Arts & Culture / Featured / Mosaic / January 15, 2014

TKS talks Ghana

Senior Evelyn Langley does a headstand on the beach in Anomabu, Ghana. (Michelle Orr/TKS)

Senior Evelyn Langley does a headstand on the beach in Anomabu, Ghana. (Michelle Orr/TKS)

For two weeks during winter break, 15 Knox students along with Professor of Dance Jen Smith studied dance and music in Ghana and immersed themselves in the culture. Their trip balanced tourist and workshop experiences, allowed them to study at a cultural institute at a small village, and visit a national park and the Cape Coast.  At their debriefing meeting, TKS sat down to talk with some of the participants about what the experience was like.

TKS: What prompted you to get involved with the program?

“I hadn’t gone abroad at all and saw this as an opportunity to do a program that I was really interested in, to go to Africa and see more of the world in a smaller and cheaper timetable.” – senior Paul Kenney 

“I was drawn to the program because there’s something pulling me to the African continent. I had been so interested in investigating West African dance and learning that with drumming as well was something that I was really excited about, [especially] being able to share that exploration with other students at Knox.” – senior Evelyn Langley

TKS: What was the most valuable part of the experience?

“While we were there, we were able to learn an entire dance and drumming piece [in five and a half days]. Then we were able to [perform] it with the staff and basically the entire community that the center was in because everybody knows dance and the music goes with it.” – Langley

TKS: What did you learn?

“I think one of the biggest things was greater self-confidence. I wasn’t a dancer and this trip involved a lot of dancing. But it was great to go in and everyone in the group was a beginner at this type of dance.” – senior Katrina Rudolf

“Being able to interact with all the people there, going to the arts mart, going to these markets and talking with the people, [I] got a better understanding of what life is like in Ghana.” – Kenney

TKS: What surprised you?

“The way music and dance is integrated into most of West African culture is so different in that it’s something that’s really a part of their culture. It’s a participatory activity, it’s not reserved for those who are the experts. It’s a part of funerals, it’s a part of birth, it’s a part of everyday life. It’s not just for the few, it’s for everyone.” – Smith

 

Kiannah Sepeda-Miller, Associate News Editor
Kiannah Sepeda-Miller is a senior majoring in anthropology-sociology and double minoring in journalism and English literature. She began writing for TKS during her freshman year and served as co-mosaic editor as a sophomore. Kiannah studied and reported in Morocco under Round Earth Media in the winter and spring of 2015 and was subsequently published in Al Jazeera. She completed an editorial internship at New York magazine the following summer.

Tags:  Cape Coast ghana jen smith nikki malley study abroad tourist West Africa workshop

Bookmark and Share




Previous Post
Prairie Fire women denied win streak
Next Post
Knox rally stopped short by IC



Kiannah Sepeda-Miller
Kiannah Sepeda-Miller is a senior majoring in anthropology-sociology and double minoring in journalism and English literature. She began writing for TKS during her freshman year and served as co-mosaic editor as a sophomore. Kiannah studied and reported in Morocco under Round Earth Media in the winter and spring of 2015 and was subsequently published in Al Jazeera. She completed an editorial internship at New York magazine the following summer.




You might also like






More Story
Prairie Fire women denied win streak
Getting out-rebounded 53-21 is not typically a recipe for success and the Knox College women’s basketball team found out the hard...