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Meet Betsy Uhler Colombo of LA Unbound in North Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Betsy Uhler Colombo.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’m the director of a non-competitive dance company called LA Unbound, which was founded in 2007 by myself and my friend Elizabeth Tramontozzi.

Elizabeth and I met dancing together in IC Unbound, the student dance company at Ithaca College. We both moved to LA after graduation and were roommates at the time – one day we were talking about how many Ithaca dance friends we had here in LA and before too long we had rounded everyone up to do a show together. Our first LA Unbound show had 24 dancers, and the company grew very quickly – now our shows include over 100 dancers. We found that there were so many like-minded dancers in Los Angeles, who have day jobs outside of dance, but want to choreograph and perform in their free time. So that’s who our company caters to and what makes us different from other dance companies.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It definitely hasn’t always been easy. One of our biggest challenges is finding time for everything. Elizabeth and I have always had full-time jobs while running LA Unbound, which is itself pretty much a part-time job. And scheduling rehearsals and performances and coordinating schedules for 100+ dancers, choreographers, volunteers, and crew members will always be a challenge!

Please tell us about LA Unbound.
LA Unbound is a non-competitive dance company for choreographers and dancers ages 18+ in all dance styles. Something that sets us apart and that I’m also really proud of, is the non-competitive nature of the company. We always do our best to find a spot in the show for each and every dancer who comes to audition, regardless of their experience level or dance background. Many of our dancers took classes and performed growing up and now that they have full-time jobs, they’re looking for an outlet to continue to pursue their passion in their free time. We also have some dancers that didn’t get into dance until adulthood and some who are pursuing it as a career. The company is very diverse in terms of backgrounds and experiences, but what unites us all is our love and passion for the art of dance.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
One of my favorite childhood memories was when I started dancing again. My mom had enrolled my sister and me in ballet classes when we were about 5 to 7-years old, as many moms do with their children. But for whatever reason, my sister and I both hated the classes and begged to quit, so we stopped dancing. Years later, when I was 12-years old, we decided that we wanted to dance again and this time – perhaps because it was our decision to sign up for lessons – we discovered our love for ballet. Starting over at the age of 12 put me behind most of the other girls, and I felt like I never quite made up for that lost time, but it was absolutely worth it because 20+ years later I am still dancing!

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Image Credits: Chiabella James, Powell Browne, Daniel J Sliwa

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