Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!!!!

Hello All,

It is officially winter here in Erie, we are supposed to have 2-3 feet of the white stuff by the end of the day today. Everyone has been walking into the danceSpace looking like snow men :)

In other news, Raw Edges rehearsals have started this week and everyone is really excited to find out what the pieces they are in are like. It is always interesting and fun to see what your fellow students come up with and what talented student choreographers we have in the department.

It is also Christmas season here at Mercyhurst and the dance department is keeping the christmas joy going. The whole danceSpace has been decorated with trees, lights and snowflakes. We also do a department wide secret santa so every friday until christmas break we will be trading clues and gifts until the department Christmas party when our santa is revealed!

“It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you are.” - Author Unknown

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Heaven Has A New Ballerina

Hi Everyone,

It is with deepest sadness that I have to inform you that our dance department lost a beautiful and kind dancer over break. Junior dance major Jenni-Lynn Watson, a joy in our department, was violently taken from us. She is truly missed by everyone and will always be remembered as a shining light that brought happiness and love to everyone she came in contact with. We are supporting each other through this difficult time and send our support to her family and friends.

Mercyhurst has set up a memorial scholarship fund in honor of Jenni-Lyn, anyone that would like to make a contribution please go to http://mercyhurst.edu/news/news-releases/article/?article_id=2326

At this time I would just like to share with you some of the special sentiments felt for Jenni by her friends and family......

"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal. Rest in Peace Jenni-Lyn Watson." - Bryan Parker

"I really miss you ballet buddy. Thought about you all day. Praying for your family constantly. "Love is stronger than death. Though it cannot stop death from happening, no matter how hard death tries, it cannot separate people from love. It cannot take away our memories either. In the end, love is stronger than death.” ♥" - Michaela Barta

"Jenni u would have enjoyed tonight so much, we all had a good drink in ur memory and as it was karaoke there were a few beatles song sung, including let it be and hey jude. We may have ruined them a little bit and not done them complete justice but we tried our best and hey jude was sung with a lot of people. I hope ur happy now and still smiling and always dancing, ur gona be forever missed." - Billy Colton

"Jenni, I miss you so much. I want you back in our lives so bad, it's not fair. I miss my roomie and I'm not sure how to go on with out you..." - Constance Ashley

"Jenn-ayyy. "When I see you again....i will make this face :O!!" And i hope you are falling the bathtub and making the sound of a water buffalo for everyone in heaven. Remember the alphabet, especially f-ing L. I even hope that the yankees win when they play the red sox in heaven. Love you so much unrelated sister ♥" - Tori Scott

"Jenni, I want to start off by saying how amazingly beautiful you are and always will be...no one can take away our memories that I will hold nearest and dearest to my heart forever. You are the best big sister anyone can ask for and know that I'm not alone, not only do I have you forever in my heart but I have so much support so I do not want you to worry about me, I know that you are always here when I need you. I love you more than anything in the world.
P.s I'm going to watch white christmas everyday before christmas because I know thats youre favorite. I love you♥" - Lauren Watson

"I hope wherever you are there is a furry wall and russel brand, lots of pandas and huskies, dave and beatles playing on a constant loop, all the grape soda you can drink, a closet full of ed hardy, a tv to watch the pens and yankees, a beautiful stage with a standing room only every night just to see you dance, a mustang for every day..." - Rachel Torgesen

"I hope you dance love! I will never forget you, you have been taken away from us but now can watch over us! I love you rest in peace!" - Alexa Bradley

"Jenni you were a beautiful woman, a talented ballerina and choreographer, and a great friend. I will miss your sweet smile and laugh around the dancespace and in class. I feel honored to have known you and been friends with you for the time that you were given to us. Rest in God's arms." - Heather Gorres

"i love you so much jenni. i cannot put into words how badly i am taking this news. and i cannot express how badly you will be missed. you are a beautiful girl and will be rememered as such. i will think about you everyday and remember the fun spirit that you have always been. this isn't "goodbye", it's "until next time" until i see you again ♥" - Carrington Lorenz

"may angels lead you in ♥ JMW" - Amy Deer

"guess God needed some good angels up in heaven. jenni-lyn you will be in my heart forever! i love you so much! ♥ RIP JLW! only the good die young." - Hailey Glover

We Love you Jenni-Lyn, forever and always! <3

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Finals Are Over!

