7th Grade Reflection

At the end of sixth grade and in the summer after, I always worried about what seventh grade would be like. My older brother was probably to blame. He fed me bad information about seventh grade. He whispered lots of little mean bits in my ear, and shouted bursts of horrible facts. So I began to believe his claims. I thought that all the teachers were dreadful and loaded you up with piles of homework every night. Not all that he told me was true, but not all of it was a lie either.

As the bell rang to signal the beginning of my first day, I relaxed a little, like the bubbles of stress were starting to pop.

I do actually have lots of dumb homework sometimes, and the teachers are usually okay, but the word I would use to describe seventh grade is, “tolerable.”

By October, usually every night I had an hour or so of homework. As a dancer, I’m constantly at the studio dancing, so that leaves little time for homework. Last year I would go to bed at a “reasonable hour” as my parents would call it, but now, I don’t get home until after that time.

Eventually I figured out that I couldn’t change the fact that school was only okay, so I had to accept it. For example, I had to live with a B+ in math instead of my usual A. Math is the only class that I have an 89 in and all my other classes are like 92 and above. It bothers me for some reason, but I just have to shake it off.

In this whole year I think it was pretty much a lot of review and only some new things. Besides normal school work, I learned how to do turns in second in dance, I learned to be happy for others if they got something you always wanted but you never had yourself, and I learned some pretty good tricks for bending the dress-code. Not really cheating it, but just some cool ways to dress it up without breaking rules and stuff. Well, most teachers don’t even care anyways.

As the year is coming to a close, you’d think that things would be winding down. Well they are at school—less work, teachers getting slightly looser, more fun stuff. Things get busier for me in actual life though. Like dance recitals, auditions, signing up for camps, summer plans, all the stuff you get to do when you’re not being at mind-numbing school.

My only advice to next year’s seventh graders; do NOT do lots of extracurriculars on a Monday night. You will regret it when your homework seems extra-boring and hard because you are tired. Don’t make things more complicated when they can be easy.


Anatomy of a                dancer

– Jessica Bondreaux

A dancer’s heart beats in eight-count

A dancer’s eyes always shine

A dancer’s soul is filled with music

So their feet always fall in time

A dancer feels like no other

The vibrant rthythm of life

And it all goes into the performance

All the joy and all the strife

So remember that with dancers

A little patience is what you need

Because their minds are otherwise engaged

Dancers are truly a different breed

This poem is so relatable to a dancer! I can just feel everything the author says. I’m like, “Yes! I can feel my heart beat the same way! We always dance in eight-counts. My soul swirls and floats along with the music when I dance, it is filled with it! I feel like no other! I feel love and life and bliss and wonder all at the same time.” All of our time, energy, and feeling goes into our performance, and we wait patiently to reach those “one-day I will” goals.

We, as dancers, are different people than everyone else because we really feel the music, and experience a passion no other person has experienced before. We pour both body and soul into the melody, and this refreshes ourselves.

This poem connects to all of that.

There is a quote, “Dance allows you to find yourself and lose yourself at the same time.” This links to my feeling about dance and also to this poem.

In dance, you can just get lost inside the music, but you can also find a part of yourself you never knew you had, hidden, locked away. In the depths of your heart. That part of you is called Your Passion.

Beautiful Concentration
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Patrick McDonald via Compfight
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: dancer Dallagio via Compfight

Week 5: A Memory—Puppy Puppet

A little girl throws open the doors of her bedroom, thrilled to be home from school. She leaps into the wide, sunny space, her broad smile mirroring the glittering sunlight that streams in through the open window. A large dog bounds into her skinny, baby arms, it’s shiny, golden coat shimmering. The girl stumbles in surprise but wraps her arms around the dog in a joyful hug just the same. The fluffy pup flips it’s thick tail in whip-like flicks and yips cheerfully. The girl’s smile slips into an even more vast grin, and her eyes flutter closed in pure bliss. The dog licks it’s wet muzzle, and thumps it’s tail happily as the girl gently kisses the dog on it’s forehead.

