I'm standing in the middle of a room; an empty, dark room, with hardwood floors and a wall to wall mirror on one side. I have the remote to the music player in my hand, my finger on the play button. I'm standing in the middle of the room; no one else in the studio. With my jazz shoes on my feet, shorts hugging my hips and a tank top hanging loosely on my torso, I feel at home.
Press play. The music blares, and I dance. 5, 6, 7, 8. Chanee turn, padaburee. Its freestyle; not choreographed. I make up the moves, feel the music, let it flow through me. Here, in this room, with the music projecting through the speakers, nothing matters. The worries of grades and getting into college disappear. The drama of friends and boyfriends vanish. The pressure of pursuing a dream that my father doesn't agree with, evaporates.
When I'm dancing, it's only about what I want. Dancing lets me get away, lets me dream about not becoming a lawyer. It lets me imagine my life if I were to stand up to my dad and pursue a different dream. But would it be standing up for myself? Or just being disrespectful to my parents?
In the studio it may be loud, but in my head its quiet and it's when I'm dancing that I realize I have to live my life, not my dad. It's when I'm dancing that I realize I should be making my own decisions. It's when I'm dancing that everything is right and clear.
But then the music stops. The music stops and everything's back to being wrong and hazy. The music stops and everything's confusing again.
While I'm dancing, all I feel is the music. The music makes me be who I want to be. Why can't I be who I want to be while I'm not dancing? Some people talk about their problems. Some people play sports. Some people write about it. Me? I dance.
I walk back into the middle of the room; an empty, dark room, with hardwood floor and a wall to wall mirror on one side. I have the remote to the music player in my hand, my finger on the play button. Press play. The music blares, and I work out my problems. I dance.
U.C. Davis admission essay, 2012 (edited)