The term has come to a close here in the danceSpace at Mercyhurst College. The last adjudicated finals were performed just a half an hour ago bringing a close to the fall term for the dance department. Focus has shifted to studying for academic finals before the term break begins a week from today.

Overall it has been an amazing term. There were a lot of achievements and it is clear that everyone worked hard and improved in their technique and performance quality. There were some spectacular performances by the department with the parents/homecoming weekend show, choreography I showings and "A Stravinsky Celebration" being a huge success. We had some great master classes and guest choreographers come in, most notably Randy James who's piece was featured in the department's fall show. Fall term 2010 has been labeled a success!

"When in doubt......dance!"

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Last Week Of The Term!

Hello All,

Its the last week of classes for the fall term and life is just as crazy as ever for the dance majors. Today is the last day of adjudicated finals for the department and everyone has been doing wonderfully. The hard work the students have put in this term really shines through in their performances in front of the faculty showing a great amount of improvement from everyone in terms of both performance quality and technique.

In addition to finishing up finals, the department is holding auditions for the winter term production, Raw Edges XIV. Raw Edges showcases and is made up entirely of the choreography of some of the department's very talented choreography students. Pieces range from seven minutes to a half an hour depending on what level of choreography the student is currently taking. Some of the pieces will also feature collaborations with musicians, artists, seamstresses and more. Its a very exciting show and is always loved by the audience. We will keep you posted on how the production develops throughout the term!

"Set yourself up for success and anything is possible."

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Hi Everyone,

Dance Department finals are just around the corner and each class is working diligently on their individual final combinations. Dance finals are held a week before academic finals which means that they are coming up rapidly, Monday and Tuesday in fact. In addition, to working on academic finals, the Choreogrpahy I class are continually working on their final pieces which are also to be performed on Monday.

In other news, the senior class is getting together their audition packets that are a part of their senior professional seminar class. These packets help them put together their resume, cover letter, audition photos and audition dvd to send to companies and line up auditions.

"To tap or not to tap...silly question!!" ~anonymous

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Big Success!!!!!!!

Hi Everyone!

"A Stravinsky Celebration" this past weekend was a major success!!!!!!!!!!! The cast and crew did a wonderful job and the performances all looked beautful. Thank you to everyone that came out to see the show and supported the Mercyhurst Dance Department in our Fall 2010 show.

Though we may have just finished with performance weekend, the dance department has not slowed down one bit. The choreography I class has been working hard on their final group pieces and they will be performed in less than a week. Needless to say both the choreographers and the dancers are hard at work and the studios are checked out most 24/7.

In addition, the entire department is beginning to prepare for ejudicated dance finals next week. Every term each student performs a short combination or variation infront of the faculty and that counts as our final exam. It is stressful but at the same time gives you a good idea of what an audition feels like and how to perform infront of a panel when they are sitting just a few feet away from you.

Overall it was a very productive weekend and seems like it will be a productive week as well in the DanceSpace.

"I see dance being used as communication between body and soul, to express what it too deep to find for words." ~Ruth St. Denis

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Stravinsky Celebration!

Its finally here! The Fall Show, "A Stravinsky Celebration", is this weekend!!!!! The department has kicked into high gear trying to get everything ready. All the pieces in the show have been spaced on the stage and tonight is the first dress rehearsal. We can't wait to share all our hard work with you and get the chance to do what we love, perform. Come out and support us on Saturday at 2 and 7 and Sunday at 2 in the Mary D'Angelo Performing Arts Center on the Mercyhurst College Campus in Erie, PA!

"Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but she did it backwards and in high heels." ~anonymous

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Show Week!!!!!!

Its officially show week in the danceSpace which means its the busiest week of the term for everyone involved in the show! We are all working extremely hard to bring you a wonderful evening of dance to the dynamic and exciting music of Stravinsky.

