adagio - /əˈdäjō,əˈdäjēō/
adjective & adverb
"(especially as a direction) in slow tempo"
Hinata Shouyou lifted his leg against the wall in the tiny kitchenette in a lazy stretch, letting his head sink to his knee as he worked to turn out his standing leg from inside the hip, instead of forcing his feet. Just as he got to his desired position, his sleepy amber-eyed roommate seemed to materialize behind him in the doorway.
“Sho, I know you’re a dancer but can you stop putting your foot on the wall? It’s so flimsy, one day you’re going to go right through it.”
Hinata’s laugh was as bright as his hair, but he obliged, swinging the aforementioned leg down from its position on the wall. “Also, doesn’t your practice start at nine this morning?”
Hinata nodded enthusiastically in response as he went about pouring tea into a brightly coloured cup with a snap-on lid.
“Not gonna be late for my first day at a new theatre!”
Kenma Kozume, the aforementioned sleepy roommate, looked dubious about this comment as he wandered over to the fridge, taking his time to search through it placidly before responding.
“It’s 8:45 Sho, you better hurry up.”
Hinata glanced at the cheerful yellow clock that ticked away above the oven with a yelp.
“I’ve gotta get going then! I’ll see you later today Kenma!”
Kenma smiled and waved his hand in farewell as the bubbly dancer grabbed his cup and bag and was out the door in a few moments.
The bus was quiet, yet filled with people all in their own little world. Hinata was no exception, earbuds in as he listened to an incredibly energetic pop song, bobbing his head along with the words. Before he knew it, it was his stop, and with a cheerful smile he hopped down the steep bus steps into the cool early morning air, hurrying as he walked. 8:55 was the time displayed on his phone as he neared the large stone building.
Miyagi Ballet Theatre.
It was one of the most prestigious companies in the region, and Hinata had been lucky to get in as an apprentice out of the hundreds of dancers who had auditioned with him, since only ten new dancers were selecter per year. He continued on through the broad oak double doors, and down a gently curving staircase, past several empty but spacious studios, through a courtyard lush with bright flowers until Hinata reached studio B22, chest heaving from his run.
He'd liked to have stopped to admire the beautiful grounds of the conservatory, but time for that would come later, along with the mountains of practice that would be pushed onto him. Hinata's spine tingled from base to tip at the thought of finally being here, here, able to explore the grounds and become part of something, part of a team to say in the least.
He pushed open the studio door to reveal a large marley floor with several metal barres spaced out through the room, dancers in various stages of warmup clothes already stretching out, legs lifted up to ears and toes rolling across the ground, pointed and flexed and pointed again.
A tall girl with a pure black leotard and pink tights rolled up to the ankle overtop the leotard caught his eye, then looked away just as quickly while she tucked a bobby pin into her impossibly-glossy bun. Her blue eyes were sharp and calculating, much like the lines of her body and the harsh planes of her face. Geometric.
“Thank you for making it on time, Hinata.”
A soft voice startled him as he tried to catch his breath. A gently smiling man with dove-coloured hair inclined his head towards him. Although he spoke softly, the thin layer of ice concealed in his otherwise sunny tone still gave Hinata the impression that he was not to be talked back to. He lowered his eyes, cheeks now flushing pointe-shoe pink while he shimmied out of his sweatpants, feeling even more exposed as all eyes suddenly flickered to his tiny form.
“I’m sorry sir."
“That’s quite alright. You’re here pretty much on time, but try to be just a bit more punctual if you could.” He smiled again, "It'll give you more time to warm up before morning classes."
At this point Hinata had decided he was nothing short of an angel. Suga turned away from Hinata, stepping to the front of the room near the piano. Hinata scurried to a place at the barre near a girl with flaxen hair braided at the nape of her elegant neck and next to her, a shorter dancer who was completely dotted with freckles, currently in the process of adjusting the straps of her deep red leotard in the mirror who he remembered from his audition for MBT.
In his soft, unassuming voice the grey-haired angel introduced himself as Sugawara Koushi, but they could call him Suga.
“I’d like to congratulate our new apprentices, three of which are in this class right now. They're a talented bunch." He said, as he gestured to them in turn. "Yamaguchi Tadashi, Hinata Shoyou, Tsukishima Kei and Kageyama Tobio. I hope the rest of you will give them a welcome worthy of our company. I’m a firm believer in making ballet less competitive. Don't go running off into your little cliques, alright?”
He paused to glance sharply at a tall, willowy girl whose delicate fingers gripped the barre, supporting her limber frame as she stretched out her legs.
“Now that I’ve said that, let’s begin facing the barre. Slow pliés in all positions, three demi and two grande. Relevé and take a full port de bras for each set.”
Hinata went over the combo quickly in his head, determined not to forget it.
As the pianist began to play, Chopin's Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2, he took the chance to sneak furtive glances around the mirrored room.
There were four other barres including his, and about twenty dancers in the class, being relatively small. At his barre there was Yamaguchi and Tsukishima, along with Kageyama, the angular dancer from before. She was Hinata’s age, but was something of a genius in the world of ballet. However, she refused most partners because they ‘couldn’t keep up with her.' For a moment their gazes met, right before a cambre to the back. Hinata quickly averted his eyes from her sharp blue gaze, focusing on the arch of his own back.
After several grueling hours of center, Sugawara began pairing several of the dancers off for partner work.
“We’ll be doing scenes from Sleeping Beauty in the next few months, so while casting is still far off, I’d like to see how you look with one another. That way I can give our casting director some idea of our newbies.”
At that, many of the older dancers dotted around the edges of the room glanced at him, a few smiling and whispering to each other. Hinata heard whispers of ‘Chibi-chan’ and ‘Shrimpy’, causing him to frown. Sure, he was short, rather unorthodox for a ballet dancer, but his jumping ability made up for his lack of height.
Still, he tried to set his face in a smile. They would just have to wait and see. Especially Kageyama, who had been looking at him disdainfully for the entirety of the practice, doing nothing less that scaring the life out of Hinata. However, he couldn’t help but begin to feel the flames of challenge in his stomach. Game on, Kageyama.