By Derby Chukwudi
Nashwa Cahill, Associate Professor of Health and Human Performance at Berea College, Kentucky, USA.
Pinnacle: What made you choose Berea College?
Cahill: My Husband Richard Cahill was offered a job as the Director of International Education and a history professor. We were impressed by the mission of Berea College and decided to make Berea our home.
Pinnacle: What was your motivation to study dance?
Cahill: I started dancing in early age and I was motivated to pursue it as a carrier and therefore I studied dance under several masters. Later in life I was intrigued by other dance forms and the cultural context.
Pinnacle: Can you share some of your dance experiences and performances prior to coming Berea?
Cahill: Prior to Berea, I lived in Santa Barbara CA and I was involved with UCSB Middle Eastern Ensemble which is considered the largest in the Northern hemisphere. Under the direction of Scott Marcus Ethnomusicologist the USCB Ensemble have more than 70 members of musicians and dancers. Prior to that, I lived in Japan for 12 years and taught dance and directed a dance troupe and school in Osaka that still exists until today and run by one of my premier dancer. I performed and toured Japan and internationally.
Pinnacle: Dance is said to be the universal language in the world. What are your opinions about this?
Cahill: Dance exists everywhere, however I can’t generalize and call it universal since every style is unique and influenced by cultural aspect, religious believes and political circumstances.
Pinnacle: If you were not a dance professor, what would you be spending your time doing?
Cahill: I would be writing a book on Middle Eastern dance from different regions of the Arab World from a native point of view.