DailyDanceWear: Presenting XAOC

XAOC dancer Debra Bona rehearses while Eryn and the company look onSometimes you want to stand out, sometimes you want to stand for a cause, and sometimes you just want to get dressed up with your friends. The dancers of XAOC Contemporary Ballet do all three.


XAOC is a small non-profit dance company directed by Eryn Renee Young. While it seems like there are a million small dance companies in NYC at any given moment, XAOC stands out for a couple of reasons, one of which is that the dancers are using their passion and their fashion to benefit others. This season, they’ve formed a partnership with Headbands of Hope to help raise money for the organization to give headbands to girls with cancer.


“Growing up, doing charity work was already a part of my life,” says Eryn. “After moving to New York and going to college and starting the company, it kind of fell by the wayside in a way that I wasn’t happy with.”


XAOC Contemporary Ballet Dance ClothesOne of the company’s original dancers, Lauren Kronenfeld Olofsson, recommended working with Headbands of Hope, which was founded by her sister’s friend, Jessica Ekstrom, another strong, entrepreneurial young woman.


For their company class and rehearsal, XAOC dancers tend to go for a lot of color. On the day I crashed in with them, half of the group ended up wearing matching outfits with colorful leotards and bike shorts. The other half, rebels that they are, wore leotards, crop tops, and bottoms of varying length.


Jacline Henrichs’ leotard really stood out. Made by artist Brianna Kole of gold.guns.girls, the stripped and re-attached piping turns the clean, classical look into something more punk. “She took one of my old leotards and turned it into this,” Henrichs explains. It was so cool up close.


XAOC Contemporary BalletAnd Saioa Lopez Briones, the self-described “most contemporary” one of the group, skipped the ballet garb and instead rocked a turtleneck crop top and loose fit leggings. 


Why these looks? The dancers of XAOC are free to express their individuality as well as their cohesion as a group for their company class. As Eryn points out, “The dancers, these strong women, go-getters, inspirational…they are all really different people.” She likes to see their personalities come through in their dancing, and appreciates the clothing choices as well. 


Check it out and tell us what outfits you love to wear! To learn more about XAOC, head to www.xaocballet.com. To see more from gold.guns.girls, visit www.goldgunsgirls.net. Support Headbands of Hope at www.headbandsofhope.org.


Photo (top): XAOC dancer Debra Bona rehearses while Eryn and the company look on. Image (left): From left, Saioa Briones; Katie Eshbach, Danielle Rutherford, Lauren Kronenfeld Olofsso and Bona; and close-up of Jacline Henrichs’ leotard. Photo (bottom right): Henrichs, Eshbach, Alanna Newkirk, Rutherford and Bona sport their headbands. Photos by Leigh Schanfein.