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Ballet Talk for Dancers

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jamied

I just saw DS dance in the Christmas show. It was a jazz number and then some dances from the Nutcracker. I can not believe how good my son looked. His stage presence has improved tremendously, Mercyhurst has been such a good fit for him.

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CakeMom

Wonderful, jamied!

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DanceMomLAS

I'm wondering if any graduating seniors have plans yet. Would love to hear what students will be doing next. 

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JSM285

My daughter is a junior and just starting the college process. She'd really like to go to a college with a classic ballet program- Mercyhurst is one of her top choices. For those of you who have daughters who have been accepted to the Mercyhurst program, can you give me a feel for the caliber of dancer that is accepted? My daughter has attended notable summer intensives- Pennsylvania Ballet, CPYB. She's only been waitlisted for SAB, never fully accepted. Any thoughts or knowledge on this? 

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DanceMomLAS

 

Hi JSM - 

I would encourage your daughter to audition. The school has a range of levels of dancers. I would say that the dancers in this program range from proficient to excellent. Some of the students love to dance, but don't expect to be professionals. They generally have a minor or 2nd major that will be their eventually career direction. Other students do go on to dance professionally, from what I can see, mostly in smaller companies, or part time, along with a job in their minor. There are quite a few opportunities to preform, especially after freshman year (for which one semester you must do a production practicum).

My daughter is a sophomore in this program. She likes the program, and the school. However, without rehearsals, she dances less hours per week than she did during high school, usually 2 classes per day. She does do center on pointe every day, so feels she is maintaining her technique. For what its worth, we as parents felt she made a good choice, and that it's been a good fit for her.

Good luck to your daughter. 

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DanceMomLAS

Any updates from recent Mercyhurst grads? Love to hear what dancers are doing post-Mercyhurst. 

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DanceMomLAS

Fall dance performance review...

Fall performance by the dancers was excellent. There were 3 segments with 2 intermissions  

Very nice 20 min classical ballet piece choreographed by a faculty member-- corps of 18 dancers, and leads consisting of 2 couples and one trio (guy and 2 women).  The lead dancers looked strong, corps was solid and performed well. 

There were 2 interesting contemporary pieces, set by visiting choreographers. One was on flat, the other on point. These were both very impactful, and dramatic. A couple of the dancers really stood out for their graceful athleticism and artistry.

The final segment was a broadway production number with I think 8 or 9 numbers- ranging from jazz, tap, lyrical, and theatre dance. I thought this was well done, and very entertaining.  Final number was the "Hand Jive" number from Grease. Lots of fun lifts and partnering. 

There is a 1 minute highlight clip on the Mercyhurst Dance Facebook page. The show name is "Symphony in Motion"

 

 

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ballettalkgrm

HI there!  Just looking for some recent updates on the program. I have a high school sophomore that is an aspiring ballerina, however Dad insists on her having a college degree and solid plan B so we are making our list.  From reading this thread, Mercyhurst sounds like a solid classical ballet  program that also encourages minors and or double majors.  It does look like alumni go on to smaller regional companies if they pursue a professional career.  Can anyone give updates on what the 2019 grads are up to?  Also, how many are in the dance program? How many men are typically in the program and for anyone who is in the program do you feel you've had adequate partnering at Mercyhurst?  Are freshmen allowed to audition for Erie Ballet's Nutcracker and or trainee program?

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jamied

My son graduated in 2019. He had a torn labrum, so he had hip surgery right after graduation. I am glad that Mercyhurst encouraged him to minor in Communications. He is slowly finding his way without dance. He does occasionally help out at his old studio. From what he has told me, everyone else is pursuing a career in dance. 

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Mdballetmom

I have a non-dancing child at Mercyhurst and I will say that I really love this institution. I cannot speak to the dance (my dancer is on a different adventure) but academically it is on the mark. Mercyhurst is the rare small-ish school with very strong science programs. It's only downside is that it is in Erie, PA... lots of snow and winter lasts until mid-April! 

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DanceMomLAS

Hi Ballettalkgrm,

From what I hear from my daughter, current dancer in mercyhurst, I’d estimate about 80 dancers in the program. Many girls do a minor or double major. I think most of the double majors are BAs not BFAs. The BAs don’t do quite as much dance and performing. 

Number of men is low right now. They had a bunch graduate last year. One of my concerns is not enough classical partnering. The do more modern/ contemporary partnering. A good percentage of the dancers, especially BFAs do go on to dance, but in smaller companies, where they may also be teaching or administration  along with dance. I think it’s been a good choice for my daughter. She has an exercise science minor.

 

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