The stage is my sanctuary. My mother enrolled me in a ballet folkloric group at my school when I was eight years old. My mother??™s intentions were to make me aware of my culture???s traditions, but little did she know that she planted the seed of a beautiful tree that would have great power and significance in my life. From that point on, dance became my greatest passion. Dance has taught me to reveal my thoughts and what it means to be a leader. I have recently come to see how these lessons apply to my education.
Failure does not exist for a performer. A dancer can have setbacks while rehearsing for a show, but is able to fix them by practicing continually until that difficult step flows as easy as the rest of the routine. Likewise I encountered setbacks in my education during the beginning years of high school. I was a mediocre student who didn??™t show a consistent work ethic. My desire for knowledge was present but my ability to exhibit determination and diligence was absent. I was quickly falling down into a hole I was uncertain I could escape. I feared that my aspirations would stay dreams. My classes were a difficult step that I couldn??™t execute correctly. I began to attend office hours to review the topics discussed in class, to read for pleasure, and to study effectively. These became habits and led me to become a better student. I was gaining knowledge that I had always desired and learned to never leave my dreams behind but to push them forward even if they seemed unlikely.
Dance has taught me that a leader is not necessarily one who has the label of captain or president, it signifies someone who has the capability to influence others in a better direction and advocates their beliefs. I am one of the most experienced members on the step team at my school. Due to this I encourage and help many of the incoming steppers in preparation for a performance or in teaching them our step routines. When we are preparing for a performance, I am the architect of the team, who structures the formations and transitions of our routines. This is crucial to our show because it tells the performers where they will stand and how we will move across the stage to make it a winning performance. I may not be the captain of my step team, but the label hasn??™t stopped me from being an important character on the team.
Dancing involves being one with the audience. They cannot be something you fear; they must be your most trusted friend. Learning how to get over my trepidation of large crowds allowed to me be comfortable during classroom discussions. I am now able to lead class discussions and voice my opinion. It has helped me critically see controversies as more than just simple social ills. I believe that the young generation, myself included, needs to stop surrounding ourselves with circles and ignoring what happens outside of our bubble. These ideologies begin in a classroom discussion. This has made me a tolerant person that can intermingle with diverse people without feeling incongruous.
Diligence cultivates achievements, self-motivation leads to accomplished dreams. Life is like a competition. Everyday your determination and perseverance grows stronger in preparation for it. High school and college are only small steps in training for the day in which my goals will no longer be aspirations but will be reality. Dance has taught me lifelong lessons that I will keep on using.

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