A few notes on the draft ^^^ ; please download and view as you’re able. I’m glad to see you getting some really decent feedback below. I echo the comments that admire the many images you give us in this draft and which call on you to develop this story a bit more. Exactly how to do that is the question! Here’s some ideas:
–You could follow David’s suggestion and try to focus this essay on your transformation from a formerly-uniform-wearing new kid into a badass dancer and choreographer. We’d need to see more of life at your earlier school and more of the process—dance classes, etc.—through which you came to excel at dance.
–Another approach would be a bit more abstract: I have noticed in your essay (and highlighted accordingly) just how interested you seem to be in the SOUNDS of your school: birds chirping, guns going off in the hallway, the helicopter sounds “infusing” the classroom, students shouting “FRESH MEAN” (a good title by the way), etc. So I could see you developing this theme. If you did this, I’d suggest re-writing the whole thing in a new Word doc while reading through your current draft in another window. In your NEW draft, just focus on what you think the effects of SOUND on your experience of this school were. Did sounds ever help you learn/focus? If so, which ones–and how? Did sounds ever distract you from learning/focusing/etc.? If so, which ones–and how?
–One final suggestion: I’m interested in the school shooting and lockdown. Of course, you could focus the whole essay on building up to this moment and developing the details of this scene. From the way it’s written, I’m also not certain as to whether this happened in reality or in your mind (or both!). If you’re trying to poetically show the reader how entering the hallway filled you with anxiety and dread the likes of which one might experience during a school shooting, I’d recommend using some sort of framing language to indicate this e.g.,:
“As I stepped out into the hallway, I was filled with the same kind of dread I imagine survivors of school shootings have experienced.”
“As I step out into the hallway, I imagine being fired on from all sides…”
Of course, if the school shooting actually did happen, then you would write about it accordingly and not use language like the above sentences to show that you were imagining this…
One last thing: notice my two example sentences above are in different verb tenses (the first is past tense; the second is present tense). I suggest you pick one verb tense and stick to it throughout your story—unless you really feel the need to change to another tense. Write me if you need more help with this.