They Sing The Body Electric

The Body Electric is an annual event at Walt Whitman High School, which dedicates a night to celebrating the arts. Whether you are a skilled writer, dancer, or musician, The Body Electric presents an opportunity to show off your skills or just be a member of the audience. Yes, the event revolves around listening and watching performers, but it means so much more than that.

It is not easy for someone to stand up and completely expose themselves to an audience, but the impact it has on viewers is immeasurable. Some performances may be funny, and others extremely heartfelt and meaningful. The event is not so much about each individual act, but more the celebration of the arts, and Whitman in itself. Unfortunately, not all schools are heavily influenced by the arts and sometimes students feel their talents are unappreciated. Thankfully, Whitman is a mixing pot of various talents and kinds of people who are all celebrated for who they truly are.

The night was filled with poetry by many students and faculty members, including Principal Murphy. While all the students who participated were amazing in their own unique ways, there were definitely a few who stood out from the crowd. Among the deep and meaningful poems recited, there was one that just didn’t quite fit. This performance in particular had members of the audience crying because the writing and delivery were so wildly hysterical. This recitation of a poem, by Shannon McHale, was inspired by Jonah Hill’s slam poetry featured in the film 22 Jump Street. The poem served as a great pause during which the audience let go and laughed out all the seriousness previously established by the quiet atmosphere. The poem also featured a very enthusiastic and expressive execution, complete with a mic drop (of a couple inches, because those are expensive).

Another poem that really stood out was written by Mark Meneses. It was directed at all of his teachers, whom he took the time to thank in a creative and entertaining way. Mark went on to pull different aspects of curriculum and related them to his life. He explained how math, science, English, and history are so much more than is assumed. Mark used examples like subtracting negatives and adding the positives or learning that life will always have a level of entropy to it. The poem was insanely relatable and left onlookers thinking about all the things they will take away from their years at Whitman.

Every music performance was different; they all brought to light different genres of music with a unique flare and even when their was only instrumental, it was clear the audience understood the message each group wanted to get across.
The staff who performed were Mr. Murphy, Mr. Monti, and Mrs. Latko. Mr. Murphy recited a poem by an unknown author, which expressed his care and love for every student who roams the halls of Walt Whitman High School. Mr. Monti delivered poems that further exemplified him as the chill yet enigmatic guy that he is known to be. Mrs. Latko had one of the most meaningful poems about her daughter Katie and her experience raising a child with serious medical conditions.

As much as every performer deserves to be celebrated and talked about, there is simply not enough time in the world to truly honor the amazingly talented souls who make The Body Electric what it is. If you have never been to, or are considering going next year, it is highly recommended by many students including Hailey Hamilton who expressed that “it was a great atmosphere and [she thinks] more people should definitely attend next year.” It takes a great deal of courage to sit on the stage “facing the invisible sea of noise,” as Sergio Gomez put it, who was thrilled to see “kids from the school express themselves.” The performances were stunning and as Olivia Pulvirenti put it, “wonderfully original.” The Body Electric is a gem that every Walt Whitman student should try to experience or participate in at least once during his time here.