This is the scene you might see when I got home from school everyday—that is, if Ruff was real.

As an eight-year-old, I had requested a puppy for my birthday. I wished, hoped, dreamed for that puppy day and night. I awoke on my ninth birthday, eyes gleaming with glee. I tore downstairs to the kitchen where my parents waited, a fresh plate delicious of chocolate-chip waffles in front of them. I remember how the table was set—the plate heaped high with piping hot waffles, the steam swirled off in curly wisps. The plate was very grown-up looking, clean white ceramic printed with spring flowers along the rims. Perched atop the polished wood, there was a soft, rosy-pink, crystal glass full of rich, thick, creamy milk. A beautiful purple vase full of pink and white roses decorated the surface of our lazy Susan. As I scarfed down the tasty waffles and gulped the milk greedily, I spied my mom carrying a stack of wrapped gifts. Eyeing the pile of colorful boxes, I polished off the rest of the meal and raced to the couch.

The largest box, wrapped with a sparkly pink bow, caught my eye as soon as I sat on the couch. I tore the wrapping off every gift, appreciating everything, when I finally moved to the big one. Peeling off the paper, I got a glimpse of what treasure lay inside.

An extremely adorable puppy stuffed animal!

I yanked it out of the box, and hugged it immediately, screaming out my joy. I loved every detail of that toy, examining her beautiful, chocolate eyes, her shiny, golden coat, and her cute, fuzzy muzzle. Then my hand slipped inside a gap. I gasped, surprised when I wiggled my hand around and discovered her to be a puppet. I loved her even more.

I named her Ruff.

I couldn’t live without Ruff. She was tucked under my covers beside me every night. Once when I couldn’t find her, and it was bedtime, I started to cry. Fat tears rolled down my cheeks—I couldn’t stop. Then Mom found her hiding behind a curtain, and I finally calmed.

I did everything with her, we danced, we played dress-up, we ate meals together, we read stories, we even sometimes went to school together! Of course most teachers didn’t know that, because I had secretly slipped her into my backpack, careful not to squash her. She would just be happy and safe, comfortable in my backpack.

I swear if she was real, she would be the most loyal, loving, adorable dog on the planet. Ruff was special. I loved her; I knew that if she was to come alive one day, she would love me too.

Fabulous is Practically my Middle Name

We giggle, chatter and flit around like nervous sparrows in the shadowy wings as the group two dances before us continue their routine. They leap and twirl slightly out of sync just in time for the stage lights to dim. When the lights have completely gone out, and the audience has fallen into a dead hush, the next girl bounces onstage. The lights reflect off of her glittering costume, sending sparkles everywhere when the stage begins to glow a rosy pink. “Oooooooooh! What a niiiiiiiiiiight!” The poppy beat starts dramatically as the girl shimmies, gesturing for the rest to arial onstage. “Oh my gosh! We’re next! Can you believe it!?” Chloe whispers excitedly. “Ohhhh it’s on ladies! Gonna be hard to beat us with that!” Kendall chuckles quietly as one of the girls slips out of a grande jete. “I promise we will do FABULOUS!” I laugh softly, hooking pinkies with Maddie. “Pssshhhh! That’s practically my middle name!” She jokes, causing the backstage attendants to shush her rudely. “Geez lighten up woman. It’s show day…” Mackenzie mutters sassily as we burst into smothered giggles. Nia, Brooke, Paige, Chloe, Maddie, Kendall, Mackenzie, and I all snort in an un-ladylike fashion and make more stupid remarks about people not being so uptight. Suddenly, we hear lots of cheering and clapping, then silence as we hustle onstage quickly.

“Show time girls—show em’ what you’re made of.” I murmur as the rest of the team grins and pastes on sassy faces.

