Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person you are?
I have never half-liked anything; everything I do, I do with amazing passion and vigor that leaves me breathless at times. In an attempt to better connect myself with my heritage, I began to take Indian cultural dance lessons. I did not anticipate that this would become the most important activity in my life, but surprisingly it came to mean so much more than a once-a-week workout. I love to dance.
When I found out my school presents an annual cultural show, I naturally wanted to be a part of the show. This was the opportunity for me to choreograph my own dance for the first time. During try-outs, my best friend and I performed what we believed to be a great routine. However, to my dissatisfaction, my group was not picked. I felt deeply hurt. I was not ready to accept my failure, and I continued to believe the judges were mistaken. I have always been praised for my dancing; I did not know how to accept criticism. When my disappointment finally subsided, I felt an even stronger urge to be successful the next year.
During the year leading up to the next try-out date, I worked tirelessly on my routine and realized that I needed to be a part of a group better suited to perform. This meant not being able to dance with my best friend. Try-outs were nerve-racking, but when my team earned praise from the judges, I felt positive that this time I would be successful. Unfortunately, we did not make it on stage...again. I was not nearly as upset this time, and I took my failure with grace.
As the next year approached, I vowed that things would be different. I was more experienced and knowledgeable about what makes a dance successful on stage. By reflecting upon every critique I had received about my dances, and coupling that with my determination, I finally earned the privilege of performing in my school's cultural program.
Finally I saw that the past three years of my hard work had not been vain. This achievement meant more than performing at my school; it taught me valuable lessons as well. When I face an obstacle, I know not to ever give up because that would eliminate all hope of achieving my goals. I have also learned that failure and criticism are vital parts of the learning experience of life. I am much more open to take criticism now and to use it to strengthen myself, rather than to discourage myself. This obstacle I have faced seems trivial in comparison to what I will face in the future, but the fact that I can now take with me many key characteristics that will help me is what makes it so important. Persistence and hard work are two qualities I now see within myself which prepare me to face the curve balls life is bound to throw at me. 
What an excellent, well-written essay! It is virtually flawless; just one comma will make it perfect:
Finally, I saw that the past three years of my hard work had not been vain.
Best of luck in your studies!