As soon as a Dollie, all the time a Dollie — even for the reason that Fifties. For over seven many years, the dancers have been accompanying the Stanford Band, passing down traditions and treasured bonds to every 12 months’s new quintet.
The Dollies are numbered by top, with #1 being the shortest and #5 being the tallest. Every cohort additionally inherits a repertoire of over 40 dances which were choreographed and handed down from earlier Dollies.
“There have historically solely ever been 5. Due to that, the function will get handed down yearly in order that extra individuals can have an opportunity to do it,” stated Ava Tiffany ’26, who’s presently Dollie #5.
One of many group’s most treasured traditions is “Dolly Splash,” the place the incoming quintet is launched at a spring rally. The outgoing Dollies formally go down their titles to newly-selected dancers, who carry out 10 routines earlier than they’re thrown into the Claw fountain.
The group’s dance formations have additionally adopted the identical patterns for many years, based on Alyssa Frederick ’24, who was Dollie #4 final 12 months. Which means that, for almost their whole historical past, all Dollie #2s have occupied the identical place in the identical sequences. Outgoing Dollies educate incoming Dollies of the identical quantity, contributing to a way of camaraderie amongst them — former members are also known as “mothers” and “grandmas.”
There’s “a really massive sense of pleasure” across the members’ assigned positions, Frederick stated.
Moreover residence sports activities video games, the Dollies additionally be a part of the Band at neighborhood occasions all year long.
Second-year bioengineering Ph.D. scholar Janelle Kaneda B.S. ’19 M.S. ’21, who was Dollie #1 in the course of the 2016-2017 educational 12 months, fondly recalled performing on the San Francisco Conflict Memorial Opera Home in honor of a Stanford alum. It was a far cry from the everyday on-campus rally — “We even obtained our personal dressing room backstage,” Kaneda stated.
Regardless of the group’s exactly maintained legacy, one essential lapse from custom is allowed: Dollies design their very own attire, one for every quarter. The colour schemes have remained the identical over time — vibrant purple with white trim for the autumn, cardinal purple and white for the winter and white with purple trim for the spring — however every group of Dollies provides their very own distinctive aptitude to their outfits.
Dollies are united not solely by their matching outfits but in addition by the hours they spend collectively, particularly when rehearsals begin in the course of the summer season.
Karina Chen ’25, who was Dollie #1 in the course of the 2022-2023 educational 12 months, stated the bond between the Dollies was “like no different.”
“In the summertime all of us lived collectively, realized dances collectively and simply did random issues collectively. It was such an exquisite expertise,” Chen stated.
This bond spans generations, as every new recruit joins a decades-long legacy of previous Dollies.
“On the finish of the day, it’s not likely in regards to the dance. It’s in regards to the neighborhood,” Frederick stated. “You see that lots of the Dollies will do their Dollie dances at one another’s weddings. It’s wild that you just keep in mind the dances for that lengthy, too.”
For Chen, performing within the group was “life-changing.” The numerous hours spent dancing amid the Band’s notoriously funky ambiance formed her time at Stanford, she stated.
“Clearly, different colleges have their typical dance groups or cheerleading groups, however I believe Dollies is one thing so particular and so, so particular to Stanford,” Chen stated. “It encapsulates the Stanford spirit.”