The Student News Site of Ithaca College

Ithaca Week

Ithaca Week

Ithaca Week

IC Unbound Lights the Way for Charity and Community

The e-board members practice their jazz dance number for an upcoming performance // Ashley Wolf
Ashley Wolf and Lisbeth Perez

Senior Becca Aronoff thought she would never be able to dance again after she undertook double-hip surgery four years ago. However, she did not let the surgery stop her. She still jumps and twirls around the dance studio. There was no way she could give up the sport she loves. The Unbound Dance Company at Ithaca College allowed her to continue to dance and perform, two things she loves most in the world.

IC Unbound is the biggest dance company on campus with about 50 dancers. The Company does not focus on one form of dance like most on-campus dance companies. In fact, the Company covers many genres of dance, such as tap, jazz, hip hop, contemporary and lyrical.

Over the years, Aronoff has seen IC Unbound change for the better, Aronoff said. The Company has become a much more welcoming and open environment for dancers. Previously, dancers stuck to smaller groups in the Company and did not mingle with many other dancers. For example, Aronoff is also a member of the dance team. Her freshman year, she stuck with other Dance Team members when she danced for Unbound. Now, she is not afraid to step out of her comfort zone and audition for a variety of dances, she said.

“It’s definitely helped me branch out in the sense that my freshmen year, I would only try out for dances that Dance Team girls did because that’s where I felt most comfortable,” Aronoff said. “It’s definitely expanded in the sense that I’m more likely to audition for anybody’s dance, not just my friend’s dances.”

A contemporary dance from IC Unbound’s Fall 2016 showcase // Sent in by Christina Yuu
A contemporary dance from IC Unbound’s Fall 2016 showcase // Sent in by Christina Yuu

IC Unbound gives dancers the opportunity to change up their pace and add new dance genres to their repertoire. However, the Company is not just about dancing, it is also about fellowship. President of IC Unbound, Christina Yuu, said it is important that Company dancers know they have a safe space on campus with people who care about them.

“I know everyone in the Company’s name,” she said. “I think that’s so important for at least the e-board to know. I hope that through our run throughs and dress rehearsals, people get that opportunity because it’s hard if you’re only in two dances to meet other people from the Company.”

The Company started a big-little mentorship program for the dancers during the Fall 2015 semester. Treasurer of IC Unbound, Sammi Sedita, said the program pairs younger members with older mentors, helping them to feel more welcome.

“It’s like being part of a family,” she said. “Not only do you get to dance with people on campus, you build such strong bonds and get to know them more on the social level too.”

Because it is hard to accommodate schedules for 50 people, all of the IC Unbound dancers gather together once a semester to get to know each other better, Yuu said. The Company’s e-board encourages bigs and littles to bond before the semesterly events by making food or going shopping together for the events, Yuu said.

Another way the Company has changed throughout recent years is the increase in their service work. Yuu, who stepped into the presidential position at the beginning of the Fall 2016 semester, wanted IC Unbound to become more involved in raising money and dancing for important causes.

The e-board members at the Relay for Life event held Mar. 25 at Ithaca College // Sent by Christina Yuu
The e-board members at the Relay for Life event held Mar. 25 at Ithaca College //Sent by Christina Yuu

Yuu said IC Unbound participated in the Relay for Life on Mar. 25 at the Athletics and Events Center at the College. Although some of the dancers had participated in Relay for Life before, this was the first time the Company participated in the event together. The Company performed three dances and congregated with other on-campus organizations to raise money for the American Cancer Society. IC Unbound will participate in Swish for a Wish later in April in order to raise money for the Make a Wish Foundation.

The Company is one-hundred-percent member funded because although they are considered a club sport, they do not receive the same funding as many other club sports, Yuu said. Although this used to frustrate her, she said she feels fortunate that the group is not struggling and therefore, wanted to give back to the community.

“It makes me really proud that we don’t need money from sports club,” Yuu said. “We’re very financially comfortable which makes me very proud and that money comes from the families, some of the families donate for programs or ads…Our families have been so supportive of us, a big part of it is that now, I want to give back to others too.”

Yuu said the Company has a Buffalo Wild Wings fundraiser each spring semester to raise money for the club, but at the moment, they mainly rely on donations and the money from show tickets.

“Our shows are in Emerson Suites and that costs a lot of money to rent out and then our programs, the tickets, the posters, they all add up,” Yuu said. “When we’re able to sell our tickets for $3, or $5 at the door, that goes back into us paying the rent.”

The Company is currently preparing for their spring showcase entitled “Light the Way.” The showcase will be held at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on April 2 in Emerson Suites and will feature 26 dance numbers.

The e-board is comprised of seven members from all graduating years. // Ashley Wolf
The e-board is comprised of seven members from all graduating years. // Ashley Wolf

The number of dancers in each number vary in size from one to 14 dancers. Since this is the spring showcase, it will be more sentimental for the dancers as it is the seniors’ last showcase, Yuu said. For both the showcase and the rehearsals, Yuu wants the Company’s dancers to remember why they dance and forget about all the rest of their problems, she said.

“We’re only dancing because we have a love for it,” she said. “I try to tell people, ‘guys, I know we’re stressed. We have tests, we have exams, but for just these two hours, just forget about it and just enjoy dancing.’”


Leave a Comment
Donate to Ithaca Week

Your donation will support the student journalists of Ithaca College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to Ithaca Week

Comments (0)

All Ithaca Week Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *