Winter Term program immerses students in arts and culture of Ghana

Follow along with these students on social media as they experience Ghanian performing arts and gain an appreciation of the country's rich history.

This is part of a series of articles highlighting Elon students as they gain experience studying abroad during Winter Term. Stay tuned for more posts featuring the experiences of Elon students in their own words and find Elon global engagement posts on social media by looking for #elonglobal.

Thirty Elon students are gaining a firsthand appreciation of Ghanian performing arts during Winter Term as they immerse themselves in the culture through the Ghana: Performing Arts in a Cultural Context program.

The program is one of dozens offered through Elon this Winter Term, with more than 1,000 students faculty and staff traveling to locations on six continents this month.

The fabrics dyed by Brislenn and others during their visit to a host family in Ghana.

Open to all students, not just those in performing arts programs, the program in Ghana is led by Assistant Professor of Performing Arts Keshia Wall and offers the opportunity to not just learn the meaning of dance movements, but to also perform them in the community. Students have been performing traditional Ghanian musical instruments as well as learning different cultural stories that have been passed down orally for generations.

Madeline Brislenn ’22 is an adventure, health and physical education major from Orlando, Florida, who first heard about the Ghana program when she toured Elon as a sophomore in high school. Now she’s spending three weeks in the country through the program.

“I came to Elon with a mission to become a more well-rounded dancer, and what better way to learn a new dance style than go to where it was born,” Brislenn says.

Brislenn says that she was looking for a study abroad program that would push her past her comfort zone, and learning traditional West African dance has done that. “I also wanted an opportunity to learn about a people and understand a culture that is so different from the states, and there is no better way to do that than by studying their dance.”

Elon will be sharing guest posts from Brislenn on its social media channels, and you can also view her posts from Ghana on her Instagram account – @madeline.brislenn.

Search for the #elonglobal hashtag on your favorite social media platform to view a wide range of Elon students, faculty and staff participating in global engagement programs and experiences.