The stage begins to lighten, it’s glow brightens to a soft purple. Our costumes twinkle and glitter. They are lavender flowy dresses, a tight fitting top with a swoosh of shimmery silk that crosses our body and spills out as a thin, flippy skirt. It is longer on our right hip, and cut shorter on the left, where a flower of silk sits nestled amongst the bunched folds. Our hair is twisted into intricate, tight buns, wrapped in a perfect braid. On the right side of our buns, an identical flower to the one on our dresses is tucked neatly into it.

Chloe and I triple pirouette into a calipso, from there we pique turn to center stage and she lifts me by my waist. High in the air, I arch my head back and perform a flawless right splits as she twirls me around three times and sets me gently down again. Together we do gorgeous leg turns and extend our arms out to the other girls. Mackenzie, Brooke, and Maddie arial in perfect sync while Paige, Kendall, and Nia Russian behind them. Then all of the group begins to do a series of turns; first, five turns in second, then a quadruple pirouette, we slide easily into two illusions, finishing it off with three more turns in second and a fan kick. Our arms are as graceful as swans, reaching and dipping in glamorous arcs. Our legs are sharp and smooth at the same time, like knives that slice the air but curve and curl into twisty, glorious shapes. Our faces shine with emotion and our eyes glisten with pure bliss. Half of our small company back walkovers and then whirls around to switch leap with lovely point-tipped toes. The other half of us flips over into handstands, with their legs set into gorgeous middle splits. They walk to the back of the stage on their hands and fall into a bridge. They kick over and layout kick.

The crowd remains in a mesmerized trance, their eyes glitter as they stay fixed upon the stage. We can see the purple glow shimmer on their faces, which look pale from the light. My own face beams with joy and my eyes fill with happy tears as we perform our grand finale. I glide to center stage, Kendall and Brooke appear behind me. They stand, faces tipped to the side, one hand over their heart, one leg pointed in tondue as they slide into a deep lunge. I kick my right leg up to my ear, catching it in my hands. Then, I proceed to perform six fabulous leg turns and calipso out of it. The two girls behind me copy my moves as I then slip into a splits. All of the other girls surround us in a large circle. They cartwheel offstage, then the three of us left behind do our quick trio.

Brooke does one turn in second, Kendall follows, then I do as we do 10 turns in second together. We jump out into a middle splits, then roll out and stand. We all do a firebird leap and file offstage just as the purple fades to black.

The roar that comes after the brief silence is deafening. We can see one person stand and clap, cheering wildly. Then another, and soon everyone does the same. All of us shuffle onstage again and bow deeply, noses brushing our knees. The audience is wild; slapping their palms together in a tremendous crescendo. People scream out our names which they have found in the programs and some even jump and shout things like, “we love you!” And, “that’s how we do it ladies!”

In the center of the roaring crowds, we spot our moms, all holding up a fabric sign painted with our names is bold, sparkly letters. My mom pushes through the audience to the front, and tosses each of us a red Rose tied with a white ribbon.

Then, she disappears. Moments later, she reappears onstage with seven other stage attendants carrying bulging sacks. They position themselves behind each one of us and promptly open the bags.

Piles and piles of my favorite candy spills out onto my head and we are all laughing. Everybody laughs and we share this happiness together.


Week three: Deep

“I sit alone in this winter, clarity which clouds my mind…” Marcus Mumford’s voice blares clear and crisp through my ear buds. First, I was just curled up on my couch with my earbuds stuck in my ears, letting the blasting music soothe my ruffled thoughts when this line came spilling out into my head. My mind became tangled again, but quickly unknotted itself for the chorus to fill my tune-thirsty skull with its delicious melody.

This one quote really made me think, it made a clouding, cluttering burst of feeling swirl around me. This line is special, it holds a meaning that is so tragic and beautiful, it makes my teardrops transform into glittering jewels as they draw shimmering streaks across my face. This whole song is that powerful—it makes sparkling tears roll down my cheeks every time its sorrowful, lonely tune enters my ears. This quote—this line, is special.

