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IC Alums Take Their Dancing Shoes to LA

Written by Betsy Uhler '04

Betsy Uhler '04 and Elizabeth Tramontozzi 03 practice

In Los Angeles, it’s impossible for me not to bump into friends from Ithaca College on a regular basis. It all started when my roommate, Elizabeth Tramontozzi ’03 and I had a party at our house last month that included fellow IC alums. We got to reminiscing about our days at Ithaca, especially our fond memories of performing in the student dance company, IC Unbound. The next day, Elizabeth and I came up with a list of Los Angeles alums who had danced in IC Unbound with us. Before we knew it, we had come up with the names of about 15 fellow dancers and a west coast chapter of IC Unbound, LA Unbound, was born. Elizabeth and I were beyond excited with this initiative, but because of everyone’s demanding schedules and numerous commitments, we feared that other Unbound alumni wouldn’t share our enthusiasm. We were wrong. 

Incredibly, every single person we contacted was extremely excited and enthusiastically agreed to participate. Jessica (Evans) Chernega ’05 said, “I’m so glad to have the opportunity to keep that wonderful part of my college life alive!” And member Jaime-Lyn Gaudet ’04 was equally thrilled to have IC Unbound extend to the west coast.

It’s not just dancers who returned to the company; Joshua Feldman ’04, who designed the lighting for the IC Unbound shows for each of his four years at Ithaca joined up, reprising reprise his role. “It only further proves how strong the passion of involvement was at IC that there continues to be this much momentum in the alumni community,” Feldman said.

To start things off, we met for a preliminary organizational meeting to decide how the company should operate. Ultimately, we unanimously agreed that LA Unbound would remain consistent to IC Unbound’s mission and operational structure, which includes putting on shows with a diverse array of dance styles in a non-competitive atmosphere. Why fix something that works so brilliantly? Just like back at IC, all members are welcome to choreograph dances, and all types and styles of dancing are accepted. We are also allowing dancers and choreographers who did not attend Ithaca College to participate as long as there is at least one IC Unbound alumnus in each dance.

So we are off and running, extremely excited, jumping over roadblocks and facing our challenges head-on. One of the initial setbacks is lack of start-up funds, a problem we never encountered at Ithaca due to the college’s allocation of yearly budgets to campus clubs and organizations. However this hurdle was jumped when member Jennifer Pierce ’03 generously agreed to donate rehearsal space at Sophie Dance, the beautiful new dance studio she recently opened in Los Angeles. Christian Clark ’04 and Stephen Kerr ’04 volunteered to offer complimentary photo shoots, and we don’t anticipate having any problems finding an alumnus to film the performance for a DVD. The enthusiasm and generosity of everyone involved gives us the confidence that our new project will soon grow from a fun way to stay connected will fellow alumni into a lasting tradition that incorporates artistic expression and an outlet to give back to the community.



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