Rachel Torgesen, this month’s featured senior dancer, is from Saratoga Springs. She is a dance major, with a minor in arts administration.
Why did you decide to come to Mercyhurst?
“It’s actually a funny story. Mercyhurst was at the bottom of my list before I came to visit. I didn’t know where Erie was, and I wasn’t sure I was going to like a Catholic school.
“When I came to visit for my audition, I fell in love with the campus and the quality of the dance department. The size of the school and the atmosphere was a perfect fit for me.
“I actually met my roommate at an audition for a different school. When we both decided to come to Mercyhurst we signed up to be roommates our freshman year, and we’ve lived together ever since.”
What is the moment you will remember most from your time at Mercyhurst?
“Something I will always remember from my time here was casting for our fall show freshman year. All of the freshmen were nervous about our first audition for the department.
“Being new, we weren’t sure if we were going to get cast or what kind of parts we were going to get. About a week after the audition the casting went up and we were all so excited to see that we all had been cast in the show!
“A bunch of us walked to CVS and got a tub of ice cream and brought it to The Laker to celebrate. I’m pretty sure we even took a picture of all of us holding the ice cream in CVS. Looking back on it now it seems so silly that we were so nervous about casting, but it was a fun moment to look back on.”
What are your plans for after graduation?
“I would like to dance professionally after graduation. I auditioned for several companies, but the dance field is very competitive so I’ve kept some other options in mind.
“Arts administration is something that I’m very interested in and I would love to someday work for a performing arts theater or a dance company, doing their programming.
“This summer I will be working at the National Museum of Dance as their programming intern. Hopefully I will get some good experience and it will lead to more opportunities.”
Do you think your education has prepared you for the future?
“I definitely think that my education here has prepared me for life after graduation. Before I came to college I was a complete “bunhead” and very narrow minded in what I wanted to do.
“All of my different dance classes and performing experiences here opened me up to new ideas and gave me really great opportunities to meet people and network.
“From the stand point of arts administration, I would probably not even have known about the field if it wasn’t for Mercyhurst. All of the classes I took for my arts administration minor gave me a good base to start working and to possibly go to graduate school.”
What will you miss most about the ‘Hurst?
“I will miss all the friends I have made here the most. I have met so many great people at Mercyhurst and I feel like a have a second family here.”