The class was working on the taqsim, with its gentle vertical motion. “I think I got this figure eight thing.” A woman at the end of the line herked her hips up and down.
“You’re getting there! I can tell you’ve been working on it. You’re all getting better. At the end of six weeks, you’re going to be amazing.”
Without meaning to, Tamikia let her thoughts wander away from belly dancing. She wondered what her daughter was doing right now. Had Beth gotten home from school? Did Grandma Jean remember to give her fruit instead of cookies for an afternoon snack. Would they be around this evening, if Tamikia was allowed to call?
Her psychologist told her not to worry about these things, to let the outside world take care of itself and focus inward, to take things one day at a time. She all but forced Tami to sign up for the dance class. Tami didn’t think her counselor had ever handed her only child into the custody of her ex’s mother.
“I’ll take good care of her,” Grandma Jean had said. “And when you get out, I’ll take good care of you, too, honey. But you can’t go messing around with that son of mine. He’s dangerous, unpredictable.”
Tami and her cellmate counted down to freedom every morning. Every night, Tami went to sleep with Beth’s image in her mind. “I’ll do better by you baby. For both of us,” she swore.
Shari put one hand on Tamekia’s stomach and another on her rear end, then pushed, drawing the younger woman out of her reverie. “Remember to tuck in. You want that…”
“… right. Stable core.”
Shari smiled. “Exactly.”