PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A group of students from Point Park University gathered in Market Square at lunchtime on Monday to honor the victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas. They performed an interpretive dance to show solidarity.
For some of the students, the shooting hit close to home.
“It was really strange waking up and finding out that there had been a tragedy in my hometown,” says Eric Lobenbert, a student at Point Park University. “I grew up there. It’s my safe place. Finding out that I did have people involved in it, and finding out people were in the hospital that I knew was really hard to grasp…It really kind of tore me down a bit.”
The dance students got together and came up with a plan.
“We just wanted to use our art form, we wanted to use dancing,” says Maria Webb, a Senior at Point Park University.
Webb also grew up in Las Vegas, and felt a strong connection to Monday’s performance.
“We didn’t want to use screaming and shouting…We wanted to use the silence and just the movement of our bodies to really intrigue people,” says Webb.
The plan worked. About 100 students participated in the dance. They silently entered Market Square, tapping their hearts with their hands. They joined hands and swayed. Towards the end of the performance, they lifted their hands to the sky. No words, no music, just silence.
“I thought it was beautiful,” says Abby Wolf, who was visiting Pittsburgh from Hershey. “Everyone was very engaged. I think it was really beautiful when they reached their arms up, and all of a sudden, the clouds parted. The sun shined down right on them. It was gorgeous.”
“That’s why a lot of us dance in the first place, to spread joy and spread love,” says Samantha Poyston, a student at Point Park University.
Then, just as silently as the students entered Market Square, they left.
“I hope that anyone who saw it realized they’re not alone,” says Poyston.