I understand now, the symbolic meaning that the quote carries. I understand the melancholy words sweeping around my mind. My patience had begun to wear thin when at first I tried to piece it out word by word. One by one. At last I finally came to a tentative conclusion; Marcus Mumford has undergone a time of loneliness, maybe loss of a love. A time where he has been buried deep in cold sadness—this ties into the idea of being alone in winter. He hints that he has begun to realize what happened—thus the idea of clarity. Then all of this clarity, what he now understands, he is now constantly thinking about it—where the idea of a clouded mind comes in. I have had moments like this, moments of clarity when I can’t stop thinking about it. I know his feeling. I can relate.

Marcus Mumford writes all of his songs himself, except for one cover he’s done. He makes his songs really pull you in like crashing waves on a beach. His every word holds as much meaning as there are stars in the night sky, and his every word sparkles like them too. His every word is special and different, and each one is…



Photo Credit: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dave-lerner/the-coming-entrepreneuria_b_656448.html

Week Two: Best Places in Austin—My Pick!

A creamy breeze tickles your face as you slide into the clear water of Barton Springs—my favorite outside place in Austin!

Swimming in Barton Springs feels great against scorched-skin in summer… Got a flushed face and a stinging body? Take a dip! The water maintains a steady and cool temperature throughout the year. The springs are beautiful if you go for a morning swim, the water is clear, blue, and sparkly against the subtle mist. I love the sweet pleasure that you experience as the water rushes over your toes, making you tingle in the first moments. Once you slide in deeper, the water is like silky cream slipping over your skin as you glide through with smooth, easy strokes. Before I get in, my mind is usually clouded and cluttered, but once I’m out and glittering with shimmery droplets, my mind is completely fresh and bright. Going for a swim in Barton Springs is great.

Sweet, delicious, bubbly Mango lemonade chills my throat as it slides down easily. Where am I? I’m sitting on a squashy couch at The Clay Pit—the best Indian cuisine to ever touch your lips. From even the first tiny bite of food, a blast of amazing flavor explodes in your mouth; it’s like “perfect” spilling across your taste buds. The decor is warm and cozy, like the food. The Clay Pit fixes up the best brunch-buffet in town, usually sporting hot, filling foods adorned with thick, creamy, exotic sauces. I usually pick a yummy chicken plate. It’s warm, tangy and tender. It’s exceptionally soft, like what kids imagine clouds to be like. The rice is the best rice I have ever tasted. Its not sticky and clumpy like most rice, but every grain is excellent. The salad has just the right amount of dressing so it’s not drenched and sopping, but not dry and bland. Every bite of the salad you take, is filled with joy from the mildly spicy, but surprisingly sweet dressing. It’s not disgustingly sweet, like a bowl of sugar for desert, but sweet like fruit is sweet. Fluffy is definitely the word to describe their naan, it’s so soft, and light. The naan is especially tasty when dipped in Mango Chutney, a stunningly terrific sauce. More like dip, because it’s too thick and chunky for sauce. One of my favorite things at Clay Pit is their Mango Lemonade, which I mentioned earlier. It’s the most exquisitely delectable drink that has ever flowed down my throat. It’s everything I love in a drink, sweet, bubbly, tingly, delicious, cool, tangy, fresh, exciting. Mango Lemonade really sparks your taste buds with an electric shock of bursting flavor. You haven’t lived until you’ve tried it. The Clay Pit is the best food in Austin!

If you go to these two places, plus my amazing dance academy, all in one day, you should congratulate yourself on having the perfect day in Austin. You can be calmed, freshened, and electrified with a zap of good energy all at once.

These are the best places in Austin—my pick!

Into Shadow

downloaded from morgue file.


A thick, heavy mist shrouds the room from my sight. The fog is moist as it begins to fade. A tall, carved arc swoops across the cavern entrance. It is engraved with strange markings of skulls and roses. My eyes refuse to adjust to the darkness. I feel a sharp grip on my wrist. His fingers are like frozen bones crafted of ice, but the touch is light, like the gentle caress of your cheek. He guides me, his fingers intertwining with mine. As my hands tingle with the cold of his bones, I struggle to get away. Yanking away from his grasp, his bony fingers tighten and his pace quickens. I stumble blindly across the slippery tiling. Suddenly I am shoved sharply to the ground. He releases me and hisses into my ear. “Beware…” His dry whisper echoes throughout the hollow cavern, and with a mighty sweep of his midnight-velvet cape, he disappears into blackness.

