SN&R’s 2012 College Essay Contest honorable mention
“It’s a Boy!”
I like when things glitter. Not just literally, but I like when things glitter with life. When I really care about something, every action I take glitters; my aura sparkles with energy. When I dance, I feel alive, and I sparkle with charisma. That is why it was no surprise that I endeavored to be on my Davis High School Dance Team. Not to mention the fact that the dance team performs in sequins. However, there was a slight problem.
The dance team, known for its sex appeal and glitter tops, was a sisterhood, a group of girls never infiltrated by a male member. My effort and perseverance in my attempts to make the dance team have taught me how to overcome life challenges.
I dedicated myself to becoming a member of the dance team from the first routine I watched from the stands. I was unaware of the roadblocks I would face in attempting my goal. First among them was flexibility and technical strength. For weeks, I pushed myself into oversplits and leapt around my living room to further my dance skills. I compelled my body to move beyond its physical limits, and I injured myself. Despite the injuries, I continued my stretching and conditioning with more caution than before and with a stronger mentality.
The first tryout finally came alongside anxious anticipation. Naively, I had assumed that high-school students were mature enough to look past prejudice and would evaluate purely based on ability. This tryout week during my sophomore year came and passed, and in an instant, my own little bubble had been burst with rejection.
Once I realized that my gender would not be overlooked, I strived to work harder to impress the judges and prove that I could earn a place on the team. The following summer, I attended California State Summer School for the Arts, spending a month dancing eight hours a day and building my dance skills. Through four weeks of stress, sweat and exercise, I returned home more ready than ever for another round of tryouts.
When school began for my junior year, I was notified of another tryout. Again, I faced the prejudice. This time, however, I inched forward in my endeavor, barely missing the cut to be on the team, finally being judged as a dancer and not a boy. I took this second rejection as a step forward, realizing that I had managed to overcome sexism.
The final tryout arrived, and this final chance brought to an end my year of stretching, conditioning and work in preparation for tryouts. At the end of tryouts, after my third attempt, I became the first male member of the Davis High School Dance Team. The pride and sense of personal achievement I felt when I made the team was only heightened by the amount of time and effort I put into preparing for it. I am proud of my historical accomplishment that occurred only because of my endurance through rejection and hard work.
Through my experience, I realized the importance of hard work, perseverance and patience. In my life and at school, I will strive to work hard and never give up, because that is how I succeeded in becoming the first male member of the Davis High School Dance Team.