The Mercyhurst Dancers will present A Stravinsky Celebration, Saturday, October 30 at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm and Sunday, October 31 at 2:00 pm at the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center on the Mercyhurst College campus in Erie, PA. Stravinsky’s Firebird celebrates 100 years. This Russian folk tale of a magical glowing bird that is both a blessing and a curse to its captor completes a program of Stravinsky favorites, Pulcinella Suite and The Rite of Spring with just a bit of a twist. In addition a new work by choreographer, Randy James, Closing the Glass Door will premiere. A lecture presented by Assistant Professor, Christine Marie Hay on the composer Igor Stravinsky: His Impact on Dance, will precede the Sunday performance at 1:00 pm in Zurn 114, adjacent to the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center.

Tickets range from $5.00 - $15.50 and can be purchased by calling (814) 824-3000

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Another Fall Day in the danceSpace

Hi Everyone! Its another lovely fall day here on the Mercyhurst campus and everyone is continuing to work hard with the department show, A Stravinsky Celebration, right around the corner. It is October 30th at 2 and 7 and the 31st at 2 in the Mary D'Angelo Performing Arts Center at Mercyhurst College.

In other department news, the Choreography I class are working diligently on their group pieces. It is part of the degree program for the sophomores to take Choreogaphy I and from there the majors have the option to continue on through Choreography II, III and IV. It is always exciting to see new choreographic talent within the department.

Our outreach team is also busy working on a show to take to elementary schools and assisted living facilities. It is very important to the department as well as to the college to perform community service and this is a great way for the dance majors to do that! The show will feature choreography by senior, Sarah Mastrolcola among other student choreographers!

"It's what I always wanted to do, to show the laughter, the fun the joy of dance." ~Martha Graham

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Back to School Again

Hello All! Fall break is officially over and everyone has returned to the department well rested and ready to work.

With the fall show, A Stravinsky Celebration, coming up so fast that has become the main focus in the danceSpace. The performance, which is Halloween weekend, will include Stravinsky's Firebird, Rite of Spring, and Pulcinella as well as a piece entitled Closing the Glass Door by Randy James. Everyone is working their hardest to make sure the performance is spectacular!

In other exciting news, our students who went to the Project Dance convention is Sydney Australia have returned! Keep your eyes open for a guest blog by senior Christine Wilbur about her experience!

Yesterday we had our last group of high school students auditioning for the department until January. They all seemed to have a good time and enjoy both the department and the campus and hopefully we will be seeing some of them again next fall as new freshmen!

"If dancing were any easier it would be called football." - anonymous

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fall Break!

Its officially Fall Break here at Mercyhurst which means that there are no classes until Monday! Needless to say things are really quiet here in the danceSpace.

We are getting ready for our final round of high school students that would like to audition for the department until January. Its going to be a full house this coming monday as basically all the slots for this audition have been filled up. Everyone is very excited to share our little piece of the Mercyhurst world with potential students.

Corbindances will be at the Mary D'Angelo Performing Arts Center this saturday! They will also be giving a master class for dance majors before their performance saturday which is quite exciting!!!

Otherwise this week has been pretty quiet in the space. Rehearsals for the fall show, A Stravinsky Celebration, are really getting down to the wire but everything seems to be coming together nicely! We can't wait to share all our hard work with you all!

"Dance is your pulse, your heartbeat, your breathing. It's the rhythm of your life. It's the expression in time and movement, in happiness, joy, sadness and envy." ~Jaques D'ambroise

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Australia Update!

We have an update on our international travelers!!!!

Everyone arrived in Australia has arrived okay and are extremely excited to be in the land down under! They are even going to meet up with some Mercyhurst Dance Department alumni while there, Laura Hearn, Aisha Jasper and Danielle Feller who's cruise ship will be docking in Australia while they are there! Mercyhurst Dancers are everywhere!

Its a sunshiny day!

Hello Everyone!

Its finally a nice sunny day here at Mercyhurst and as a result everyone is in a happy mood! Midterms are almost over which means some major relaxation time for everyone this weekend.

Exciting news, the signup for the American College Dance Festival Conference has gone up and this year Mercyhurst will be going to the conference held in Allentown, PA at Muhlenberg College. The pieces that the department will take have not been chosen yet but it is certain that ballet will be represented at it's finest.

