The Day Kennedy Was Shot

November 21, 2010

The day Kennedy was shot, 47 yrs ago, I took dance class anyway. Here’s my story: I was going to a public high school in NJ.
At around 1:50 p.m., the principal addressed us over the P.A. system, saying he would soon make an important announcement. “Everyone thought it was the bomb. Almost,” I wrote in my diary. Then we heard that Kennedy was shot. A half hour later, we heard that he was dead. We froze. We heard the word assassinated. Some of us went in to the girls’ room to cry.


That year I was taking the bus to NYC three days a week after school for dance class (both ballet and modern). This was a Friday, and my class was the Advanced Teenage class at the Martha Graham School. I decided to go ahead and take the bus and see if there was class.


When I got there, the class was very small—only five or six of us showed up. David Wood, our teacher, walked into the studio, and in his deep, reassuring voice, said, “When there’s a tragedy, it’s better to dance than to not dance. We’re going to work through this.”


And we did. I mean not that the horror of it was over, but that we used our bodies to express how we felt.