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Mercyhurst University Dance Department

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A classical ballet program rooted in a traditional liberal arts setting, we strive to make an impact on the survival of high quality ballet and the building of future leaders for the arts in this country. We take pride in our accreditation with the National Association of Schools of Dance.

Housed in the new Mercyhurst University School of the Arts, the Department of Dance's mission is to generate leadership for the dance field, through a rigorous B.A. or B.A with Pedagogy concentration program as well as the B.F.A. program, emphasizing the development of professional dancers, teachers, choreographers and scholars through cognitive, affective, and psychomotor taxonomies. The Dance Department's vision is to proliferate the art of dance while promoting excellence in leadership for the field. With the aim to cultivate empowerment, the department offers students rigorous involvement in a progressive curriculum grounded in classical and contemporary ballet, supported by diverse dance disciplines, theoretical, and somatic studies.

Each year students gain knowledge and insights from numerous masterclasses, guest artist residences, and visiting company classes, while pushing them to diversify their dance training and make important post-graduate connections.

The Mercyhurst Dance Department’s number of approximately 60 dance majors, encourages one on one attention with faculty mentors as students develop their skills and interests in dance. With four performances a year, all of which are open to freshmen, the performance and choreographic opportunities to dance majors are endless. Hands-on learning experiences include two in-residence companies offering professional performing experiences, departmental clubs (Dance Club, Liturgical Dance Ensemble, and National Honors Society for Dance Arts) offering service and performance outreach opportunities; yearly participation in Youth America Grand Prix and American College Dance Association, study abroad opportunities in France, Ireland, South Korea, Australia, Jerusalem, and China, and senior capstone projects offering individualized mentorship in an area of professional interest.

Alumni have successfully been hired by companies including Ballet Nebraska, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Bodiography Contemporary Ballet, The Rockettes, various Broadway national tours, The Walt Disney Company, Princess Cruises, and Royal Caribbean Cruiselines. Alumni have also successfully transitioned into M.F.A and Ph.D. programs and have become dance educators, choreographers, administrators, studio owners, dance therapists, and medical practitioners.

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