Move to the beat of your own drum

This Wednesday, a familiar rhythm is making its way to campus.

Local drum maker and performer Steve Turner will present a drumming workshop for USF dancers at USF’s School of Theater and Dance.

Turner, 34, has been playing drums for 20 years. He was 14 when his father let him begin.

“I’ve had a desire to drum my entire life,” he said.

One of Turner’s greatest memories was drumming on a coffee table at age 5 and telling his father he wanted to be a bongo player when he grew up.

Turner’s love for drumming led him to found Giving Tree Music, Inc., a family-owned business he runs with his wife Laurel in Clearwater. He facilitates drum circles, where he brings anywhere from 10 to 100 drums with him to his workshop tours. He then leads a musical experience that is deeper than the sound itself.

“I want to get as many people drumming, not just to learn how to play drums … but to understand community,” he said.

Turner will be teaching USF dancers basic drumming techniques, the history of the significance of the drum on thef culture, and the relationship between drumming and dancing.

Bryan Shuler, director of music for the USF dance program, has known of Turner’s work for 10 years now, and he sees the drum maker’s passion.

“He’s trying to let each individual be creative, and at the same time let them work together,” said Shuler, who coordinated the workshop.

According to Shuler, Turner visited USF last year and was such a big success that he and other professors wanted Turner to return.

Turner hopes students get a deep sense of community from the workshop.

“I hope they learn to make music with one another … which I think is one of the most profound human experiences in the world.

“I hope the dancers get a deeper understanding of the rhythms that they dance to,” he said. “And that’ll hopefully make dancing more meaningful.”

Shuler has high hopes for students who attend.

“I hope all students who attend leave with an understanding that inside each person there is an element of creativity,” he said. “You, too, can be creative.”

The workshop is sponsored by the School of Theatre and Dance and will be held on Wednesday afternoon from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Room 107 of the Dance building. The event is free and open to the public.