Hello, we are Retrograde.

Retrograde Dance Company, based out of Southern California, is comprised of five girls who dance to tell stories, engage with their audience, and bring ideas to life through movement so that others can experience more unity and empathy .

There’s a few things we really like: kindness, empowerment, connection, story-telling, each other, and of course, dance. It’s a very uncomplicated formula for happiness.

Tickets now on sale for Rise!

We are thrilled to announce that tickets are now on sale for Rise, our first  evening length performance.  Rise is a personal, powerful, and 100% true story told through dance. It explores the story of my time in foster care from the darkest sorrows the unexpected victories.  

In true Retro form, we are working on creating an immersive experience, taking the journey with our guests instead of merely in front of them.

This show exists to bring hope and empowerment to those who’ve struggled through trauma and abuse, and we are partnering with local non-profit to donate as many tickets as possible. You can use the button below to buy a ticket or sponsor a seat for a foster youth.


Ericka Brown

"I love that everyone (in Retrograde) is themselves and not afraid to do so. I love that we all gel and mesh well both movement wise and personality wise. I love that we cheer each other on and keep each other encouraged. I love that we have such a fearless leader that doesn’t take any ish, that is so protective of her dancers, and that has been through so much with this company but continues to pick herself up dust herself off and keep pushing forward. So honored to be a part of this company!"


Her nerdiest obsession is my rock collection, and figuring out what each is.

One of the causes she cares most deeply about is giving young people the opportunity to be exposed to the arts especially minority children.

We are in love with her happy, calm demeanor, beautiful, breezy dancing, and the way she cheers on everyone around her.

Ericka is one of the original members of Retrograde, with us since 2014.


Aisha Stewart

Aisha swooped into the final months of rehearsal after we lost one of our group. She has been a Godsend from start to finish. Her amazing memory, beautiful dancing, and endless capacity to understand every Spongebob reference made her instant family.


Julie Davis

"What is there not to love about this group?? Retrograde is the modern/contemporary dance company you dream about getting into. We’re the best team. We’re super collaborative, encouraging and we inspire one another. We build each other up and are there for one another. We’re like a little mini dance family, and every rehearsal is like we’re just hanging out and having fun."

JD tells a story:
On my 16th birthday, I went to a fancy restaurant with my family. At some point during the night, the waitress took a picture of us, and there are GHOST FINGERS COMING OUT OF MY SHOULDER! Me and my family were just sitting at the booth and the fingers were none of ours; I SWEAR it’s a ghost. I have a picture to prove it:


Vivian Robledo

"The women in Retro are so incredibly talented, driven, and encouraging. Often in this field, you can only pick two of those things. And though we are a team, we are never being shaved down to fit a mold — we thrive in our differences and are genuinely excited to see them cultivated in one another. "

Two sides of Vivian:
In our era of intense globalization, I feel the growing importance of sharing a practice known as cultural relativity. To put it simply, cultural relativity is to suspend judgment of another’s behavior or belief system until it is understood from the perspective of the culture in which it was generated. It’s empathy. It critically calls for some horrifying and beautiful questions about how to exist responsibly in this world at an interpersonal and macro level. As a (perhaps biased) anthropologist, I firmly believe these concepts of cultural anthropology should be included with math and reading in school.


While I have a notable interest in sociolinguistics and a fascination with what little I know about quantum physics, the only thing I can truly say I nerd out on is this children’s cartoon about kids trying to save the world from a Nazi-esque global conquest by folks who shoot fire out of their hands. There’s a flying bison, terrible puns, and intense questions about fate, morality, and justice. Also a variety of martial arts, which is totally cool on its own.


April MacLean- Director

"This group is like none I've ever worked with. Each is so unique both in and out of the studio, but all of them a driven, loyal, passionate, and bring their best selves into their work. I feel so honored that they choose to give me their time. My vision for Retrograde is to create dances that erase that strange disconnect between dancers and audience. When people watch us, I want then to feel that they're a part of what we're saying, that they're in on the conversation, not just watching and guessing. There are endless and important things to say through movement, and the conversation, for me, should always be two-sided."

A little about me
I've a deep love for all things choreography and business. I cry easily, especially when observing acts of kindness and connection between people. I can't get enough coffee, sushi, Thai food, or The Office. I drool over good podcasts, books, courses...really all forms of learning. I am a mom, a wife, a survivor, and a creator. If I hadn't gone into dance, I may have gone into the world of bugs. I am obsessed with bugs. I've done a few interesting things in my life....they can all be found at www.aprilmaclean.com

IDC Feb JA 1--12

A couple of our favorite projects

This project was a way to bring dancers of all styles, shapes, and colors together for the sake of pure happiness.

Ericka Brown brings movement and dimension to the story of Makeda Kumasi and her glimpse into Slave Island.

Get in Touch

We’d love to hear from you. Send along your questions or comments to April Maclean: hello{at}aprilmaclean.com 

Mailing address: 

3737 Main St. Ste 103A

Riverside, CA 92501

If you’re looking for Infuse Dance Studio, click here.