Teaching International program celebrates diversity through dance

December 15, 2015

Penn State Greater Allegheny, strongly committed to the University's internationalization initiatives, has adopted each year a country or region of the world as a common focus to inspire teaching and scholarship. Through comparative study the campus hopes to advance a greater understanding of globalization processes and their impact on the lives of people around the world, including the local region. 

This year's focus is on the global connections to and from the Greater Pittsburgh area. More than 20 faculty and staff members are cooperating to explore and reflect on various aspects of the history, culture, and economic, social, and political reality of this region. Course lectures, student research projects, public debates, service learning activities, theater productions, films and guest lecturers will help us learn about this area of the world.

On Monday, Dec. 7, Teaching International hosted a Belly Dance Workshop instructed by Susan Goelz, a Middle Eastern dance artist, instructor and choreographer. For over 10 years, she has been an active participant in the Pittsburgh area belly dance community.

That evening, members of the campus also had the opportunity to attend a Square Dance Social. Students learned, through music and dancing, about the Appalachian culture. One of the best manifestations of the culture is traditional Appalachian fiddle music. The music is derived from the English and Scottish fiddle music mixed with African rhythms of the banjo. Square dancing is a social dancing that is created by and for everyday folk.  Each dance is “walked through” slowly, then “called” at full speed to live Appalachian fiddle music. 

The Steel City Squares is a collection of local musicians seeking to promote Traditional Appalachian music and square dancing in the Pittsburgh region. Attendees danced with different partners and had a great time moving to the live music of the Haygood Paisleys with local renowned caller Ron Buchanon.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated December 16, 2015