Thursday, January 20, 2011


Hi Everyone,

This week has been all about preparations in the danceSpace this week. First of all, auditions for the department's spring show, the ballet Cinderella, we held yesterday. Rehearsals are scheduled to start next week so casting will go up soon. Everyone is buzzing with anticipation to get started.

The girls that are traveling to Youth America Grand Prix are making their final preparations for the competition. They have had costume fittings and are going to their last rehearsals to make sure their variations and group pieces are perfect. We wish them much luck in Chicago this weekend!

The other two major events happening in the dance department, the Erie Festival of Dance and our Winter show, Raw Edges XIII are still in preparation and we will keep you updated on them the closer they are.

“Dance first. Think later. It's the natural order.” - Samuel Beckett

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Hello All!

The week for the YAGP competition has finally arrived! The girls that are going are all very excited and have perfected their variations and group pieces to do the best that they can. Accompanied by faculty member Michael Gleason and alumni Noelle Lelakus, the group will be traveling to Chicago this coming Friday.

In other news, the Erie Dance Consortium is in full planning mode for the Erie Festival of Dance that will take place next weekend. The festival will feature all types of dance from the Erie area as well as will host Lehrer Dance, a contemporary company from Buffalo, NY.

Other than that, everyone is just focusing on finishing up their midterm tests and essays. Anticipation for Raw Edges XIII is building and the choreographers are finishing up their pieces for adjudication in a couple weeks.

“A star danced, and under that was I born.” - William Shakespeare

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Midterms week!

Hello Everyone!

Its another busy week here in the Mercyhurst Dance Department. Not only is it midterms week but several of our students are getting ready for the Youth America Grand Prix competition this weekend in Chicago. Midterms in the dance department vary depending on the teacher of the class. They range from learning a combination and videotaping it for evaluation, writing a paper,or having a conference with your teacher.

The Youth America Grand Prix competition is the world’s largest student ballet scholarship competition that awards over $250,000 annually in scholarships to leading dance schools worldwide. The competition is held annually around the world and in New York City, and is open to dance students of all nationalities 9-19 years old. Launched in 1999 by two former dancers of the world-renowned Bolshoi Ballet, Larissa and Gennadi Saveliev, YAGP is also a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization created with a mission to provide extraordinary educational and professional opportunities to young dancers, acting as a stepping stone to a professional dance career. Now in its 12th Season, YAGP has awarded over 2 million in scholarships to the leading dance schools worldwide. Over 25,000 dancers worldwide have participated in YAGP’s international workshops, competitions, and audition classes. Over 200 YAGP alumni are now dancing with 50 companies around the world, including American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet and San Francisco Ballet, among others.

In other news, Lehrer Dance taught a master class here on Sunday. About 25 students attended the master class and had an amazing time learning and performing the contemporary dance combinations. The Lehrer style focused on using your entire body to dance and reaching past your boundaries in your movement. It was an amazing experience for all those involved and the good news is they will be returning to Mercyhurst for the Erie Festival of Dance next weekend where they will both perform and teach a master class!

“I get up, I walk, I fall down. Meanwhile I keep on dancing.” - Author Unknown

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Hello Everyone,

Its been a quiet week so far here in Erie. Everyone is focused on getting back into shape after the holiday break as well as working hard in their academic classes. However, tomorrow will be an exciting day as it is our first audition day of the new year! We have six girls coming to take class and possibly be a part of the freshman class next year. It is always fun to see new faces in the department.

In other news, we also have a number of students attending the Youth America Grand Prix on the weekend of January 21st. They will be performing various classical solos as well as a group piece in Chicago. We wish them the best of luck in the competition!

"Dance- an art form. The body- an instrument. Learn to play the instrument and master the art form." -Debbie Dee

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year!!!

Hello Everyone!

2011 has officially kicked off here in the danceSpace and everyone is back and ready to work. Academics as well as dance classes are in full swing and everyone has jumped right back into life here on campus.

In exciting department news we will be taking part in the Erie Festival of Dance on the 29th of January. The purpose of the festival is to showcase the talent and recognize the achievements of local dancers, past and present. It is presented by the Erie Dance Consortium produces the bi-annually. This year the Consortium is honored to join Stairways Behavioral Heath of Erie in their 50th Anniversary Celebration, bringing awareness to mental health and wellness by embracing the theme Wellness in Body, Mind and Spirit. The festival gives local dance companies, seasoned professionals and children the opportunity to join together as performers and audience members. While exposing audiences to dance in its many forms we are reflecting our cultural and ethnic diversity and demonstrating the interrelations of the arts through collaboration with other art forms.

In other exciting news, alumni Trevor Sones will be returning to the department this week to teach several master classes! Mr. Sones is currently a cast member with the national broadway tour of CATS and we are extremely honored to be able to host him for a week.

"Dance Is Life" - Trevor Sones