Into Shadow.

I am left stunned with a cloud of dirt cluttering and cramming its way into my nose. I let out a dusty, raspy cough and bolt to my feet. Gone. He was just there, in front of me. He was just there! But now…

He’s gone.

I brush my hands off on my dress, a dusty grey mark stains the fragile fabric. Rubbing my eyes, I glance around to see if there is any sign of HIM… The whole room is old-style. Beautifully romantic… yet tragically dark. The cavern is mysterious, with a thin fog flowing along the ground, and darkness spilling into every crack and crevice. Bare. That is a word to describe the hollow cave. Bare. Furniture is usually plenty in many normal homes-

and this home is anything BUT normal…

In this horrible labyrinth, the furniture is minimal, only adding to the discomfort. Hiding in a corner, I peer around and spot a vast, broad bookcase. The carved wood is grand, with swirling curls and markings that match the arc in the entrance. I envision the wonderful case sporting hundreds of books in the library. My vision is shattered when I realize that only one lonely book sits upon the crooked shelf. I can tell it used to be a clean, pearly white with fancy gold lettering. Now the spine is tattered, the cover is worn and grubby, the letters are peeling and dull. The words spell something I can’t recognize. French maybe? I turn away and grit my teeth.

I step over to a shadowed table, draped in a blood-red cloth. Gingerly, I take the fabric between my fingers, it is soft and heavy. Velvet. White rose petals are strewn about, and a piece of paper flutters from the wind blowing from a window. Light streams in gently, it is darkening into a soft grey outside and I observe that the window is taped over. I turn back to the piece of artwork. The paper is crackly at the edges and is blackened. I lift the paper from the table and stare at the sketch. It is filled in black with only a perfect white rose in the middle.

A voice pops into my mind and startles me. “I drew it myself…” The deep voice echoes through the hall. I drop the sketch onto the tabletop and fling my head around to face him. I see a dark, shadowed figure, he stands in front of a long wooden case. The case isn’t very tall, maybe two feet high. It is lined with shimmering white candles, perched in gold carved holders. All of them are lit, the flames flicker in the dark, sending bits of light sparkling across this mask. Cracked white ceramic appears to be what the mask is made of. He glides forward soundlessly. He seems to float towards me silently without his feet even skimming the floor. The masked figure stops abruptly, right in front of my face! My throat weaves knots across my vocal cords, making it feel tight. His bony, pale arms shoots out without warning to the side and all the candles disappear into wispy swirls of smoke. His arm quickly tucks back into his cloak. My heart is racing. He smoothly draws back his hood and extends his arm, reaching out to my face. His long, slender fingers just barely brush my cheek.

I try to scream but no sound comes out.

Then, I peel off his mask.

This time, when I scream, the sound is clear and shrill. My vision begins to blur as I hear maniacal cackling spurting from his mouth. His shrieking laughter rings throughout the cave bitterly as the last thing I see is, He evaporates into thin air. All that’s left is a pale swirl of smoke, and a white rose… laying gently at my feet.

That is when I collapse onto the crimson carpet and black out.





photo credits to morgue files

Everlasting Winter in the Fields of Hope

The field once blossomed
It’s variety shined with hope
All the spring flowers
Held color close and sweet
Like a mother
Humming softly to her baby
In the quiet of night
The prairie grasses swayed
Now cold, bare, and gray
Where once a flurry
Of beauty glittered with dew
The splashes of color
I dreamt would still be lovely
Only they are lost
In the swirls of pale shimmer
The fantasy of my dreams
Is about as real as mermaids
As I stand in this everlasting winter
Stuck deep in the white
My eyes flutter closed
And I see it—
See it—
See it all—
The field which once blossomed
The variety shines with hope
All the spring flowers
Hold color close and sweet
The lillies, roses, violets, daisies, and cherry blossom
Bursting with light
With love
With hope
for this everlasting winter to end
And for the spring to come.


