A quick and dirty crash course to Stanford’s major art practice organizations

April 26, 2018, 1:34 a.m.

Silicon Valley, you say? No art, you say? Well, prepare to be astounded by the diversity of student arts organizations on campus. If you want a crash course in some of the major active undergraduate-focused arts activity organizations here at Stanford, then look no further. This is by no means a complete list, but if you’re looking to try something new or find a close community during your undergraduate career, then consider checking out one of these groups!

Organizations in alphabetical order.


Organization name: Flying Treehouse
The lowdown: Stanford’s children’s theater company. Members create their own pieces and perform them.

Organization name: Robber Barons
Nickname/acronym: Barons
The lowdown: Stanford’s sketch comedy troupe.

Organization name: Stand Up, D
The lowdown: Stanford’s stand-up comedy organization. Performs every quarter and at CoHo.

Organization name: Stanford Improvisors
Nickname/acronym: SImps
The lowdown: Stanford’s first improv group. Students can audition once they take Beginning Improvisation, TAPS 103.

Organization name: Unscripted Playhouse of Stanford
Nickname/acronym: UPS (yes, like the shipping company)
The lowdown: Stanford’s newest improvisational theater troupe. Based around the Upright Citizens Brigade model of teams exploring different forms of improv, theater and comedy.


Organization name: Alliance Streetdance
Nickname/acronym: Alliance
The lowdown: Hip-hop dance group.

Organization name: Ballet Folklórico de Stanford
The lowdown: Mexican folk dance group.

Organization name: Basmati Raas
The lowdown: Stanford’s Indian raas/garba dance team.

Organization name: Cardinal Ballet Company
Nickname/acronym: CBC
The lowdown: Stanford’s ballet company.

Organization name: Chocolate Heads
The lowdown: Stanford’s interdisciplinary and mixed-genre dance group.

Organization name: Common Origins
Nickname/acronym: CO
The lowdown: Urban dance group. No auditions required.

Organization name: dv8
The lowdown: Hip-hop dance group.

Organization name: Kaorihiva
The lowdown: Stanford’s Polynesian dance group. Performs at the annual Hawai’i Club’s Lu’au.

Organization name: Los Salseros De Stanford
The lowdown: Stanford’s salsa dancing group.

Organization name: Stanford Bhangra
The lowdown: Stanford’s Bhangra dance group, performing traditional Punjabi folk dance.

Organization name: Stanford Chinese Dance
The lowdown: Stanford’s Chinese dance group. Performs classical and contemporary Chinese dance.

Organization name: Stanford Swingtime
The lowdown: Stanford’s swing dance group.

Organization name: tapTH@T
The lowdown: Tap-focused dance group.

Organization name: Viennese Ball
The lowdown: The group behind an annual event featuring social dancing and live music.

Organization name: XTRM
The lowdown: K-pop and East Asian-pop dance team. No auditions required.


Organization name: Cardinal Calypso
Nickname/acronym: Calypso
The lowdown: Stanford’s Caribbean music group. Known for playing the steel drums all over campus.

Organization name: Counterpoint
The lowdown: Stanford’s first all-female a cappella group. Second oldest a cappella group.

Organization name: Everyday People
Nickname/acronym: EP
The lowdown: R&B, Motown, hip-hop and soul a cappella group. Co-ed.

Organization: Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band
Nickname/acronym: LSJUMB
The lowdown: Stanford’s infamous marching band. Known for their wacky outfits and nontraditional instruments.

Organization name: Mixed Company
Nickname/acronym: Mixed Co
The lowdown: Popular music a cappella group. Co-ed.

Organization name: O-Tone
The lowdown: East Asian-interest a cappella group. Co-ed.

Organization name: Stanford Chinese Music Ensemble
The lowdown: Dedicated to playing traditional Chinese music and instruments.

Organization name: Stanford Fleet Street Singers
Nickname: Fleet Street
The lowdown: Comedy a cappella group with all-original songs. All-male.

Organization name: Stanford Harmonics
The lowdown: Alternative rock a cappella group. Co-ed.

Organization name: Stanford Jazz Orchestra
The lowdown: Dedicated to performing big band jazz. Performs every quarter in Bing Concert Hall.

Organization name: Stanford Mendicants
Nickname: The Mendicants
The lowdown: Stanford’s oldest a cappella group. All-male.

Organization name: Stanford Raagapella
The lowdown: South Asian-interest a cappella group. Co-ed.

Organization name: Stanford Symphony Orchestra
The lowdown: Found in 1891, the orchestra preferences students but is open to all community members.

Organization name: Stanford Taiko
The lowdown: Dedicated to the practice of taiko, a form of Japanese drumming.

Organization name: Talisman
The lowdown: Dedicated to sharing global stories through song.

Organization name: Testimony A Cappella
The lowdown: Christian a cappella group on campus. Co-ed.


Organization name: Asian American Theater Project
Nickname/acronym: AATP
The lowdown: Dedicated to promoting and exploring Asian American narratives, representation and issues onstage. Co-founded by Asian American playwright David Henry Hwang during his years at Stanford.

Organization name: BLACKstage
The lowdown: Dedicated to highlighting the Black experience in theater. Recently put on “The Wiz.”

Organization name: Latinxs in Theater
Nickname/acronym: LIT
The lowdown: One of Stanford’s newest theater groups. Dedicated to promoting Latinx-identifying narratives and individuals in theater.

Organization name: Ram’s Head Theatrical Society
Nickname/acronym: Ram’s
The lowdown: Stanford’s first theater group. Puts on “Gaieties” (a Stanford Big Game tradition), the Original Winter One Acts and a spring musical.

Organization name: Stanford Light Opera Company
Nickname/acronym: SLoCo (pronounced slow-co)
The lowdown: Dedicated to exploring and presenting operettas. Putting on “The Phantom of the Opera” later this quarter.

Organization name: Stanford Shakespeare Company
Nickname/acronym: Shakes
The lowdown: A repertory company that puts on two Shakespeare plays a year. It includes an acting and a technical company.

Organization name: [wit]: a gender conscious theater company
Nickname/acronym: [wit] (pronounced phonetically)
The lowdown: One of Stanford’s newest theater groups. Dedicated to highlighting the stories of female and gender-nonconforming individuals through theater.

Contact Olivia Popp at oliviapopp ‘at’ stanford.edu.

This article has been updated with additional groups.

Olivia Popp was a managing editor of Arts & Life for volumes 251 through 254 and the editor-at-large for The Stanford Daily's board of directors for volumes 254 and 255. She hails from Michigan and enjoys science fiction TV shows, independent film festivals, and the Bay Area theater scene.

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