Artistic expression; technical excellence; transferable skills.

If you dream of performing, choreographing, teaching, running a studio, or engaging with your community, a degree in dance can help you set the stage.

The Mercyhurst Department of Dance is a classical ballet program rooted in the liberal arts tradition. Mercyhurst University is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance.  Our Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Arts offerings emphasize the development of professional dancers, teachers, choreographers and scholars.

The rigorous programming emphasizes high quality training in a supportive environment from a faculty of experienced professionals, with the mission to generate leaders in the dance field.

In addition to numerous performing opportunities (regionally, nationally, and internationally), our diverse curriculum (which includes an array of dance techniques, history, choreography, pedagogy, theory, and dance-related sciences), offers enough flexibility to accommodate the pursuit of a minor or even a second major. With leadership development as a goal, our department houses three clubs and offers service opportunities, internships, and study abroad programs.

Through our program you will gain experiences and cultivate skills that are necessary for the dance field, and are also applicable and transferable to a wide variety of careers.

Fast Facts

  • Students can choose between a more rigorous BFA track, or the B.A. track with options to minor and double major in other areas

  • Each year the dance department brings in between five to eight guest artists to work with majors in masterclass and residency formats

  • The dance department is home to over four different performance ensembles including the Mercyhurst Dancers, The Liturgical Dance Ensemble, SoMar Dance Works, and Dance Outreach. 

  • Dance majors will have the opportunity to perform between two to four times a year in our mainstage performances at the beautiful Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center, regardless of year or age. 

BFA and B.A. in Dance

Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance, the classical and contemporary ballet focused program is designed to offer a wide range of mandated curriculum in dance that will include courses in a diverse array of dance techniques, history, choreography, pedagogy, dance sciences and most importantly, numerous performance opportunities.  Leadership development opportunities are abundant for performing ensembles that tour regionally, nationally, and internationally as well as three clubs, service, internships, and study abroad programs. 

Before students graduate, they are offered a variety of main stage performance opportunities, including faculty and guest artist concerts, full length ballets, musicals, student choreography concerts and performances with SoMar Dance Works  (by audition only) and The Mercyhurst Dancers.  Students are regularly introduced to renowned guest teachers and choreographers, and are encouraged to participate in theatre and opera where dance opportunities are available. To extend their academic and dance achievements, the program also boasts a collection of student run organizations including Dance Club, Liturgical Dance Ensemble, and the National Honors Society for Dance Arts.

BFA in Dance

This degree is targeted to students who aspire to a career in professional concert, commercial performance and/or choreography with long term goals set on leadership following their performance career. The degree mandates additional curriculum in dance techniques, performances and choreography to support professional experiences and leadership in these areas of the field. It can also accommodate some dual majors.

View Degree Requirements

B.A. in Dance

This program is intended for the student who wishes to pursue a rigorous degree program of combined general and dance studies. The degree allows a student to complete a dual major or minor that complementary to the field and/or a concentration in pedagogy or to complete accelerated programming. Emphasis is placed on the development of transferable skills that will support transitions inside or outside the dance field.

View Degree Requirements


Each year, students from the Mercyhurst Dance Department perform in two to four mainstage productions at the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center.


Our graduates have performed with the St. Louis Ballet, Cleveland Ballet Conservatory, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Nashville Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Dance/USA and with touring Broadway and European stage productions.


Students have studied and danced internationally in locations such as Ireland, Australia, Amsterdam, London, and Jerusalem.

2022-2023 Performance Season

The Mercyhurst Dance Department strives to make an impact on the survival of high-quality classical and contemporary ballet and the building of future leaders in the arts. Experience the culmination of these emerging artists’ creative exploration and discovery as performers and choreographers.

Grace & Gravity

Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center, Mercyhurst University

The elegance of ballet paired with the visceral immediacy of modern contemporary dance, “Grace and Gravity” is sure to delight. Years of successful performances and full-length productions including “Swan Lake” and “Giselle” have earned the talented Mercyhurst Dancers the reputation as Erie’s premiere dance ensemble. Featuring a mixed repertoire of classical and contemporary works, “Grace and Gravity” is a show you’ll not want to miss.

  • Friday, Nov. 11, 2022, 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, 7 p.m.
  • Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022, 2 p.m.
  • Friday, Nov. 18, 2022, 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, 7 p.m.
  • Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, 2 p.m.

‘Tis the Season

Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center, Mercyhurst University

Tis the season for trumpets and tutus, sugar plums and saxophones! Let the Mercyhurst Dancers and the Jazz Ensemble put you in the holiday spirit with a concert of music and movement. Swing into the holidays with the Jazz Ensemble’s big band collection of seasonal tunes. The Mercyhurst Dancers will also present “The Nutcracker Suite.” Set to Tchaikovsky’s timeless seasonal classic, this beloved ballet is a feast for the eyes. “’Tis the Season” is perfect for the whole family.

  • Friday, Dec. 9, 2022, 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022, 11 a.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022, 7 p.m.


Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center, Mercyhurst University

Join the Mercyhurst Dancers as they celebrate 25 years of cutting-edge choreography. With an exciting mix of music and themes, “Raw Edges XXV” features innovate dance works by emerging artists. Included on the program is an interactive intermission Q&A session with the program’s choreographers as they discuss their inspirations and creative processes. Experience an audience favorite and Mercyhurst tradition at “Raw Edges XXV.”

  • Friday, Apr. 28, 2023, 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, Apr. 29, 2023, 2 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 29, 2023, 7 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 30, 2023, 7 p.m.