Rhythmic Connections

Led by Christiana Usenza, Ethnomusicologist, and Michele Dunleavy, Associate Professor of Dance, School of Theatre

Rhythmic Connections introduces foundational drumming techniques and traditions, along with foot, hand, and body percussion. Participants will experience playing as an individual while contributing to the group dynamic and musical texture. No prior experience is required, and instruments will be provided. This is a four-part workshop series. Participation in all four sections is encouraged but not required.

Registration is required:

ADRI workshops often fill with people on the waiting list. If you are unable to attend, please cancel your registration electronically, or notify the program manager at or 814-863-5126.

Instructor Bios ~

Christiana Athena Usenza is a drummer, dancer and teacher with a master’s degree in Ethnomusicology from Tufts University. She has studied music around the world including Mexico, Brazil and Ghana and her research interests center on the rhythms from West Africa and their influence on musical traditions in Latin America and the United States. She is a founding member of the New Orleans-style brass band group, School of Honk, based in Boston. She has taught music and played in countless bands based in Vermont, Baltimore, Boston, Los Angeles and State College. She is currently a doctoral student in the music education department at Penn State University.

Michele Dunleavy has choreographed and performed extensively throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, and is the Artistic Director of Dunleavy Dance Projects. She works in a variety of dance forms including tap, jazz, and modern, and her choreography has been presented by arts organizations in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, NYC, Maryland, and West Virginia. Michele has performed internationally with Kompitus Rhythm Collective (Helsinki), and regionally with Take It Away Productions, Pittsburgh Opera, Junction Dance Theatre, Physical Theatre Project, DANA Movement Ensemble, ETCH Dance Co., and B3W.