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"my first production as a dance teacher" - Activities Essay (from Common App)


emab 2 / 5  
Dec 12, 2010   #1
I need lots of constructive criticism, and advice on shortening this essay down to 150 words... right now it's at 182 words...yikes! Help would be greatly appreciated asap :)

Thanks in advance! -Ema
The prompt is the to briefly elaborate on one of my extra curricular activities or work experiences.

As I stood there in the wings and watched my students dance under the stage lights, I lost sight of the steps and focused on their faces. Every so often one of the kids would look off into the wings to where I stood and send a smile my way. That moment made dealing with all the tears, back talking, frustration, and attitude completely worth it. Performances had always been about accomplishing my personal goals, but my first production as a dance teacher put everything into a different perspective.

In a studio setting it was hard to see if or how I had impacted a student. Teaching is a constant struggle and sometimes I don't feel like I'm affecting kids at all. I see now though, that teaching dance is more about helping a child feel comfortable with ....

...
nishabala 4 / 91  
Dec 12, 2010   #2
Coincidentally, my common app activity essay starts with waiting in wings too.
Couple of ideas:
"Every so often one of the kids would look off into the wings to where I stood and send a smile my way"- you CAN change it to "one of the kids would smile ___ly at me."

"back talking" - talking back?
"In a studio setting it was hard to see if or how I had impacted a student. Teaching is a constant struggle and sometimes I don't feel like I'm affecting kids at all."- Switch the order of the sentences, it reads better that way.

"all that was left was the feeling of accomplishment that I had gotten through to my students in a positive way after all."- Try "all that was left was a feeling of achievement and pride that I had made an impact on one little life' (or something less melodramatic.)
OP emab 2 / 5  
Dec 12, 2010   #3
Yeah I hate the current ending! I just couldn't think of any other way to say it haha, that suggestion was perfect.
All of your points were very helpful, thank you so much! :)
OP emab 2 / 5  
Dec 13, 2010   #4
I made some changes, any thoughts?

As I watched my students dance beneath the stage lights, I lost sight of the steps and focused on their faces. Every so often one of the kids would look off into the wings to where I stood and smile. That moment made dealing with all the tears, back talking, and frustration, completely worth it. Performances had always been about accomplishing my personal goals, but my first production as a dance teacher put everything into a different perspective.

Teaching is a constant struggle and in a studio setting it's hard to see if or how I have impacted a student. I know now that teaching dance is more about helping a child feel comfortable with themselves and have fun rather than if they can get the movements down perfectly. When the curtain closed I was left with a feeling of achievement and pride that I had made an impact in these kid's lives.

My first application is due on wednesday, so I would really appreciate some advice asap. :) thanks!
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Dec 22, 2010   #5
Every so often one of the kids would look off into the wings to where I stood and smile. ---a little confusing... you could do this:

Every so often one of the kids would smile in the direction of the wings, where I stood.

I know now that teaching dance is more about helping a child children feel comfortable with themselves and have fun than if they can get it is about getting the movements down perfectly.

:-)


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