I found an old English assignment from around when I was about fifteen at NCSA, and I'd like to share it: (I've preserved it the way I wrote it then-corrected some spelling and punctuation but not any of the phrasing.)
I'm slowly realizing that dancing and being really good at it is hard and nearly impossible even for male dancers. When I was young and dancing, I knew that I would be doing amazing balletic stunts by the time I was sixteen. Now, I'm almost to that age, and I don't believe I'm quite at that level of achievement quite yet. Sure, I can do some tricks that I never believed I could, but I'm learning that there's more to it than that. I am now focusing on the refinement of the movement and the quality of it. I want to dance from my heart because I know that no matter how many turns I can do or how high I can jump, I will never be a true dancer without the passion. I believe that this knowledge is lost so much, especially in the dance department here. This is because we compete with each other too much. Competition is healthy. We need to learn to compete with ourselves. If we can do this (we the dancers and everyone for that matter,) we will no longer be clones to this stereotypical image that I created for myself at age eleven.
I think perhaps I wasn't too far off the mark back then in 1996. It's nice to find gentle and blunt reminders of the ideals I had way back when. I will use this as inspiration as I push onward.