"It is important that my daughter is exposed to arts and culture, and Pittsburgh has a wealth of it."
While pursuing a degree in chemical engineering at Howard University in Washington, D.C., Linsey McDaniel took a class with ”Mama” Kadiatou Conte, a world-renowned dance teacher. She “fell in love with the self-expression, discipline and cultural understanding gained through dance.” Linsey eventually moved back to Pittsburgh to pursue her M.B.A. at Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business, and then landed a position in strategic development and marketing engineering with Westinghouse Electric Co.
Around that time, Kadiatou also moved to Pittsburgh and was interested in expanding her African dance repertoire here. The two reconnected and, with the help of a team of other dancers and board members, Balafon was formed. This dance ensemble provides a woman-centered perspective on West African tradition and culture through song, music and dance. Linsey eventually left her position at Westinghouse to serve as interim director at Balafon.
Linsey has passed on an appreciation for rhythm to the next generation, dancing up until the time her daughter, Amiel, now 4, was born, and then continuing to dance with Amiel on her back as a baby. In her spare time, you can find Linsey with Amiel at the Forbes and Braddock playground at Frick Park, the Homewood branch of the Carnegie Library and the National Aviary.
Her commitment to mission-driven organizations will continue with her alma mater, Winchester Thurston School, where she will be taking on the position of director of alumnae/i relations. She has also been active with the Fund for Advancement of Minorities through Education, which provides support for African American students to pursue independent school opportunities.