Also, the weekend of the 16th Corbindances will be coming to Mercyhurst and performing in the Mary D'Angelo Performing Arts Center. They have graciously agreed to give a master class for the department. We will keep you updated on how both the performance and the master class go!

"When in doubt......dance!"

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Week 5 of Fall Term!

Its already week five of the first trimester of the year here at Mercyhurst and midterms are in full swing! Individual conferences or combinations performed individually are usually the standard when it comes midterm evaluations in the dancespace. Otherwise everyone is really beginning to focus in on the fall show, its only about a month away!

In other exciting news, just this morning two memebers of the department and one member of the faculty headed off to the Project Dance Conference in Australia for two weeks!!!!!!!! The Project Dance Foundation is valid in three areas: work, worship and witness. They labor to support dancers in every arena including the aspiring professional dancers, teachers and growing world of inspirational dance. The students are representing Mercyhurst among hundreds of other dancers and took a couple of liturgical pieces to share with the festival goers. We'll keep you posted on how things go down under!

"Why do I dance?.......... Why do I breath?" - anonymous

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Parent's Weekend Success and Week 4 of Fall Term!

Its another week here in the Mercyhurst College dance space and things are energetic!

First things first, the Parent's weekend show was quite the success! Congratulations to those that performed, you really represented the department in a positive light and demonstrated what a talented group of dancers the department has.

The Mercyhurst chapter of Nu Delta Alpha, the dance honor society, is having it's first tri-annual bake sale of the year! NDA is a prestigious organization within the department who's members must achieve a GPA of 3.4 or higher to be able to join. It also performs community outreach and raises dance awareness. The funds raised from the bake sale go to aid in helping us achieve community outreach.

The biggest news for this week is that we have the first group of auditionees coming in on friday! It is a full day process for the high school seniors that includes an audition class, campus tour, complementary lunch and a meeting with Ms. Hunter, the department chair. It really means that the year is in full swing when potential new members start coming to the department.

"It takes an athlete to dance, but an artist to be a dancer."

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Dancespace week #3

Hello All,

So the buzz about the space this week is that parents/alumni/homecoming weekend is upon us!!! Everyone involved with the show is taking care to make their last preperations before they take the stage on Saturday. The Mercyhurst dancers will be presenting two variations, one from Sylvia and one from Don Quiote, a modern piece entitled Close the Glass Door choreographed by Randy James and a contemporary ballet piece choreographed by Bruce Marks entitled Fragments. The concert will also include performances by the Mercyhurst Music department and local dance ensemble SOMAR Dance Works. Anyone in the Erie, PA area Saturday the 25th at 7pm should come to the Mary D'Angelo Performing Arts Center on the Mercyhurst College campus and check it out!!!!!!!!!!!

In other news life in the dancespace is continuing on. Everyone is working hard in their ballet, pointe and variations, jazz and modern classes. Rehearsals for the fall show are coming along nicely and the anticipation is starting to build. We can't wait to share all our hard work with you!

"Ballet is not technique but a way of expression that comes more closely to the inner language of man than any other." ~George Borodin

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fall Term Week #2

Well, its a rainy/dreary day in Erie, PA. Luckally, the sophomore class is taking jazz at the moment and keeping spirits up in the department with Micheal Jackson blasts from the Palmer studio.

Everyone seems to have adjusted nicely to their individual routines here at the Hurst and are no longer working to get back into shape but to improve in their technique and performance quality. This year's majors are more dedicated than ever and taking the department to a whole new level.

Rehearsals for parent's weekend are really coming along as the performance looms near, about a week and a half and counting. Fragments, choreographed by Bruce Marks, has emotion that just leaps out of the bodies of the dancers while Close the Glass Door, choreographed by Randy James, really demonstrates the versatility of the dancers in the department.

Can't wait to let you all know how the performance goes!!!

"Dancers aren't made of their technique, but their passion."

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Hello All!

Sorry for the lack of blogging lately, the start of the school year means a turn over of blog control but things will be more consistent from now on. This year we have 24 fantastic new dancers joining us in the dance space, classes have started and everyone is getting settled in for another wonderful year.

