In its continuing efforts to elevate the training of talented young dancers, the Mercyhurst University Dance Department announces the addition of an elite Protégé Program to provide supplemental, pre-professional training in classical ballet for dancers 12-18.

C. Noelle Partusch, associate professor of dance, directs the program. “This unique program is intended to provide supplemental training in classical ballet for the gifted dancers of Erie’s community studios of excellence and acts as a bridge to our collegiate programming and ultimately to the professional world,” she said. 

The Protégé Program will offer small class settings for invited dancers ages 12 and older as well as private classes and coaching sessions upon request. An affiliation with the Mercyhurst University Dance Department ensures a nurturing and safe environment for learning in a state-of-the-art facility with live music.

Fall semester classes will be offered Saturday mornings Aug. 26-Dec. 16 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. only. Instructors will include Lesley Bories-Scalise, Tauna Hunter, C. Noelle Partusch, Michael S. Gleason and guest artists of the Mercyhurst Dance Department.

Students will be admitted to the Protégé Program by audition only. Auditions will be held Saturdays, Aug. 26 and Sept. 2, 9-10:30 a.m. in Mercyhurst’s Zurn Hall danceSpace. To register for either audition or for more information, call Partusch at 814-824-3352.

An audition fee of $25 is payable at the audition.

Semester tuition of $350 is payable at the first class, in cash or with checks payable to Mercyhurst Dance Department.