Art said.

At press time, a few tickets for both shows were still available for purchase.

Nathaniel Rosenberg is City Editor for the News. He previously served as Audience Editor, where he managed the News's newsletter content, covered cops and courts and housing and homelessness for the City Desk. Originally from Silver Spring, MD, he is a junior in Morse College majoring in history.