"My mother was horrified at the idea that I wanted to dance professionally because with Jews you just don't dance, you see. That was associated with something else. If you wanted to be in the arts in Jewish life, you could be a musician, but you'd have to be a man. The woman could never take on a professional position in life. The woman could be a schoolteacher until she got married, or a secretary in a very respectable firm until she got married. My mother finally said to me when I was about 15 or 16, 'What's going to happen to you? Are you going to be a kurve [whore]?' I said, 'No, I'm not going to be a kurve, I'm going to be a dancer.' And she said, 'Out,' and I left.
"Then after working and working, she came to see me perform at the Y, on 92nd Street. And I think I was giving a solo concert, and she was all dressed up, and had a hat on. It was a very special occasion. Someone in back of her said, 'Excuse me, do you mind taking off your hat?' And she turned around and looked and said, 'Why should I? That's my daughter.'"