We have completed company ensemble auditions for our fall show and rehearsals are in full swing! We have an evening of Stravinsky planned and the show will include Firebird with choreography by Michael Gleason, Pulcinella with choreography by our department chair Tauna Hunter, The Rite of Spring with choreography by Mark Santillano, and Closing the Glass Door a piece by guest artist Randy James from Rutgers University.

We are also in the midst of preparing for the homecoming/parents weekend show on September 25th here at Mercyhurst where department will be performing two pieces. On the bill is a piece titled Fragments choreographed by the world renowned Bruce Marks as well as Closing the Glass Door by Randy James.

So as you can tell things are already busy in the department but everyone is working hard and loving every minute of it. We have some amazing things planned for this year and we can't wait to share them with everyone!

"We dance for laughter, we dance for tears, we dance for madness, we dance for fears, we dance for hopes, we dance for screams, we are the dancers, we create the dreams."

Friday, July 30, 2010

FYI - Audition Notice!

Happy last day to our Summer Dance Experience students! Those who have come from far away, we will miss you very much, and to our current students, we will see you back in a few weeks for Jumpstart!

Ms. Hunter wanted the following information to be available to alumni.

Auditions for Women and Men

Limón Dance Company
2010/2011 Season

Open call for Women - August 31, 2010
1:00 – 7:00pm

Open call for Men – September 1, 2010
12:00 – 6:00pm

Manhattan Movement and Arts Center, 248 West 60th St.

Callbacks for women and men - September 2 – 6, 2010

Callbacks will be in the form of a workshop. Those selected for callbacks should prepare to present a solo on the final day. Check www.­limon.­org for the schedule of this workshop.

Registration is mandatory. E-mail your resume to info@limon.org.

Must be a U.S. citizen, a legal resident, or hold a working visa.

José Limón Dance Foundation

212-777-3353 ext. 10

Thursday, July 29, 2010

You are invited to...

Hello danceSpace enthusiasts!

You are invited to see the students of the

Mercyhurst Summer Dance Experience

(along with the Lake Erie Ballet Junior Company)

perform choreography learned during their 4 weeks of study.

Friday, July 30, 2010

4:00 p.m.

Mary D'Angelo Performing Arts Center, Mercyhurst College, Erie, PA

This event is **free and open to the public**

Our students are very excited to show what they have learned! The program will be about an hour long. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

An opportunity from CORPS

Hello loyal danceSpace followers!

Ms. Hunter wanted the following information to be available in case anyone was interested in this opportunity to be published in Dance Chronicle.


Special Issue of Dance Chronicle

“Ballet Is Woman”: But Where Are All the Women Choreographers?

Editors: Joellen A. Meglin and Lynn Matluck Brooks

Publisher: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group

Balanchine’s words remind us that women fill the rank and file of ballet companies, and their technique and expressivity have contributed greatly to ballet’s historical development. But have women achieved status equal to that of men, who, overwhelmingly, hold positions of artistic or administrative leadership? In the United States at least, the more prominent the ballet company and the greater its budget, the less likely it is to be run by a woman. Was this always so? Why is it so now? What is the status of women in ballet companies across the globe?

We invite research contributions to a special issue of Dance Chronicle dedicated to the theme “‘Ballet Is Woman’: But Where Are All the Women Choreographers?” to be edited by Joellen A. Meglin and Lynn Matluck Brooks. Papers on topics related to the theme of women choreographers, impresarios, and artistic directors in ballet might address, but need not be limited to, topics such as

· What preconceptions affect women’s abilities and educational development as choreographers, impresarios, and artistic directors of ballet companies?

· Have ballet boards, administrators, dancers, critics, audiences, or historians discriminated, intentionally or not, against women’s work as leaders in the ballet world?

· How have women choreographers, impresarios, and/or directors in the past succeeded in scaling power structures in the ballet world? What stories emerge from their efforts and achievements?

· Have there been important choreographies whose neglect may be attributed to the fact that a woman created them?

· Are different standards or criteria applied to the reception of ballets by women choreographers? Should different paradigms of analysis be applied?

