The Star Heels Dance Team chasséd and twirled for a good cause on Sunday night.
The Star Heels supported Embody Carolina at its annual Fall Charity Show in the Student Union’s Great Hall. Proceeds from the show went to Embody Carolina, a campus organization dedicated to educating students about the issues surrounding eating disorders. The dance team, which consists of over 50 students and four companies, jazz, tap, ballet and modern, has sponsored a fall charity show since the group’s conception in 2003.
Senior Rebecca Todd and co-president of the Star Heels said the group chose to support Embody Carolina this year because it is a relatively new organization that concerns itself with eating disorders and body image, topics relevant to most dancers.
Senior Celeste Cowan, the director of the group’s modern dance company, said the Star Heels support Embody Carolina’s mission.
“So much of dance is dependent on physical and emotional health, and of course we want that for everyone,” Cowan said.
The two-act show consisted of 11 dance numbers, ranging in style from tap to modern to hip-hop and included guest performances by the UNC Achordants and the Carolina Vibe Dance Team.
Todd said the Star Heels put on a performance at the end of each semester, with the fall show traditionally being a charity show, and each dance piece the group performs is choreographed by a member of the team and chosen by team leaders.
“It’s a great opportunity for the girls to be able to choreograph,” Todd said.
Todd, who said she has been dancing since she was 5 years old and joined the Star Heels her freshman year, said the best part of dancing with the group is getting to form tight-knit relationships with fellow dancers.
“My favorite part is being a part of, essentially, the Star Heels family,” she said.
Cowan, who has been dancing since she was two, said she originally wasn’t sure she wanted to audition but decided to join the team because of the great people she met.
In addition to being a part of the Star Heels, Cowan is involved with Carolina Creates Dance, a group that offers support to UNC dancers and promotes dance on campus. She said she hopes that in the future the Star Heels will be able to benefit from the efforts of groups like Carolina Creates Dance and the Carolina Dance Initiative.
“We want to connect dancers at UNC with the rest of the community, “ Cowan said.
“UNC has so much potential in arts but, unfortunately, there is a hierarchy in the arts world.”
Before the show, Cowan said she hoped the audience would be entertained by the performance and would leave wanting to come back and support the Star Heels.
Todd said she hoped audiences would gain a greater appreciation for dance as an art form.
“We hope people come away appreciating dance and the way we can express ourselves.”
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