A first year BA student originally from Ottawa, Ontario, Ornella Murumba joined the VIU Dance Team in September 2015 to meet new people.

“I jumped at the chance to audition for the VIU Dance Team, as previously I was on a similar team in Ontario,” says Murumba.

Ornella Murumba

While the VIU Dance Team is a staple in Mariner basketball games, they also help organize and attend local events, often with VIU’s favourite mascot, Stuey the Sturgeon, in attendance.

“We recently held a beer and burger fundraiser at the Queen’s in downtown Nanaimo,” says Murumba. “We also took part in the Ladysmith Light Up, as well as in our local Christmas tree light-up in the Christmas season.”

This year, the dance team will also be lighting up the stage at the Upper Island Music Festival.

Despite only having been a part of the team for a short time, Murumba feels the strong bond between teammates already, recalling her first practice fondly.

“We are truly a family; there is so much love and respect between teammates. I still remember my first practice—in just five minutes, I already felt like a close friend who had been dancing with them for years.”

Like many in their first year of university, Murumba sees the many possibilities that lie before her for her career.

“To be honest, I have no idea what career I hope to get,” she says. “Right now I’m just working hard on getting good grades, and hopefully something will pique my interest.”

Read also: Going Home Star: Truth and Reconciliation

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