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The Words of A Writing Dancer This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

By , Brooklyn, NY
On the first day of junior high school where students were separated by their talents, I walked into the creative writing talent room, a dancer. Stuck in this one-of-a-kind situation, I had no idea what I was to face in the next three critical years of my finite youth. What I did know was that I absolutely loathed writing.

As a fifth grader, without approval, I planned to apply for a dance talent audition to what we elementary school students considered "the best middle school in New York City." After numerous replays of the song “Apologize” echoed throughout my home, my mother finally bothered to ask what I was doing. Reluctantly, I announced that I was choreographing my piece for the dance talent test. She straightforwardly responded that there was no way I was trying out for dance. I obeyed her command and instead, took the tests for creative writing and computer/mathematics. After receiving my acceptance letter into the "most prestigious junior high school in the city," I wept. I had no other choice than to prepare for my days to come as a creative writing talent student.

Each day in creative writing, we were assigned a journal prompt in which we had the opportunity to elaborate on. Recently, I skimmed through this keepsake composition notebook and found that a majority of my entries evolved around my passion for dance, my repugnance for writing, my envy towards my friends in dance talent, my struggle to improve as a dancer without the guidance of dance teachers or choreographers, and so forth. I constantly cried about the circumstances I was in and acknowledged that no one understood what type of predicament I was trapped in. It was just me and my dancing; I often relied on dance to get through the day. However, it was ironic how I was portraying my distaste for writing by writing. Also, although educators and peers would persistently provide words of encouragement targeted at my passion and need for dance, I was befuddled by what to do with myself. I thought about completely forgetting about dance and pursuing what others persuaded me to pursue-writing, but that was the easy, cowardly road. I finally chose to follow my dream and settled on who I truly wanted to be-a dancer.

The middle of 7th grade after joining a performing arts after school program, was a huge turning point of the dance and writing aspect of my life. For the first time, I was miraculously granted with the chance to show others what I loved to do. My role in the production involved minor acting roles, but most importantly, a dance solo entirely choreographed and performed by me. During the third and last show of the day, one of the directors of the extracurricular activity explained how students did not have to contribute anything to the show that was related to their talent; for instance, drama talent students could sing and math talent students could write the script. He used me as an example. Suddenly, I began to cry in front of about 100 people. I stood up and composed myself enough in order to say, “As he said, I’m in writing and dance is what I really want to do and it’s just been really hard.” Once again, I burst into tears and was soon engaged in a group hug by the rest of the dancers. After the end of the period, audience members gave me compliments and words of advice while teachers told me to never give up and follow my dreams. I was speechless-I had never thought so many people would believe in me. This memorable experience made me realize that I don’t have to be a modern Alvin Ailey or Martha Graham to be a dancer. All I have to do is dance and have a passion for it. This all led to my passion for writing as well because it helped me cope with the struggles I encountered as a creative writing talent student.

Over the brief period of time I have spent so far at this particular middle school, there are two main things I will never forget about-dance and writing. This includes my teachers, my friends, my classes, and everything else about the school. I have not only picked up dance moves from my friends and gathered more information about the writing process, I have learned lessons that I will take with me and use for the rest of my life. Never give up on your dreams. Starting off as just an ordinary girl with a passion for dance and a hatred for writing and flourishing into a unique teenager with a love for both dance and writing has showed me this. I look forward to what’s ahead for me and who I will become. Whether or not I become a doctor, a singer, or a cashier, whatever I do, I will have worked diligently for it and know that, no matter what, I will always be me. For know, that just means I’m a dancer and a writer.



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