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Congratulations! I was wondering if you could tell me how difficult you thought the audition was. What was the hardest thing you were asked to do? I'm really interested in going there, but I'm not sure if my technique is up to par.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Mercyhurst alumni have joined:


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  • 1 month later...

Hello everyone!

I'm a senior dancer here at Mercyhurst, I will be glad to answer any and all questions, and to perhaps be a spokesperson. Our dance department is mainly ballet-focused. We do offer courses in modern, jazz, tap, musical theatre, dance conditioning, etc as well. There are additional performance opportunities with the local Lake Erie Ballet, especially with their Nutcracker. A student also has the option to audition to be a part of their company as well. I was an apprentice with Lake Erie Ballet my sophomore year.

We have many talented students here in our department. Students from Harid, the Rock, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre school, Interlochen, along with students who have come from as far as Hawaii, Alaska, Mexico, and South Africa.

Tauna Hunter, our department chair, is a wonderful woman. She takes this artform very seriously. Tauna has helped each of us seniors as far as job placement, and giving us suggestions on where to look and audition. She has connections all over the country (which I experienced first hand last year when I auditioned for Boston Ballet's summer program, and Tamara King came up to me during plies and made a comment on how I was one of Tauna's students, and for me to say hello to her for her) from dancing with Ballet West among other companies.

Mercyhurst is a BA program, but do not think you are getting any less training. I am glad that I have chosen a BA program because I am also able to receive an education and complete core classes (our professors in the other disciplines are wonderful). The majority of our dancers are also very smart, on Dean's List, and also on the national honor society for dance majors, which we hold a chapter of here, Nu Delta Alpha. Especially in this day in age, I will be so glad to graduate in May coming from a well-rounded academic background here at Mercyhurst.

As far as guys are concerned, the financial aid package that they receive is wonderful, oftentimes full tuition scholarships.

Along with dance scholarships, there are also the possibility of receiving other scholarships as well, academic and otherwise. As long as you write an essay with your application, you will be elligible for more academic scholarships.

Our campus is quite small (and beautiful, might I add!!!), which also means class sizes can be small. I once took a class with only 15 of us in it. You really get to know your professors, and they are so helpful. Freshmen year, students live in dorms, but once you become a sophomore, students live in on-campus appartments with a living room, full kitchen, two bedrooms, and bathroom, generally for 4 students. There is also an RA that lives in each appartment building as well. I love having an appartment!!!!!!!

There is so much more I could say about the school, but if anyone has any questions, I will be more than glad to answer them!!

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lil lindsay,

Thanks for the information. It has once again sparked my interest in Mercyhurst. Do you have the opprtunity to minor in PT if you are a dance major. If you can't minor in PT can you at least take some electives in PT and use them towards your dance degree?

Thanks for your time.

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lil lindsey, thanks for the response!


I would love to hear how you feel about all the required core courses at Mercyhurst. Are you okay with having to take them all? Do you find as a dance major that it is hard to schedule some of these courses?


Also, I am worried that at Mercyhurst I will not be able to continue my training in jazz. What do you know about the dance team? Is there any time to drive to other studios in Erie to take jazz classes.


Thank you very much!

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Thanks so much for the information! I have some questions if you have the time to answer. How's the modern at Mercyhurst? Is it a well developed program, even if you're a ballet major? Is there a specific technique they only use? Anything about modern would be helpful.


Also-how's the weather in Erie? I'm from Texas and my parents are teasing me that I won't be able to handle all the snow. :sweating:


Thank you bunches!!



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Alright time to answer your questions! Glad to hear that there is a high interest in the program here!

As far as minoring in physical therapy, I'm not entirely sure this is entirely possible. I could be wrong, I would double check. I know we have a junior right now who is doubling dance with pre-vet, so I'm sure it is possible. If not, you are allowed to take classes that would go towards another degree in this. As dancers, we are all required to take Functional Human Biology and Kinesiology anyways.

I do not mind all of the core classes that I need to take; they are helping me to become a well-rounded individual. They are not hard to schedule; our dance classes are set first then we plan our academics around our dance schedule.

We have a few dancers that are on the dance team, and I have heard good things about it. A couple of years ago, I believed they performed at a Cleveland Cavaliers game.

We have two levels of jazz here, and I have heard good things about it, one being that I know with one teacher especially, most student's flexibility greatly increases. There are local schools in the area to take jazz, and it is permitted. Some of our students teach at these schools as well, so it is possible. Just need to be able to juggle time to do academics, dance department requirements and rehearsals.

We have two levels of modern, and all freshmen are required to take modern I their entire first year. The teacher who teaches that comes from Pilobolous, so a lot of what he does is connected to that style. His wife teaches modern II, and she has spent entire terms focusing on a specific style, like Graham among others. Both of their classes have been very rewarding. I believe that she danced with Momix, and also came from Julliard.

The Erie weather...well it's something special that's for sure! The beginning and the end of the year is wonderful; chances to go to the beaches on Lake Erie, and overall it's beautiful. However, the winters can be quite brutal and cold. This year has been quite mild, and there hasn't been a lot of snow. The past few years, it has snowed almost every day, the sun hardly came out, and it was very cold. But we have students in the dance department who have come from warm places like Hawaii, Mexico, and South Africa, and they have adapted, so it's not entirely unbearable.

Hopefully these answers have been helpful. If you live near this area, we are presenting our student choreography in performances this upcoming weekend, you should come and check them out! Any other questions, feel free to keep asking! I will be more than happy to answer them for you!

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks for all of the info about Mercyhurst. My DD actually learned about the school from this website. We then requested information, and are going to go visit the school in April.. It sounds like a very good program, so my DD is excited to go look, as we begin her college search.

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I'm glad that I was able to help you out! Let me know if I can help you out in any way. When you come to visit in April, I'd love to meet you and your daughter! Will she be taking an audition class? If she isn't auditioning yet, she is allowed to sit in on a ballet class and observe if she'd like (I believe at least). Glad I could be of help!



[edited by moderator to remove unnecessary quote of immediately preceding post]

Edited by dancemaven
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Thank you so much, that would be very nice for her to meet and talk to you. When I called Admissions,the person I spoke with said that she could observe a class. I think she would have liked to participate, but observing is just as good. The Admissions counselor said that she would have to return in Sept. to audition, as she is a junior this year. Since we live in Ct., if she likes the school I will look into her auditioning in NYC, if Mercyhurst has an audition tour. If not, we will have to make another drive out. We are scheduled for a tour on April 18th at 11 o'clock. Hopefully she can meet you. Thanks again!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey everyone!

I auditioned on monday the 13th for the ballet program and i got my letter on thursday. I was accepted and they gave me a $3,900 dance scholarship (still waiting to hear about academic $). The class was REALLY fun and the teacher was super nice. We also did fouettes on pointe, both italian and regular, i agree that that was probably the hardest part. On the day that i went there were 7 total people auditioning, three of us took the afternoon advanced class and the other four took the morning class. I believe they said that it was split up according to the number of hours of ballet you take per week at home. (ex. morning class if you take less than 8 hours and afternoon if you take more than 8 hours)

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