Fifth grader Ziana Flores already knows where she’s headed in life: into the family business of stunt performing.
During a May 18 performance by The Fearless Flores at Myakka City Elementary, she had the chance to awe her friends with a photo of her not-so-ordinary passion.
“It was fun to show my friends what I do outside of school,” the 11-year-old Flores said. “They thought it was cool.”
The Fearless Flores performed at the school as a reward to the students who had met at least 75% of their academic goals. The performance also honored the achievements of the school as a whole.
Heather Rivero, a student support specialist at the school, said the school held events each quarter to celebrate the progress of students in areas including math, reading, PE, and behavior according to the standards of Positive Behavior Interventions and Support.
She said 291 students met their requirement.
“I think we ended up being short of popsicles,” said school principal Carol Ricks. “So it sounds like more students ended up meeting their goals than expected.”
The event was significant not only for the students, but also for the Flores family, as all of three of their Flores children, including 19-year-old Volorian Flores and 24-year-old Cyndel Flores have attended Myakka City Elementary.
“It was such an experience,” Volorian Flores said. “Coming here as a kid, going to school every day, and then performing shows on the weekend, all I wanted was to do a show at my school — impress all my friends.”
“It was really neat, because I remember being here in fifth grade and wanting to do it," Cyndel Flores said. "This was something that we want to do not just for the school but for us. … We don't have any more siblings.”
Two shows were performed, one for kindergartners to second graders, and one for third graders to fifth graders.
The event began with a plate spinning act by 19-year-old Volorian Flores. Aiming to spin nearly 20 plates on various poles placed across the length of the audience, he invited the students to participate by pointing out to him whenever a plate began to slow and wobble.
However, at the center of the show was the Globe of Death, a spherical steel cage that allows motorcycle riders to loop through the inside horizontally as well as vertically.
First, Ziana Flores entered the globe to demonstrate what Ricardo Flores called “early stages” of performing inside the cage. Traveling the inside with Volorian Flores standing at the center, Ziana Flores rose to meet the sides of the cage.
Volorian Flores followed with his own solo performance.
The number of motorcycles inside increased to two and then to three, with a finale that involved Ricardo, Volorian, and Cyndel Flores circling the inside of the globe together both horizontally and vertically in paths perfectly synchronized.
Second grader Jerson Santiago said he liked the spinning plates because it took them “a long time to fall down.”
Ricardo Flores said he loves the shows for kids because they scream and hollar.
“I love to get them up and get them going, let them use their outside voices, burn off some of that energy,” he said.
Clark said she was glad for extra help that she received from her teacher, Jackie Blue, to achieve her goals.
Blue said that Clark had put in lots of hard work throughout the year, and had improved in multiple areas including reading and good behavior.
Ricardo Flores said the event was emotional.
“This is our home,” he said. “Now that Ziana is out of elementary school, we’re going to have to find new reasons to come.”