Dance Scholarships are based on merit and awarded by audition only. Additional financial aid is available through grants, loans, academic scholarships, work-study and stipends through the general university.


In order to provide each prospective dancer with the best possible experience on their audition day, we can only accommodate a limited number of dancers at each audition. Both the B.A. and B.F.A programs require a full audition. Audition spaces are filled on a first-come-first-serve basis. On the dance application, please make sure to preference your top two audition dates. We will do our best to accommodate your first or second choice depending on availability.

Audition Dates

Friday, November 8, 2019
Friday, November 15, 2019
Mon, January 20, 2020
Friday, February 7, 2020
Friday, February 14, 2020
Friday, February 21, 2020

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Application Process

The application process to become a Mercyhurst University Dance major as a freshman or transfer student is unique in that it consists of two separate applications.  Please be aware that in order to audition and gain acceptance as a dance major, you must first apply to the university.  Once you have submitted the general application, you may then proceed to fill out the application for the dance department and submit for an audition.  Upon review of your dance application and materials, you may be granted an audition date.  If you audition and are accepted to the dance department, it is contingent on your acceptance to the general university.  You must be accepted to both schools in order to attend in the fall as a Mercyhurst University Dance Major. 

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What materials are useful to have prepared before a dancer begins the Dance Department Application?
The dance application requires three separate attachments that are useful to already have on hand to make the application process quick and painless.  These include an arabesque picture, a dance resume, and a dance essay.  This arabesque picture can simply be a picture shot in the dancer’s home studio setting that exemplifies their best ballet technique.  The dance essay should describe how the dancer views the transferable skills learned from their dance studies supporting them throughout other various career transitions in and out of the dance world.  Along with these three attachments, a brief (2-3 minute) preliminary video is required. More information can be found in the last question of this FAQ or at

What should I wear to my Mercyhurst Dance audition?
Dress code for auditions consists of a black leotard, pink tights, ballet shoes, pointe shoes, and your hair pulled back in a professional bun or French twist. 

Who is eligible for a dance scholarship?
Dancers who participate in a live audition ONLY are taken into consideration for dance scholarships.  This excludes those who audition via DVD or YouTube submissions. 

Why is a live audition favorable to a DVD or YouTube submission?
Dancers who audition via a video submission are not eligible to be considered for dance scholarships.  Upon acceptance, they are also required to visit campus to take a placement class as well.  Dancers who attend a live audition are both already placed upon the acceptance to the department and are taken into consideration for available dance scholarships. 

What can I expect for my Mercyhurst Dance Department audition?
Your dance audition will be participation in a major level ballet class as well as the option to participate in a Modern I class.  Throughout the day, you will have the opportunity to see the campus, eat in an on-campus dining facility, speak with an admissions counselor as well as the department chair, Tauna Hunter, learn and ask questions about financial aid and scholarships, and get the whole experience of what it feels like to be a Mercyhurst University Dance Major as you navigate with the current dance majors in the Mercyhurst Dance Space. 

How long does an audition day typically run?
An audition day will typically run 9 a.m. until 2:30 p.m., with an optional class that could extend the day until 4:30 p.m. per the auditionee's discretion.

How will I know that the Dance Department has received my application for audition?
Upon review of your dance materials, you will receive a confirmation packet confirming your scheduled audition date and information regarding the timeline of your day on campus as well as more information about what you can expect throughout your day as prospective dance major. 

What kind of scholarships or financial aid is available to prospective dance majors?
Dance Merit Scholarships are awarded at the discretion of the dance faculty and the Chair of the Dance Department.  Any prospective student is eligible to compete for scholarship assistance, regardless of financial status.  Students wishing to apply for financial assistance must apply to the Director of Financial Aid.  Students on scholarships are expected to maintain a 3.0 GPA in all dance courses, an overall GPA of 2.5 and abide by the policies and procedures outlined in the Dance Department Student Handbook.  At the end of each academic year, there is an evaluation that serves as a review for maintaining scholarship status.  Students who fail to maintain academic and performance levels may forfeit the dance scholarship.  Additional financial aid is available through grant, loans, academic scholarships, work study, and stipends. 

Is there a video requirement in order to complete my application even if I plan on auditioning on-campus?
Yes. Due to a restricted number of audition slots, we ask that students applying for on-campus auditions include a brief (2-3 minute) preliminary video of barre, center, and en point exercises in an attempt to pre-screen and properly place you in the correct class for your audition.  A more in-depth explanation of this requirement and its components can be found on the landing page of all of our applications on once a track of study has been selected from the left drop down menu.

Where can I find more information about auditions, dates, videos, and the application process?
Our GetAcceptd page is the best source for further information and updates about the Mercyhurst University Dance application process.