"Okay Nai you ready?" Nadira asked a now nine year old Nayeli. Today, January 19th was her ninth birthday, and she had her final ballet performance at her school today before she switched over to her mom's school full time.
It was a school performance, but that happened already, and she got to do a solo performance since she was leaving. She chose to do it with Nadira, which almost made Dira cry. She was officially adopted now, and had been since Thanksgiving.
They celebrated then, but this was like a special celebration for Nayeli. Dancing, especially ballet, was something she found extremely important and something she held dear to her heart, and to have her mom share in something that was so important to her was a gift she couldn't have even wished for.
"I'm ready mama. Are you?" she asked, looking up at Nadira who was fixing her bun. She wore it slicked back into a tight bun just like she used to when she did ballet as a child. Nayeli, of course, wanted to match.
"Yes ma'am! Let's go," she held her hand out to Nai and they walked towards the curtain together.
On the other side, Gionni sat in the crowd with an annoyed Omari on his lap. He was not at all fond of all the noise in the auditorium and G could see it all over his face. He bounced his knee up and down, anxiously waiting on Nayeli and Nadira to come out. They refused to let him see any part of their routine and he definitely tried every way he could to sneak a peek.
"Okay we here at AP Academy wanna thank everyone again for coming to see our first performance of the year, and coming to support our dancers. We have one more very special performance, a solo by one of our talented ballerinas, Nayeli Cartier! She's switching to a bigger ballet school soon so this is her last solo with us, and her mommy is joining her! Everyone can we give her a round of applause!" the announcer spoke into the microphone, causing everyone that came to see her to go up in applause and cheers immediately.
Gionni clapped Omari's small hands until the curtain was pulled back and the dark stage revealed his wife and daughter's silhouettes, making him grin widely. "You see mama and Nai? Look baby," he stood Omari up, pointing at the stage. The lights came up as the music began and once Omari saw his mom and sister he was smiling too.
He watched in amazement as their routine began, gliding around the stage flawlessly and seamlessly, moving like liquid, fluidly but still so accurate in all the moves. Gionni could never remember all of the different names for the positions and the dances they did, but he was enjoying it nonetheless. He thought they looked beautiful.
On stage, Nayeli was in her element. She felt so at home there and her dancing was her most precious form of expression. She couldn't explain it as well as she wanted but when she danced she felt free. Free from the things that loomed on her mind daily, off of therapy and school, she could just be while she danced and she loved that feeling. The music was the only thing that mattered.