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Busting a Move for the Ithaca Community

Key Points

  • Ithaca Generator, a downtown makerspace, hosted a 12-hour-long dance-out
  • Over $1,000 in donations went to Ithaca Generator’s expansion, including adding a pottery studio and a machine shop
People dance to the music, about six hours into the dance-out.
 Dancing for eight hours straight, followed by participating in a two-hour dance competition and then a final hour of moving to the music, Ithaca local Zachary Bouchard didn’t let the exhausting pace slow him down. From 10am until 10pm in Downtown Ithaca’s Press Bay Alley, Bouchard and other community members came together to dance while raising money for the non-profit community makerspace, Ithaca Generator.
The organization hosted its first Dance-Out, a 12-hour-long dance event that raised over one thousand dollars for the growth of Ithaca Generator.

“We want to expand Ithaca inside the arts and I thought, how cool is that, I dance for this long and a pottery studio appears thanks to many friends coming together,” Bouchard said.

A pottery studio is just one of the expansions the Ithaca Generator hopes to build from this fundraiser. The money raised will also help build a machine shop and provide card-access doors for the buildings.

A Makerspace in Ithaca

Ithaca Generator is a community organization that provides spaces for people to collaborate and use technology tools to craft and explore innovation. It offers workshops and classes, along with member access to tools ranging from 3D printers to laser engraving machines and design software.

“What this is, is hands-on developing skills, techniques and technology for people that maybe wouldn’t have it elsewhere,” Bouchard said.

Along with workshops and tools open to the community, Ithaca Generator provides mentors and trained professionals for their members.

A Day Full of Dance

The 12-hour-long dance-out consisted of three main events to get community members moving. The first event was an eight-hour-long dance marathon. People who danced for the whole time won gift certificates to local businesses.

The rules for the eight-hour-long dance marathon.

After an intermission, eight local dancers took the stage in a dance competition while community members voted on their favorites. The last hour of the night, people moved in three circles of movement, one each for dance, acrobatics and yoga.

“All three events have a way people can dance or vote on their favorite dancer. Through that, they can donate to the Ithaca Generator,” said Remanu Panther, organizer of the dance-out. “In collaboration with this event, Ithaca Generator gave each of the featured dancers a month-long membership and assigned them a mentor in various fields, like woodworking, welding, and laser cutting.”

A Cause Worth Dancing For

The money raised at the dance-out stays local, giving the people of Ithaca and Ithaca Generator a reason to dance together.

“Something really special happens when people come out for a cause, that’s what we’re here for,” said Bouchard. “It’s important to me because for me personally, being with people in ways that aren’t traditional or ordinary always has something to offer me that I can’t find anywhere else.”

Dancers and a drummer move to the music.

Mariah Everts spent most of her day dancing at the event, and said it was a great way for Ithaca Generator to raise money while getting together with the Ithaca community.

“Events like this get people dancing, they create emotion and connection with the community, so people want to give their time and donations to people they interact with,” Everts said.

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