· What role has mentorship and/or patronage or the lack thereof played in the development of women’s (or men’s) talents as leaders?

· How might the status of women in ballet be improved as we move forward in the twenty-first century?

All manuscripts will receive double-blind peer review. Submissions will be accepted at any time before March 15, 2011. Send manuscripts or inquiries to Joellen A. Meglin atjmeglin@temple.edu or Lynn Matluck Brooks at lynn.brooks@fandm.edu.

Style and formatting guidelines are available as “Instructions for Authors” at www.informaworld.com/01472526.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tuesday, Week 4: Chautauqua, Final Performance, Alumni Updates!

Hello from the danceSpace!

Lots going on as we are deep in day 2 of week 4 (the last!) of our Summer Dance Experience.

Last night, we loaded up a van full of residential summer students, current students, and alumni and drove 40 minutes east to the Chautauqua Institution to watch a performance and see Ms. Hunter receive her (giant!) Artist Teacher Award. It was a very special evening full of amazing student performances from both the dancers and the orchestra and being present to honor Ms. Hunter's career accomplishments.

Alas, today everyone got back into the studio bright and early at 8:30 a.m. to keep working hard and rehearsing for Friday's performance of repertoire learned while attending the SDE. Bruce Marks even got to rehearse his now completed work, "Fragments" during the lunch hour - everyone is definitely putting in their best effort to ensure the performance will be beautiful! Tonight, the other choreographers will have a chance to test their pieces in a studio run.

Also, for any alumni interested, we have received word about job opportunities abound. Please take a moment to check out the following information!

  • Idaho Dance Theatre (IDT) is currently looking for a male and female dancer for the 2010-11 season.
  • This is a paid position requiring 16 hours of rehearsal a week for a 30 week contract. Contract begins August 30th and goes through April 17.
  • IDT performs 12 Boise concerts in the fall, winter, and spring plus has a fall tour to Washington State. We also do an elementary school show throughout the season.
  • Our repertory is contemporary and diverse and presents the work of a variety of choreographers. We are looking for dancers who have excellent ballet and modern technique, are versatile, strong partners, and expressive performers.
  • A daily ballet class is offered prior to rehearsals and free physical therapy and chiropractic care is provided if needed. Salary is between $225 and $240 a week depending on quality and experience. If interested in auditioning contact Carl Rowe atroweart@yahoo.com and Marla Hansen at mhansen@boisestate.edu. Also go to our web site http://www.idahodancetheatre.org.

  • Teaching position open (responsible for tap, ballet, jazz, pedagogy, and a winter performance) at St. Gregory's University. For more information, contact Fabrice P. Conte at fpconte@stgregorys.edu.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Chautauquan Daily coverage

Hello all,

Because today is the day Ms. Hunter will be honored with a teaching award at the Chautauqua Institution, we would like to share the following link with you to download today's version of the Chautauquan Daily. It has a profile article on Ms. Hunter in addition to other dance-related information, as the Daily covers the program we will see tonight, performed by Festival dancers and Chautauqua company apprentices!

Please enjoy. It is a very special day in the danceSpace!


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Chautauqua Information

There have been questions as to whether or not the public will be able to be at Chautauqua when Ms. Hunter accepts her award on Monday night. The answer is a resounding YES!

Monday night's show (July 26) is actually a Community Appreciation Night at the Chautauqua Institution and tickets are half price at $18 each, which can be purchased at the Main Gate Welcome Center. The evening gate ticket lets a person onto the Chautauqua grounds between 4 p.m. and midnight and also acts as a ticket to the evening performance at the amphitheater. There is also a $7.25 per vehicle parking fee. The performance at which Ms. Hunter will be honored begins at 8:15 p.m. and many of our Summer Dance Experience students will be in attendance!

Please join us for this very special event!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ms. Hunter to be honored

Click on the link to navigate to a Mercyhurst College press release about Mercyhurst Dance Chair Tauna Hunter, who is to receive the Chautauqua Dance Artist Teacher's Award on July 26.


Congratulations Ms. Hunter!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Week 3, Day 2

Greetings from the danceSpace!