Get to the Pointe

Most people have passions for sports, school, art or something like that, but I love to dance.

Not just meaningless bouncing around a room while crazily spinning and flailing your arms, definitely not! Obvioulsy, I mean dancing as in I-have-been-taking-classes-since-I-was-three kind of dance. Like lyrical, ballet, contemporary, jazz, tap, hip hop, technique. I think dance is just the most beautiful and fun thing in the world.

First, dance is free, you can just express yourself, let out your feelings. Show your complex human emotions. When you play sports you are just hardened into this mad, heaving beast trying to achieve some kind of weird goal. In sports your breath comes in ragged, raspy gasps. In dance, you feel breathless in a new and fascinating way. Every step you take, every breath you breathe, is pleasure – pure bliss. It’s a privilege to breathe. Every breath is a gift, and it makes you feel free. I’m just happy when I dance. In dance your goal is to be happy, to have fun, to enjoy every moment of that bliss you have with yourself or that you share with other dancers. Dance makes you free and happy.

Next, dance allows you a few moments to be a show off. Everybody loves feeling proud, when everybody else is watching you twist and twirl like a graceful swan you feel like nobody else outshines you, nobody else can match you. Dance makes you feel proud and peerless.

Lastly, dance has a point when you begin, you start this whole major thing… YOU start something big. Then YOU get to finish it. Everybody claps, cheers, and screams your name. As the curtain falls you realize you just created a majesty. A piece of art. You get to create something. Even if you didn’t choreograph the dance, YOU performed it. YOU should get the credit because you just did all that hard work and added your own personal piece of your soul and passion to it, you dedicated a part of your life to this dance. You get to create something and be dedicated to something. You get to have a passion.

Doesn’t all this make sense? Doesn’t dance just sound perfect and amazing and beautiful? Dance can be your escape from some of the harsh things in reality. Dance can be your real life dream. I just explained to you why it’s mine. I love to dance. It’s the most beautiful, lovely, and fabulous thing in the entire universe.


Fluff and Ruffle

Little kids sometimes dress really embarrassingly. They could wear a shower cap to school paired with a neon sweater vest and glitter leggings. They could dress up in a fairy costume – wings included and wear that to school. They could end up with a pair of your college brother’s old race-car underwear doubling as a hat! But sometimes they can dress up really cute! An old favorite is the mini tutu.

Tutus are adorable on toddlers! First of all, they are fluffy. I love a good poofy skirt on a baby. The fluffiness can only go so far though. I mean, you can’t go around in something that looks like a ballet costume with a pancake for a skirt! Ruffles and lace are good material for tutus. They accentuate that fluffiness. Tulle and satin create a sweet, innocent presence and if you can pull off that charming cupcake look then tutus are right for you!

Another thing about tutus is that they pair with simpler items so you don’t go over-the-top-80’s-party-crazy. You can wear them with a plain colored top with simple sleeves and no pattern. I used to have this really cute dress that had a tutu style skirt. It was a marble pink with salmon satin ruffles. Soooooo cute for a little kid.

Tutus can be like a skirt, or an accessory. They are versatile and cute. Hey not the hottest style but it works!

Lastly, they come in a bunch of different styles. Like you can get a flatter tutu, or a poofy one. A layered one, or a one ruffle skirt. A dress, skirt, costume so be it. They come in tons of colors and materials too. The best are light pink, slightly poofy and slightly flat, with lace overlay.

I wouldn’t pick a tutu for me, but for a baby or something then why not? Little kids are less fashion obsessed anyway. Plus I can always just pick a tutu for a costume or dress up day thing at school. Tutus are like the most versatile skirts and the most sweet cupcake type! Tutus are ADORABLE!