Don’t Write Alone | Notes on Craft

Drafting a Personal Essay Is Like Stumbling Through a Dance

You can study all you want, but it’s only in the act of doing that you learn what’s right and what isn’t.

The first Zumba class I ever took was at Miami University’s newly remodeled rec center, shortly after arriving for my freshman year. I’d been drawn to the school’s beautiful campus and academic programs but didn’t realize that the Oxford, Ohio, university also had a reputation as “J. Crew U”—filled with beautiful, preppy students. At first I laughed at the stereotype; then I walked into the dance studio and encountered an assembly of women who looked like they’d all been backup dancers for music videos.





Okay,but I am not a lumbering wildebeest when I dance. I have moves that even Manny Jacinto wouldn’t sneeze at.