Tuesday is here yet again, following another Monday full of placement classes. The students auditioned for levels in ballet, pointe/dance conditioning, modern/improv, and jazz/hip hop along with their casts for repertoire rehearsals. All went smoothly and everyone was very tired at the end of the day!

We also were very excited to welcome special guest artist Bruce Marks, who is choreographing a new work called "Fragments" on a cast he selected from the Summer Dance Experience students. They had their first rehearsal yesterday from 7 to 9 p.m. and a couple of the dancers rehearsed over the lunch hour today. It looks to be a very beautiful piece to be added to what the SDE faculty has already put together over the past couple weeks! And will be a great addition to the Mercyhurst repertoire.

Thanks for checking in with us! Everyone is happy and healthy in the 'Space.

Friday, July 16, 2010

2nd week Friday!

Today is the last weekday for our summer students who are only staying for the Summer Dance Experience's first 2-week session. Hard to believe tomorrow is the midpoint of the entire month! Everything has been going well today, even as Mercyhurst is hosting one of its Freshman Orientations. The cafeteria was very crowded at lunch and the dancers did a great job adjusting to the number of people!

This afternoon, the students are showing the repertoire on which they have been working the past two weeks with Mr. Gleason, Carla, Teena, and Mark. We have had the danceSpace doors open all day and visitors are permitted to come in and watch at their leisure, which is very exciting for the dancers. We also spent the day acquiring photo and video documentation of the different classes, which will be coming to the blog very soon.

Tomorrow, the students will have their world dance first with Ms. Carla in salsa/Latin movement and a ballet class with Sarah Purvis. Then we will say goodbye to some dancers and those who are staying will enjoy a much needed, relaxing weekend on campus!

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Same schedule going on today in the danceSpace! Lucky dancers had pizza for lunch and are now back for pointe/dance conditioning/men's class, jazz/hip hop, and a late afternoon of rehearsals.

In the office, everyone is preparing for the student turnover to occur this weekend in addition to Bruce Marks' arrival. Hosting an honored guest requires us to be on our toes! We will be sad to say goodbye to our modern/improv/dance conditioning/hip-hop guru Teena Custer, who has really done an excellent job keeping the students motivated and focused!

This weekend, the students will take their world dance and Saturday ballet class and are looking forward to trips to the mall and possible a Presque Isle return. Relaxation is crucial during downtime!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wednesday, Week 2

Our students have been working hard again this hump day since 8:30 this morning! Both levels began their days with modern classes led by Carla Hughes and Teena Custer, then headed right into ballet with Lesley Scalise and Tauna Hunter. After a great lunch, the green level got the ZUMBA dance conditioning experience, while the blues "put on their boots" for pointe with Lesley.

Hip hop and jazz are coming up next, followed by a couple hours of rehearsal before dinner that will cover a variety of dance idioms, from chicken dancing to classical excerpts from Cinderella. The Summer Dance Experience students are tired but having a great time enjoying their time spent with each other and their instructors. Everyone is working hard and improvements are evident! We are also glad that it is even a bit cooler today than it has been the past week and a half - keeps the danceSpace air circulating and smelling less like stinky feet.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


You will now be able to follow the happenings of the Mercyhurst College Dance Department in the blog-o-sphere!

Right now we are in the midst of our Summer Dance Experience. It is Tuesday of week two and the students are hard at work preparing repertoire for a showing at the end of the four-week program. Mercyhurst faculty Mark Santillano and Michael Gleason and guests Teena Custer and Carla Hughes are preparing new and restaged material. Everyone looks great! At the end of the week, we will say goodbye to a few students who were here for the first, two-week session and say hello to those who will join us for the final two weeks. Bruce Marks will also join us as an honored guest, teaching ballet and pointe in addition to rehearsing some of the dancers!

We also have ongoing classes being held right now at the studio inside Mercyhurst's rec center. Join us this week for ballet classes from 10:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. taught by Justin Hogan, Mercyhurst Dance alum and St. Louis Ballet company member! Students have the option to purchase a class card, which can be used for 10 ongoing classes throughout the summer.

That is all from the danceSpace for now. We have welcomed our guests and summer students into our family unit and everyone is working very hard!