Dancer discovers passion for choreography at Mercyhurst

Contributed photoContributed photoLike many dancers, senior Eden Mishler initially chose Mercyhurst because of the school’s distinguished dance department to further her ballet technique and grow as an artist.

Once she started at Mercyhurst, she soon realized she was also extremely passionate about choreography, the art of creating dances.

Ultimately, attending this institution enabled Mishler to discover an interest she hopes to pursue after graduation.

Prior to attending Mercyhurst, Mishler trained with the Johnstown Concert Ballet for 16 years in addition to taking classes at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre (PBT) and the Allegheny Ballet Company.

In order to get to PBT, this dedicated ballerina commuted two hours each week.

Nonetheless, this intense commitment led Mishler to Mercyhurst, for the friendly and knowledgeable faculty in the dance department won her over.

Like numerous other students, Mishler was also attracted to the college for its Catholic background, since she had attended private Catholic school growing up.

As a dance major at the ‘Hurst, Mishler says that her favorite performance experiences were “Giselle” during her freshman year and watching her own piece being performed in Raw Edges last year.

In regards to the latter Mishler claimed that after taking courses in choreography, she discovered that she had a natural talent for creating dances and thus decided to pursue the choreography track.

When asked what inspires her choreography, the artist stated that she, “loves watching Mark, Ms. Hay as well as my fellow dancers create dances.”

Needless to say, after graduating Mishler plans on becoming a choreographer, “preferably in New York City, after dancing with a company for a few years,” she said.

In regards to other favorite classes at Mercyhurst, Mishler was enthusiastic about her introduction to psychology class because “learning about the inter-workings of the mind was highly interesting,” as well as her global issues class because “it was helpful and informative to gain an awareness about the system of world politics,” she said.

Mishler was equally excited about sharing her thoughts on some dance related questions:

What major challenge do you face as a dancer, and how has Mercyhurst helped you to overcome it?
“I have always suffered from back problems and I am also prone to injury, so learning how to properly align my body and having teachers who place a great emphasis on proper technique in general has definitely helped out.”

What was your worst on–stage moment?
“One year when I was dancing in Waltz of the Flowers in “The Nutcracker,” the stitches on the back of my costume began to come undone. While dancing around in a circle formation one of my friends attempted to “fix” my costume malfunction… It didn’t work out.”

Do you ever get nervous before you dance, and do you have any pre-performance rituals?
“I personally do not get nervous before I dance, but I do when watching my choreography because it is out of my control. Being close with the department is very helpful because it makes me motivated to perform and creates a sense of connection within the cast. ”

What would you do if you weren’t a ballet dancer?
“I would probably become a chiropractic doctor because my family has a long history of back issues, and I would enjoy helping others who have to deal with this issue.”

What is it that you will miss most about Mercyhurst and what advice would you give other students?
“I am definitely going to miss the faculty and the close friendships I have made. In terms of advice, I would have to say follow through with your goals and believe in yourself with whatever it is that you are trying to do.”