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I was told Mercyhurst in Pennsylvania had a good dance program but I haven't been able to find much information about it. If someone could give me some information that would be awesome!

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I have heard it is more of a modern program than a ballet program, but they are trying to build their ballet department.

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My friend is there majoring in dance performance. She is one of my friends who doesn't like modern that much, so I'm sure it's more of a ballet focused program then modern. Tauna Hunter is the director, and she is an excellent teacher. I've taken a few classes from her. Also, you get to audition in april to join the Lake Erie Ballet, and you also get to audition in september for their nutcracker.




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Mercyhurst is a private liberal arts school that prides itself on its academics as well as its dance program. In high school when their audition tour came our way I took a class for Ms.Hunter. She didn’t teach but was on a panel of auditioners; she spoke to us after the class. I can’t remember details, but out of the others that spoke she grabbed my interest as someone that was very grounded in her approach to instruction and development within the individual.


If there are boys reading this, in years past the school has had money available to increase the amount of men in their program.

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Students at Mercyhurst can dance at Lake Erie Ballet while students.



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Momof3, do you mean that they can participate in an organized trainee program or do you mean that you know of some who have danced professionally, while attending college?

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I'm not sure that it is an organized program. However, Mercyhurst now advertises a "relationship" with Lake Erie Ballet for students. My understanding is that it is an outlet for ballet dancers outside the course requirements for a major.



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Do you know if the Lake Erie Ballet will work with the students who auditioned from Mercyhurst so they can finish college? Do you know how many dancers in the past year have been accepted from the Mercyhurst program?

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  • 1 month later...

I auditioned for Mercyhurst about two weeks ago. vrsfanatic, the program is ballet focused. In my interview/meeting with Tauna Hunter (the director of dance), she told me that if I wasn't serious about ballet (i.e. I wanted regular jazz classes), Mercyhurst isn't the place for me.


The audition consisted of a ballet class taken with majors. The barre was flat and the center was done on point. Center work was videotaped so they could refer back to it. After a tour of the campus and lunch, I took an optional modern class.


I absolutely LOVE the campus. The buildings are all built on the same brick theme of the original college buildings. The downtown of Erie is about 10 minutes drive away, and there is a regular bus schedule going there. The student council plans activities every Friday and Saturday such as line-dancing (I really like this :blushing: ). The college definitely doesn't feel like a high school, but you won't get lost in it.


I haven't heard back from them yet. Waiting for college acceptance letters is ten times worse than SI letters. :D


If anyone has any basic questions about the campus or audition, feel free to ask.

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Yay! I got my acceptance letter 3 days ago. What a relief. One down three to go!


I was actually the only one in the actual audition. There was another girl who took a more advanced class in the afternoon. I think they usually cap off the auditions at six girls.


Here's a schedule of the day:


9:00 Arrive on campus at the dance department in Zurn Hall

9:25-10:55 Ballet Class with Dance Department, Studio B (Tuana watched center-which is on pointe. It is videotaped as well)

11:00-11:45 Meet for intro to dance department and brief interview with Tauna Hunter, Dance Department Director

11:45-12:45 Campus tour with an Ambassador

12:45-1:30 Lunch in the Cafeteria (they have really good food )

1:30-2:30 Meet with the Admissions Dance Coordinator (this is currently Rachel Confer) for admissions process and financial aid info

2:10-3:40 Modern Class

3:30-5:50 Observe Rehearsals (optional)


I was able to see two students rehearsing a chunk of Don Quixote for the upcoming show. I was very impressed. It seems like there are TONS of opportunities for extra performances and dancing at Mercyhurst through the Lake Erie ballet as well as student clubs.


Yes, the program is a BA program, but this does not mean that you aren't getting consitant technique classes, it just means that you do a lot of work! I like the fact that you can both pick an empasis and get a minor - I want the arts administration minor.

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